Publications [#289717] of Hal Brands

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Journal Articles

  1. Brands, H. "Making the conspiracy theorist a prophet: Covert action and the contours of United States-Iraq relations." International History Review 33.3 (September, 2011): 381-408. [doi]
    (last updated on 2018/07/15)

    Convert action is an inherently fraught undertaking. It can produce important diplomatic or strategic gains at a relatively low price, but it can also result in substantial "blowback" when it fails to remain covert. This article traces the impact of two covert operations-US support for a Kurdish rebellion in northern Iraq in the 1970s, and US arms sales to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war-on Saddam Hussein's strategic perceptions of the United States. It argues that revelations of US covert action interacted symbiotically with Saddam's preexisting suspicions of the United States, helping to forge a legacy of mistrust and hostility that did much to shape his views of the relationship. Saddam's personality and worldview inclined him toward conspiratorial thinking; US policies made this outlook seem prophetic. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Hal Brands