Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq


For information on Iraq since May 2003, please visit

Information Sources:
Thematically Organised

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This page contains a thematically organised set of links and references, and includes the listing of printed works that are not mentioned elsewhere in the Information Sources section. For items that we believe do not exist on the web, we have endeavoured to provide a short description of the content of the work. Please let us know if you have suggestions for additions, annotations or improvements to this page. The themes listed below are:

General works on economic sanctions on Iraq
The Humanitarian Impact of Sanctions
The Iraqi Economy
The Debate over "Smart sanctions"
The Oil-for-Food Programme
Security Council policy on Iraq and the Sanctions Committee
The International Law of Sanctions
Modern Iraqi history and politics
Analyses of the general use and other applications of economic sanctions
US policy towards Iraq since 1991
Iraq's relations with other States since 1991
The Iraqi military and disarmament
The Iraqi opposition movements and the Kurdish region
Depleted Uranium Poisoning and "Gulf War Syndrome"
Assessments on the economic and humanitarian consequences of war
Polls of public opinion in Iraq

General works on economic sanctions on Iraq

  • Arnove, Anthony (ed.), Iraq Under Siege: the Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War (South End Press, 2000)
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq, Sanctions on Iraq: background, consequences & strategies (Barque Press, 2000)
    Proceedings from international conference held in Cambridge in November 1999.
    Order from: CASI | View online
  • Cockburn, Andrew and Patrick Cockburn, Out Of The Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein (HarperCollins, 1999)
    Traces the rise and decline of Iraq from the colonial period to the modern day, with particular focus on how Saddam Hussein has stayed in power and the mistakes made by Western governments in dealing with him. The book makes the compelling case that sanctions have only strengthened Saddam Hussein, and that Iraqi civilians have suffered terribly as a consequence of the West's mistakes.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Graham-Brown, Sarah, Sanctioning Saddam: The Politics of Intervention in Iraq (London: I.B.Tauris, 1999)
    Focuses on international aid to the Iraqi population, suffering under economic sanctions, as well as other forms of Western interventions into Iraq in recent years.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Shehabaldin, Ahmed and William M.Laughlin, Jr., "Economic Sanctions Against Iraq: Human and Economic Costs", The International Journal Of Human Rights, vol.3:4 (Winter 1999), pp.1-18. An abstract of this article is available here.
  • Cortright, David and George A. Lopez, "On Sanctions Against Iraq", Journal Of International Affairs, vol.52:2, (Spring 1999), pp.735-755.
  • Simons, Geoffrey Leslie, The Scourging of Iraq: sanctions, law and natural justice , 2nd edn (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998)
    Comprehensive book on the sanctions, it contains much useful information and includes appendices of relevant Security Council Resolutions and other documents.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Skinner, Margarita, Between Despair and Hope, Windows on my Middle East Journey: 1967-1992 (London: Radcliffe Press, 1998)
    The author was UNICEF's Health Coordinator in Baghdad 1991-1992. Chapter 8 and the epilogue of this book relate to her experiences in Iraq, arguing that sanctions are a war crime.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Center for Economic and Social Rights, UNsanctioned Suffering (1996)
    Influential report on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, by an international team of 24 health experts, lawyers and economists who visited Iraq in 1996. Details a collapsed economy, crippled health and sanitation infrastructure, and a largely ineffective oil-for-food scheme. Questions the legality of the economic sanctions regime, and makes specific recommendations to the Security Council.
  • Clark, Ramsey (ed.), The Impact of Sanctions on Iraq: the children are dying (World View Forum, 1996)
    Order from: | International Action Center
  • Skinner, Roy, Jerusalem to Baghdad 1967 - 1992, Selected Letters (London: Radcliffe Press, 1995)
    The author worked with UNICEF Iraq (1991) and with the Department of Humanitarian Affairs Iraq (1992), and his experiences are related in Chapter 10 and part of Chapter 11 of this book. Excerpts of his letters reveal the horrific impact of the sanctions and the struggles of the humanitarian missions to provide care for the sick and dying.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Hoskins, Eric, "The Truth Behind Economic Sanctions", in Ramsey Clark et al., War Crimes: A Report on United States War Crimes against Iraq (Washington, D.C: Maisonneuve Press, 1992)
    Eric Hoskins was the Medical Coordinator for the Gulf Peace Team which carried out an extensive health assessment in Iraq during 1991. He describes the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and discusses how the theoretical exemption of medical and food supplies from sanctions was not being applied in practice.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop

