March 2015

IDA Research Staff participate vigorously in various professional activities – both within their disciplines and ancillary to them – including publishing in the open literature. Highlights of IDA research activity from March 2015 follow.

Positive Review for Kevin Woods’ Latest Book

Book cover for The Iran-Iraq War: A Military and Strategic History

The latest book by IDA’s Kevin Woods, with co-author Williamson Murray – The Iran-Iraq War: A Military and Strategic History – received a very positive review in the Journal of Military History Vol. 70, No. 2, April 2015. The reviewer, Ken Pollack (Brookings), knows the subject as well as any and rates the book as “…likely to remain the best single volume on the Iran-Iraq war for some time.” Dr. Woods’ book was named as a finalist in 2015's Welch Award competition. Dr. Woods’ earlier work The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings of a Tyrant’s Regime, 1978-2001, was the winner of IDA’s first Welch Award for Best External Publication.








IDA Researcher Published in Latest Contingency Planning Memorandum

Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the current President of Zimbabwe, serving since 31 December 1987.George F. Ward, former ambassador to Namibia, discussed the possibility of political instability and violence in Zimbabwe associated with the end of President Robert Mugabe’s tenure; his article was recently published in the Center for Preventive Action's Contingency Planning Memorandum, “Political Instability in Zimbabwe” released by the Council on Foreign Relations. In the memo, Amb. Ward examines the possible risk factors in Zimbabwe, including the sudden death of the 91-year-old president without an apparent successor, growing factionalism within the main political party, and increased economic strife triggering more demands for political change. He recommends that the United States should define its options in Zimbabwe through interagency efforts, open a consultative channel with Congress, and work with other southern African nations, EU, and China to pursue understandings on Zimbabwe. The Center for Preventive Action’s Contingency Planning Roundtable series is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. This series seeks to organize focused discussions on plausible short- to medium-term contingencies that could seriously threaten U.S. interests. Its goal is to not only raise awareness of potential crises among U.S. government officials and the expert community but also to generate practical policy options that lessen the contingency’s likelihood and reduce the fallout should it occur.