This paper shows how the American planning for the war in Iraq of 2003 lacked the use of major academic and scientific disciplines. Some basic theories and principles in the field of nationalism and ethnicity studies as well as the field of Middle Eastern studies were supposed to guide the planning for the post-war era in a better way. The goals of the war were originally very ambitious and included ‘conflict transformation’ which implies facilitating changes in the social and political structure of Iraq and the Middle East, but it has now changed to the more modest goal of ‘conflict management’ which focuses on containing violence.

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