The Humanitarian Impact of Sanctions

  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
    • UNICEF press release (21 November 2002) - Malnutrition down by half among Iraqi children
    • The Situation of Children and Women in South and Central Iraq - a summary.
    • The Situation of Children and Women in Northern Iraq - a summary.
    • Iraq: Donor Update (11 July 2001) - brief reports on entrenched malnutrition, high rates of child illness (especially diarrhoea), the education crisis, the decline in water and sanitation facilities, and the lack of safe water for half of the rural population.
    • Iraq: Donor Update (8 August 2000) - summarises the findings of the 1999 child mortality survey (see below) and explains the underfunding of Unicef's programmes in the country.
    • 1999 Iraq Child and Maternal Mortality Surveys (12 August 1999)
      Pointing to a humanitarian emergency in south and central Iraq, these detailed reports - the first such reports concentrating exclusively on child and maternal mortality since 1991 - have greatly helped to shift the whole debate on Iraq towards the suffering of the Iraqi people.
    • Situation Analysis of Children and Women in Iraq - 1997 (April 1998)
      Examines the extent to which child rights are being protected in Iraq, focusing especially on malnutrition, education, health, water supply and gender equity. It catalogues the way in which these have deteriorated since the imposition of sanctions, with no real improvement under oil-for-food.
    • Nutritional status survey of October and November 1997
      Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) carried out by Unicef and the Iraqi Ministry of Health reveals almost a million Iraqi children to be malnourished, a third of Iraq's children. Little difference between rural and urban areas is found.
    • Further UNICEF sources are linked to by CASI from here.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Save the Children Fund UK
  • UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
  • Gordon, Joy, "Cool War", Harper's Magazine, (November 2002).
  • Akunjee, Muhammed and Asif Ali, "Healthcare under Sanctions in Iraq", Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Issue 18.3 (2002). Description of the experience of two medical students who spent an elective year in Iraq.
  • The 27 May 2000 issue of the British medical journal, The Lancet, contains three articles on Iraq. To view these or follow the links here requires registration with The Lancet, which can be done by following the link above.
  • Daponte, Beth Osborne and Richard Garfield, "A Case Study of the Impact of Sanctions on the Health of Civilians: Sanctions against Iraq prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War", American Journal of Public Health vol.90 (April 2000), pp. 546-552. An abstract of this article is available here.
  • Baram, Amatzia, "The Effect of Iraqi Sanctions: Statistical Pitfalls and Responsibility", from Middle East Journal, vol.54:2 (Spring 2000), pp.194-223.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Special report: Iraq: a decade of sanctions (14 December 1999).
  • Garfield, Richard (Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University):
  • McHugh, Gerard, "Improving the Humanitarian Situation in Iraq: Establishing a "Cash Component" to Enhance the Provisions of Security Council Resolution 986" (30 September 1999).
  • The Security Council's Humanitarian Panel report (S/1999/356 Annex II) (30 March 1999).
  • Sikora, Karol (head of the WHO Cancer Programme), "Cancer services are suffering in Iraq", from The British Medical Journal, 318:203 (16 January 1999).
  • Halliday, Denis J., "The Impact of the UN Sanctions on the People of Iraq", Journal of Palestine Studies, vol.28:2 (Winter 1999), pp.29-37. An abstract of this article is available here.
  • UN World Food Programme (WFP)
    • Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations - Iraq, 21 December 1998.
