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Blindfolding Democracy: Blueprinting Ballots From Bullets

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Chapter Summary

As the product of conflict, democratizing Afghanistan and Iraq was neither a local initiative nor the top-priority task of the occupation forces. Changing regimes may have driven the United States towards democratizing both, but the causal factor for Afghanistan began with the need to punish Taleban for the 9/11 events and for Iraq to punish Saddam Hussein for a string of flagrant violations. In part because the former proved a more compelling case, elicited wider global support and sympathy, produced direct U.S. responses, and created a democratization model, at least on blueprint, Iraq's future was foretold. This chapter addresses the nature of the blueprint developed, the identification of actors, interests, and cleavages, and ground-level developments from conflict to cooperation.

Keywords: democratization blueprint; Iraqi regime change; Pashtuns; Saddam's brutal reign; state-building; United Nations



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