A Web Quest by Brian Ayres






The war with Iraq is the first in a new foreign policy of preemption by the United States. With most expecting a quick United States military victory, much of the pre-planning for war has been what Iraq will look like after the bombs fall.

The United States has been here before in Europe after World War II, the Balkans, and Haiti just to name a recent few. So how do United States nation builders hope to win the hearts and minds of a skeptical and even hostile people? That is up to you and your group to figure out.


MEMO FROM THE WHITE HOUSE: You have been put on a four-person panel to dig up historical information on the country of Iraq that may help us better reconstruct the nation after we have overthrown Saddam Hussein. We are trying to decide the best course of action for what type of economic and political systems to put in place, how to handle the issues surrounding the religious factions and how to build public support for our mission.

Your country needs your help.


Your task force is divided into four distinct parts. Each person has a different role to tackle. Each advisor will be asked to answer specific questions relating to his or her topics.

        ROLES -- Economic    Political    Geographic    Religious

1) Economic advisor -- As the economic advisor, your role is to determine what economic system is best for the region and the timetable for implementation.

            Some questions you must answer are: 1) What is the current economic system of the country?; 2) What is the currency and how does measure it up to other foreign currencies?; 3) What is the nation's GDP?; 4) What are the major natural resources?; 5) With oil being the main resource, what is the best system for dividing up the production and sale of this commodity?; 6) What is the breakdown of the current economy -- industrial, service or agriculture?; 7) Who could be some heavy hitters in Iraqi business?; 8) How much money and resources will it take to rebuild the infrastructure?


2) Political advisor -- As the political advisor, your role is to determine what form of government should be implemented, who are some top candidates to prop up a government and how do we sway public support in favor of our new government.

            Some questions you must answer are: 1) Give the committee an in-depth history in the types of government Iraq has featured prior to the dictatorship of Hussein.; 2) What is the best type of representative government we can give the people?; 3) What is the educational level of the population (Democracies center on an educated electorate.)?; 4) By some, we will be seen as colonizers. What is the best political route in order to change public opinion? (media campaign?); 5) Who are the leading heavyweights to take control of an Iraqi government?; 6) What kind of safeguards need to be in place to avoid an immediate coup?

3) Geographic/cultural advisor -- As the geographic advisor, your role is to determine how to preserve the nation's natural resources, maintain geographic stability and keep a refugee crisis down.

            Some questions you must answer are: 1) What is the ethnic/cultural makeup of the country; 2) Where will potential refugees likely go if they flee?; 3) What is the communications/media role in the country? Is it state-run?; 4) Culturally, what types of activities do the citizens of Iraq share; 5) How can be cultivate these into making the people feel like one nation?; 6) What are the main cities, geographic landmarks?; 7) Where are the resources (i.e. oil) located?; 8) How best can be improve the delivery of these resources?

4) Religious advisor -- As the religious advisor, your role is to determine whether it is feasible for the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds to live side-by-side and how best can we as a Christian nation advise these groups.

            Some questions you must answer are: 1) What is the religious makeup of the country and where do these factions live?; 2) Describe the tensions and how deep these tensions run between the factions; 3) What is the history of this conflict and what common ground would you recommend we try to shoot for?.



-- Each person will research his/her topic thoroughly using the resources on this site and others you may find in the library.

-- After researching your topic, each individual needs to write up a 2-page report answering the above questions in great detail. A rough draft is due in class tomorrow and the final copy will be due in two days. Remember, we are going to war soon. This is no time for delay.


-- Each person will bring the rough draft to class tomorrow so your team can compile the information and put it on a poster board to be used during your presentations to the president and his cabinet in two days.

-- Each poster board should be organized into the four categories with only the most pertinent information. Remember, the president doesn't like long-winded speeches. He needs things short and to the point.

-- Each presentation needs to conclude whether it will be feasible to reconstruct the economic, political, geographic and religious makeup of the country.




-- U.S. State Department Update on Iraq

-- News on Iraq's Economy

-- Religion in Iraq

-- History of Muslim religion

-- Geography of Iraq

-- Iraq and Oil analysis

-- Iraqs History and Culture

-- Other Iraqi related web sites

-- A Love-Hate Relationship with America

-- Why Arabs Hate America. From Sunday London Times


The following is the rubric for this assignment, which is worth 150 points.

1) Individual paper 100 points

          Content (50 points) Points will be awarded for thoroughness and completeness of ideas. For a perfect score in this area, the student must answer all pertinent questions plus add in others.

          Structure (25 points) Points will be awarded for organization. For a perfect score, the student must formulate a cogent argument in a format that contains an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion.

          Spelling and Grammar (25 points) One point will be taken off for each spelling and grammar error in the paper.

2) Presentation 50 points

          0-20 Presentation lacked organization, style and preparedness. Supporting materials were incomplete.

          21-30 Presentation had moderate persuasiveness and structure but lacked details.

          31-40 Presentation had good persuasiveness and details.

          41-50 Presentation had excellent persuasiveness and details. Students went above and beyond.


 The decision to go to war carries more than just the battle plans and troop preparedness. A nation like the United States must be prepared and should be obligated (which we are) to repair the wounds left when the smoke settles. These decisions and how the United States as diplomats and post-war planners can accomplish these goals can go along way to determining the success and failure of any government we try to prop up.

So, when the next Iraq comes around, you as students need to keep in mind the broad implications of going to war and winning a war.