History 4920

The US-Iraq Wars

Mon-Wed-Fri, 1:25-2:15, Hardin 233
(Spring 2015)

Prof. Edwin E. Moise
Office: Hardin 102
Cell: 650-8845

Messages can be left in my mailbox in Hardin 124, or in the box on my office door.

Office Hours: I will try to be in my office at the following hours. It is possible that I may occasionally miss office hours, but on the other hand, I will be in my office, and available to you, at a lot of other times. E-mail me, or just check and see if my door is open.

    Monday                  2:30-3:20
    Tuesday    11:00-12:00, 2:00-3:15
    Wednesday  10:10-11:00, 2:30-3:15
    Thursday   (none)
    Friday     (none) 

Course Objectives

We will start with the history of 20th century Iraq. The main body of the course will be devoted to the two wars the United States has fought in Iraq: the first in 1991, and the second beginning in 2003, with its aftermath still playing out very actively today. Military and political factors, and the role of the media, will all be considered.

Learning Objectives

What goes into your grade

Your grade in the course will be based mainly on the written work I have assigned. You cannot do extra papers for extra credit. You can improve your grade a bit by participating in class discussion. The best way to pick up extra points is to argue against me in class; If you can point out to me that I have made a mistake you get two points extra in the gradebook. If you present a good clear argument that I am wrong about something, with evidence, then your grade may be boosted even if you do not succeed in convincing me.

I do not emphasize trivial factual details in this course. On tests and quizzes I will NOT ask you to tell me the date of the battle of Khafji, or the names of the commanders in it. There are some facts you need to know, but they are more important things than dates and names. On the other hand, I will expect you to get an idea of the sequence of events, what came first and what came later.

The most important single part of your grade will be the course paper. You can write it on whatever topic you please, within the limit of the subject matter of this course. Most of the papers should be about eight to ten pages long typed double spaced for the actual text (not including title page, maps, illustrations, or Works Cited page). Longer papers are acceptable.

For more detailed guidelines on the term paper, see Writing a Term Paper in Military History.

The paper is due Wednesday, April 22. I request that you turn it in electronically through Blackboard, which records the date you submitted it. If Blackboard says it was turned in on April 22 (in other words, if it got in before midnight), it will be considered on time. There will be a five point penalty if the paper is submitted on April 23 or 24. The penalty will be fifteen points if it is not in by midnight April 24.

You can have a pretty free choice of topics for this paper, within the limits of the subject matter of this course. You must come in and talk to me about your paper, and discuss the sources you will be using. It is not enough to say to me as we are walking out of the classroom one morning "Professor Moise, is it OK if I write about the First Battle of Fallujah?" You will need to talk things over with me for ten or fifteen minutes, not just a few seconds. After we have talked, I will give you a topic sheet, which you will then fill out and return to me. The sheet should describe your topic, with a list of the main sources you plan to use. There will be a five point penalty if you have not given this to me by March 9, and an additional five points if it is not in by March 23. If it still is not in by March 30, I will either give you yet another five-point penalty, or else simply hand you a sheet of paper telling you what topic you must write on, and what sources you must use.

If you give me a preliminary draft of your paper (preferably as an e-mail attachment) by April 15, I will look it over and give you suggestions about how you could improve it.

The paper is worth 150 points. The other written work will be:
    --Two newspaper research exercises, worth 40 points each.
    --One essay quiz (20 points).
    --The midterm test (70 points) and the final exam (120 points), which will be mostly essay questions.
This adds up to 440 points for the course. The basic grade scale is that 90% (396 points) is the bottom of the A range, 80% (352 points) is the bottom of the B range, and so on. Sometimes I alter the scale in the students' favor, never against them. Thus 396 points is a guaranteed A; 392 or even 388 points might be an A, if the average for the class is low.

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity requires that we not try to pass off other people's work as our own. The ways students have gotten into problems of academic dishonesty in this course, in past years, have been:

    Large portions of a term paper copied from a book or web site, without any indication that the material was copied. Typically this involves both large amounts of material quoted word-for-word, without quotation marks, and also a serious shortage of source notes pointing to the book from which the material came. Often there are misleading source notes claiming the material came from some source other than the one from which it was actually copied word-for-word. These false source notes are especially strong evidence that the copying was dishonesty and not just carelessness.

