Unintended Consequences? Foreign Intervention in the Middle East

This panel will critically assess the degree to which enduring instability in Iraq and the broader region can be seen as an unintended consequence of foreign intervention.

Members event, Panel Recording
27 February 2019 — 1:00PM TO 2:00PM
Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE

On 20 March 2003, American missiles first hit Baghdad, signalling the start of a US-led campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein. 16 years later, Iraq has witnessed perpetual conflict, which reached its nadir in 2014 when ISIS militants captured one third of the country. The breakdown of the unitary state throughout the region has ushered in an era of instability and violence.

  • How can we explain the link, if any, between Western intervention and cycles of violence in the Middle East?

  • Could this be having a knock-on effect on the US and Europe?

  • If so, to what extent might the Iraq war, the so-called Arab Spring, the refugee crisis in Europe and the subsequent rise of populism in the West be interconnected?


Dr Lina Khatib, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Emma Sky, Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for International Affairs, Yale; Political Adviser to General Odierno, Commanding General of US Forces, Iraq (2008–10); Author, In a Time of Monsters: Travels Through a Middle East in Revolt

Jonathan Steele, Chief Foreign Correspondent (1982-88), The Guardian; Author, Defeat: Why They Lost Iraq

Chair: Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

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