      Details the WFP plan to provide nutritional supplements to over one million of the most vulnerable Iraqis (malnourished children and their families and those in hospitals and other institutions). It identifies the "massive deterioration" of infrastructure as the main reason for continuing nutritional problems.
    • Further WFP sources are linked to by CASI from here.
  • Buck, Lori, Nicole Gallant and Kim Richard Nossal, "Sanctions as a gendered instrument of statecraft: the case of Iraq", Review of International Studies, vol.24 (1998), pp.69-84
    Uses secondary data to assess the differential impact of economic sanctions on women in Iraq.
  • Barnouti, Hazim Naif, "Letter from Iraq: Effect of sanctions on surgical practice", British Medical Journal, 313 (7 Dec 1996), 1474-5
    The author, an assistant professor of surgery at the Al-Mustansyriya Medical School, Baghdad, describes the severe effects of shortages of drugs and other medical supplies on surgical operations and staff morale.
  • Series of articles in the British medical journal, The Lancet, in 1995-early 1996:
    • Zaidi, S. and M. Fawzi, "Health of Baghdad's Children", The Lancet, 346 (2 Dec 1995), 1485.
      FAO researchers give details of the 1995 FAO survey of nutritional status and mortality among under-5s in Baghdad. They found "a strong association between economic sanctions and increase in child mortality and malnutrition rates" and estimated that between 1990 and 1995, 567,000 children have died because of sanctions. The methodology for this survey has since been seriously questioned, including by Zaidi herself (in a letter to The Lancet in 1997). The editorial in this issue calls for the collation and publication of a dossier of all assessments of health in Iraq. Both works are reprinted by the IAC here.
    • Various responses in The Lancet 347 (20 Jan 1996), 198-200.
      The response to the Zaidi-Fawzi letter, including a discussion of the results with a reply from the authors; a report by Omar A Obeid and Abdul-Hussein Al-Hadi on their own research into nutritional status of under-twos in Baghdad; a Japanese perspective pointing out that the huge reparations Germany had to pay after the First World War triggered Hitler's rise, whereas the generous treatment of Japan after WW2 led it to accept democracy; and two letters arguing that the Iraqi regime is to blame for any humanitarian crisis.
    • Al-Farekh, M. "A physician's eyewitness report in Iraq" [letter], The Lancet 345 (13 May 1995), 1242
      The author, who visited seven medical centres throughout Iraq, describes the shortage of very basic medical supplies and the resultant deterioration of medical care that he saw.
  • Daponte, Beth Osborne, "A Case Study in Estimating Casualties from War and Its Aftermath: The 1991 Persian Gulf War", Physicians for Social Responsibility Quarterly, 3/2 (1993), 57-66
    A demographic analysis of excess deaths from direct or indirect effects of the 1991 Gulf war or from postwar violence. The approximate total is 205,500, of which 111,000 are attributable to postwar adverse health effects.
  • Dreze, Jean and Haris Gazdar, "Hunger and Poverty in Iraq, 1991", World Development, 20(7) (1992), 921-945
    The report of the economists on the International Study Team. They praise the Iraqi distribution system as equitable and efficient but note that Iraq's dependence on imports left it unable to prevent famine conditions during the bombing and considerable hardship subsequently.
  • The Harvard Study Team, "The effect of the Gulf crisis on the children of Iraq", New England Journal of Medicine, 325 (1991), 977-980
    Doctors and public health specialists reporting on damage done to Iraq's health infrastructure as a result of the Gulf conflict. Destruction of infrastructure has caused the effects of bombing to be devastating.
  • International Study Team, "Health and Welfare in Iraq after the Gulf Crisis: An In-Depth Assessment from October, 1991" (1991)
    The report of the first large independent and interdisciplinary mission (87 researchers) to Iraq; they are funded by Unicef, the MacArthur Foundation, the John Merck Fund and Oxfam-UK. Their report ranges from mortality and nutrition to child psychology and interviews with women.