    Whole term paper obtained from some source (a commercial term paper service, or the Internet, or the collection of term papers that one of the fraternities used to have, and may still have).

    One student copies another student's 40-point newspaper research exercise, maybe changing a few words and substituting synonyms, but leaving the two papers still so similar that it is obvious the resemblance could not be coincidence. I would be likely to bring charges both against the student who copied and the student who allowed his or her paper to be copied.

If a student copied a paper from someplace without citing that source, but rephrased it, substituting synonyms for enough words so that the copied paper was not identical, word for word, to the original, this would still be academic dishonesty, but would be more difficult for me to prove.

There are some ways in which it is all right for students to help each other. If two students want to study together getting ready for a test, that is perfectly OK. Only after I have handed out the questions does help on a test become improper. But if two people work together on a newspaper research exercise, and turn in papers that are very similar because each has been getting a lot of help from the other in writing it, both will be in deep trouble. If one of your fellow students asks to look at your paper, to get a better idea of how the assignment was to be done, please say no. They should come to me to ask for further explanations of the assignment, rather than looking at a completed paper to give them their clues. If two papers are so similar it is obvious the author of one must have seen the other, I will file charges.

In furtherance of its Academic Integrity policy, Clemson University has a license agreement with, a service that helps prevent plagiarism in student assignments. I will request that you submit your research papers, at the end of the semester, to Turnitin through Blackboard. You will have the right to refuse to do this, if you wish. Turnitin will provide me with an originality rating and notation of possible text or contextual matches with other source documents. Turnitin does not make any determination of plagiarism. Rather, it identifies parts of an assignment that may have significant matches with other source documents found on the Internet, in the Turnitin database, or from other sources. If matches are identified and indicate the possibility of inclusion of material that is not properly cited, I will discuss this information with you before reaching any judgment or decision.

Do not turn in a paper in this course that you have also submitted in some other course, in this semester or a previous one, without consulting me first.

Disability Access Statement

Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should make an appointment with Dr. Arlene Stewart (656-6848), Director of Disability Services, to discuss specific needs within the first month of classes. Students should present a Faculty Accommodation Letter from Student Disability Services when they meet with instructors. Accommodations are not retroactive and new Faculty Accommodation Letters must be presented each semester.

Title IX (Sexual Harassment) Statement

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteranís status, genetic information or protected activity (e.g., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in any complaint process, etc.) in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This policy is located at Mr. Jerry Knighton is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator. He also is the Director of Access and Equity. His office is located at 111 Holtzendorff Hall, 864.656.3181 (voice) or 864.565.0899 (TDD).

Policy on late work

Under normal circumstances, my policy is: If you do not do written work on time, then with any reasonable excuse you will be able to make it up. However, you will be marked off for lateness. You will be marked off even if your excuse is very, very good. You can avoid a penalty only if I have told you before the work was due that you would be able to do it late without penalty. 40-point short papers will not usually be accepted at all (you just get an F) if they are more than seven days late.

Attendance policy

You are allowed up to six cuts INCLUDING EXCUSED ABSENCES. You lose two points for every unexcused absense after that. I would advise you not to take even five. I am going to be saying quite a few things in lectures that are not in the reading. Even if you are very careful about doing all the assigned reading, you will have trouble answering the questions on my tests if you have not been at the lectures.

If I am Late

If I have not gotten to class by five minutes after it was supposed to begin, I would be grateful if a student would go bang on my office door and see whether I am there. If I still have not arrived by ten minutes after the time the class was supposed to begin, you can give up on me and leave.

If Class Is Cancelled Due To Weather

If class is cancelled due to weather, on a day when an assignment was due or a test or quiz was scheduled, the date of the assignment, test, or quiz will simply be postponed to the next class, unless I inform you otherwise by e-mail.

Assigned reading

There are five books you should buy:

The Modern History of Iraq, third edition, by Phebe Marr

It Doesn't Take a Hero, by H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Fiasco, by Thomas Ricks

Surge by Peter R. Mansour

Task Force Patriot by Pat Proctor

There will also be material you will read online.

