According to the Bush administration, the war in Iraq ended in May 2003 when the president pronounced mission accomplished from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Yet, fighting, resistance, and American casualties continue. Stephen PelletiEre argues that it is Iraqi suspicion of the Americans' motive-the belief that the United States is out to tear the state apart-that is fueling the current rebellion. Resistance in Iraq has become a national struggle, tied to the mood of Iraqis generally, as well as to anger fed by experiences of the whole people over the course of the last quarter century. Americans see Iraq as a failed state because they lack knowledge of those experiences and of Iraqi history. That is what PelletiEre has set out to remedy. In doing so, he relates American behavior in Iraq to the wider sphere of U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf specifically and the Middle East overall, positioning the war as part of a larger geo-political struggle that encompasses not just the Iraqis or the Iranians, but the Israelis and all of the other client states of the United States in the Middle East.
Stephen C. PelletiEre was the Central Intelligence Agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. He is the author of The Iran-Iraq War: Chaos in a Vacuum (Praeger, 1992), Iraq and the International Oil System (Praeger, 2001), and America's Oil Wars (Praeger, 2004).