Iraq will continue to be a major issue and involvement for the United States into the foreseeable future says William R. Polk. Iraq sits on the world's largest supply of oil, and with the world's energy requirements continuously rising, Iraq will play an ongoing role in the global economy and the political environment throughout the Gulf region and the Middle East. Polk's concise, authoritative overview of Iraq's history shows how the pattern of outside intervention was established first by the Ottoman Turks and the Persian Safavids and later by England, Russia, and Germany. After World War I came British rule, followed by a brief and uneasy period of independence that sparked Iraqi nationalism, leading Saddam Husain to power with American military and financial aid and covert CIA involvement. The Iraq-Iran War and the invasion of Kuwait was followed by the Gulf War, the sanctions period, and the Bush administration's decision to invade. Finally, there is the American occupation and the challenges, opportunities, and options that Iraqis and Americans face now and in the future.
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