Revolt on the Tigris : The Sadr Uprising and Governing Iraq Hardback
Part of the Crises in World Politics series
A former paratrooper in the British Army with extensive experience of conflict and post-conflict management in the countries of former Yugoslavia, Mark Etherington had just completed a degree in international relations at Cambridge University in 2003 when the British Foreign Office asked him to assume the administration of Wasit Province in southern Iraq on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority or CPA.He established a small team in the provincial capital of al-Kut on the banks of the Tigris in order to begin the process of reconstruction - both political and physical - of a province with a predominantly Shia population of 900,000 and a long border with Iran.The province was plagued by poverty and beset by social paralysis.
A demoralized and sometimes corrupt police force was incapable of imposing the rule of law.
Ba'ath party functionaries had been purged, local municipal authority was weak, and basic services were lacking.
More challenging still was an escalating armed insurgency by the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr that culminated in a sixteen-hour firefight for control of the CPA's base in Kut. This gritty and compelling firsthand account of post-conflict Iraq describes the turmoil visited on the country by outside intervention and the difficulties faced by the Coalition in fashioning a new political and civil apparatus.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 176 pages, Illustrations, maps, ports.
- Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/06/2005
- Category: Politics & government
- ISBN: 9781850657736
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Review by Donogh
This is the memoir of the author's time as governor in Al-Kut during the early days of 2003/2004 in Iraq. Well suited to the role, with a military background and experience in the Balkans in the 90s. Posed with the difficulties of the "light footprint" strategy and a lack of clear (or at least realistic) vision from the top he struggles to find purchase and influence in the province.Well written (though introspective) memoirs of recent events are few and far between; usually dominated by "I told you so" and liberal sprinklings of 20-20 hindsight; but this one is intelligent and measured. He is aware of his short-comings, but is also aware of the real challenges associated with the set-up he's saddled with. There is an element of "If only", but nonetheless a worthy read.