The Iraqi refugee problem isn’t just about American moral obligations – it needs to be understood as a deep strategic problem shaping both internal Iraqi and regional political outcomes. I don’t think there’s been enough thought given to the complex ways in which this issue could reformulate Iraqi and regional politics over the next few decades.
Alterman lays out the destabilizing impact around the region. I’d go further than the immediate effects on regime stability. If the Iraqi refugee problem is not dealt with, it will likely “default” into precisely the conditions which have made the Palestinian issue so potent and so destabilizing over the decades: a large population of permanently de facto stateless persons spread across multiple Arab countries, whose personal and communal traumas resonate deeply with core political narratives (Arabist or Islamist or sectarian). [complete article]
The Middle East has long had the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s major producers of refugees. By the beginning of 2007, the Middle East was generating 5,931,000 refugees out of a world total of 13,948,800. [complete article]