Course Outline

January 7: Introduction to the course.

January 9: Background: The British carved Iraq out of what had been part of the Ottoman Empire
    >>> Marr, pp. 1-35

January 12: Iraq as a Monarchy
    >>> Marr, pp. 37-79

January 14: The Qasim Era to the First Arif Regime
    >>> Marr, pp. 81-129

January 16: From the Second Arif Regime to Ba'th Rule
    >>> Marr, pp. 129-174


January 21: Saddam Husain as Ba'th Ruler; the Invasion of Kuwait
    >>> Marr, pp. 175-220

January 23: US Involvement in the Region
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 309-342

January 26: Reactions to the Invasion
    >>> Marr, pp. 220-223
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 342-380

January 28: Operation Desert Shield
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 381-435

January 30: Moving Toward War
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 436-480

February 2: Air War, and Preparing for Ground War
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 480-521
    >>> Marr, pp. 223-224
"U.S. to Rely on Air Strikes if War Erupts" 9/16/1990
"War Toll Estimate" 11/1/1990
"Pentagon's Quick War Plan Seen Facing Pitfalls"

February 4: The Ground War
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 522-569, 579-583
    >>> Marr, pp. 224-225

February 6:

February 9: Saddam Husain Defeated and Contained
    >>> Marr, pp. 225-255
    >>> Ricks, pp. 3-18

February 11: Moving toward a Second War
    >>> Ricks, pp. 18-64

February 13: Moving toward a Second War (2)
    >>> Ricks, pp. 64-111

February 16: TEST

February 18: Taking Baghdad
    >>> Ricks, pp. 115-148
    >>> Marr, pp. 257-266

February 20: The Coalition Provisional Authority Ruling Iraq
    >>> Ricks, pp. 149-188
    >>> Marr, pp. 266-273

February 23: The Rise of the Insurgency
    >>> Ricks, pp. 189-225
    >>> Marr, pp. 273-278

February 25: Getting Tough
    >>> Ricks, pp. 225-269

February 27: Deterioration
    >>> Ricks, pp. 270-310

March 2: The Crisis of Spring 2004
    >>> Ricks, pp. 311-359

March 4: The last months of the official American occupation
    >>> Ricks, pp. 359-389
    >>> Marr, pp. 278-283

March 6: A nominally independent Iraq
    >>> Ricks, pp. 390-429
    >>> Marr, pp. 283-290

Due date for term paper topic sheets: March 9

March 9: Continued Deterioration
    >>> Marr, pp. 290-303
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 1-33

March 11:

March 13: Initiating the Surge
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 34-64

            March 16, 18, 20: SPRING BREAK, NO CLASS

March 23: The Surge Begins
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 65-90

March 25: The Surge Continues
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 91-119
    >>> Marr, pp. 305-311

March 27: Supporting the Awakening; the Kurds
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 133-58
    >>> Marr, pp. 311-319

March 30: Making the Case
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 158-196
    General Petraeus or General Betray Us?
    General Betray Us?

April 1: The Struggle in the US
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 196-232

April 3: Winding down the Surge
    >>> Mansoor, pp. 233-275

April 6: Task Force Patriot goes to Tikrit
    >>> Proctor, pp. 1-37

April 8: Task Force Patriot, continued
    >>> Proctor, pp. 39-79

April 10: Task Force Patriot, continued
    >>> Proctor, pp. 81-117

April 13: Task Force Patriot, continued
    >>> Proctor, pp. 119-162

April 15: The last stage
    >>> Proctor, pp. 163-203

April 17, 20: Maliki's Government
    >>> Marr, pp. 320-379

April 22: Recent events
    >>> Reading to be added later

April 22: Submit term papers online through Blackboard

April 24: Summary discussion

Final exam: Friday, May 1, 3:00 p.m.


Other Links

Web site of the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas

Military History Atlases (U.S. Military Academy, West Point)

Selected Statistics on the Vietnam War, With a Few from Iraq

Other Links


Larger, more detailed map of Iraq (source: CIA map, on the Perry-Castaneda Library website) (same map as separate page).

The Middle East (source: CIA map, on the Perry-Castaneda Library website).

Edwin Moïse's homepage

Revised March 30, 2015.