On October 2nd, 2015 I had a very good opportunity to participate in the 38th Annual Global Studies Conference at University of Nebraska at Omaha which was very interesting because there were many presentations related to international studies and even more exciting according to this year’s theme; “Rethinking Global Security: Emerging Threats and Challenges”.
Insurgencies and Failed Expectations
The “Insurgency After War: Explaining How Failed Expectations Led to Violence in Iraq” presented by Michelle Black from University of Nebraska at Lincoln is quite impressive. The main idea is that insurgency and violence happened in the first place because governments failed to fulfill people’s expectations which can be changed by times and circumstances. In the case of Iraq, before 2003 most of the Iraqi’s expectations is “services” such as foods, water and jobs; that’s kind of basic needs to be able to live, but after the invading by the United States those expectations changed to “security” and people don’t feel safe anymore because there are soldiers and groups of terrorists everywhere.
The U.S. army combined forces of troops with the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland has invaded Iraq since 2003 to 2011 and deposed the Ba’athistgovernment of Saddam Hussein in order to achieve the goal which is to “enduring freedom”. but after that it did not turn out quite well; there are terrorists, rebel groups, people fleeing from their country and of course more insurgencies because people could not meet their expectations.
“When I asked the Iraqi refugees what do you want?
What is Freedom?
What is Democracy?
Services; jobs, foods, water.
We try to deliver democracy, but how could we be sure that the democracy we know
is the same democracy that domestic people know?” (Black, 2015)
Expectations and Civic Engagement
These failed expectations that led to insurgencies are relevant to civic engagement because all these expectations come from people in society, not from the top – down. Moreover, this presentation also argues that insurgencies develop when expectations are not met after international intervention. Isn’t it time for all others countries and the Iraqi government to let people decide their fate by themselves? Volunteerism and leadership are needed now because government cannot do everything by itself, and it would be better if someone who is trying to solve problems or decrease the tensions is the one who engages in the problems him/herself and then cooperate with government later.