The Iraqi Economy

  • 'Abu Spinoza' (Abu Spinoza is a pseudonym for an economist), Down and Out in Baghdad and Basra, A Simple Model and the Empirics of Subsistence and Stagnation (March 2003)
  • Fawcett, John and Victor Tanner, "The Internally Displaced People of Iraq", Brookings Institution - SAIS Project on Internal Displacement, (October 2002).
  • Jiyad, Ahmad M., "An economy in a debt trap: Iraqi debt 1980-2020", Arab Studies Quarterly, 23/4 (Fall 2001), pp.15-58.
  • Alkadiri, Raad, "The Iraqi Klondike Oil and Regional Trade", Middle East Report, 220 (Fall 2001).
  • Alnasrawi, Abbas (Professor of Economics at the University of Vermont)
  • Mahdi, Kamil, "Rehabilitation Prospects for the Iraqi Economy", from The International Spectator (Journal of Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome), vol.33 (June 1998).
  • Boone, Peter, Haris Gazdar and Athar Hussain, Sanctions against Iraq: Costs of Failure, Center for Economic and Social Rights (November 1997)
    Reports on the 1996 trip by economists from the London School of Economics to Iraq. Focuses on macroeconomic impact, wages, and the government's rationing system, which they claim has prevented mass starvation. Briefly reviews the oil-for-food programme and the possible alternatives to sanctions, criticising the reasons given by the US and UK for continuing with a programme of comprehensive sanctions.
  • Report submitted by the Iraqi government to the United Nations Secretary-General, on Iraq’s economic situation (29 April 1991).
    It asks for a moratorium of "at least five years" before reparations required under section E of UNSCR 687 (1991) begin to be deducted from Iraq’s oil revenues.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit publications.
    The EIU issues several publications on the economic and political situation in Iraq, among them the Country Profile (yearly), Country Report (quarterly), Country Risk Service (quarterly) and Country Forecasts (twice yearly with updater in each intervening quarter). They provide economic analysis and discussion of the political scene both domestically and internationally. This includes assessment of the impact of sanctions. The Country Forecast also makes a five-year macroeconomic projection.

The Debate over "Smart sanctions"

The Oil-for-Food Programme

Security Council policy on Iraq and the Sanctions Committee

The International Law of Sanctions

Modern Iraqi history and politics

  • Graham-Brown, Sarah and Christ Toensing., "Why Another War? A Backgrounder on the Iraq Crisis". Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP). 22 October 2002.
  • Jabar, Faleh A., Ayatollahs, Sufis and Ideologues: State and Religion in Iraq (Saqi Books, 2001).
  • Hiro, Dilip
    • Neighbours, Not Friends: Iraq and Iran after the Gulf Wars (London: Routledge, 2001).
    • Desert Shield to Desert Storm: The Second Gulf War (London: Paladin, 1992).
    • The Longest War: the Iran-Iraq military conflict (London Grafton, 1989).
    Accessible descriptive introduction to modern Iraqi history. In the most recent work, the conflict and mutual deception over the arms inspection teams are particularly well covered.
  • Baram, Amatzia
  • Tripp, Charles, A History of Iraq (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
  • Dawisha, Adeed, "'Identity' and Political Survival in Saddam's Iraq", Middle East Journal, vol.53:4 (Autumn 1999), pp.553-567. An abstract of this article can be found here.
  • Bengio, Ofra, Saddam's Word: Political Discourse in Iraq (Oxford University Press, 1998)
    On the changing political idiom of the Ba'th party, from its emergence in Iraq to the modern day.
  • Makiya, Kanan, Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq (University of California Press, 1998).
  • United Nations, The United Nations and the Iraq-Kuwait Conflict 1990-1996 (New York: UN Publications, 1996)
    A collection of UN documents relating to the first six years of the Iraq crisis. Reproduces the reports of Ahtisaari and Sadruddin Aga Khan in part.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Hazelton, Fran (ed.). Iraq Since the Gulf War: prospects for democracy (London: Zed Books, 1994)
    Published for the Committee Against Repression and for Democratic Rights in Iraq, this book is a collection of articles by prominent opposition Iraqis on different aspects of Iraq since the Gulf War. Among the relevant articles are: 'Human Rights, Sanctions and Sovereignty' in which Laith Kubba argues that sanctions without other measures to topple Saddam do more harm than good; 'Attitudes to the West, Arabs and Fellow Iraqis' (Ayad Rahim) which gives a valuable though anecdotal insight into attitudes and aspirations of ordinary Iraqis; and an article by Abbas Alnasrawi on the Iraqi economy.
    Order from: |
  • Freedman, Lawrence and Efraim Karsh, The Gulf Conflict, 1990 - 1991: Diplomacy and War in the New World Order (Princeton University Press, 1995)
    Account of the Gulf War most highly regarded by those with British Foreign Office experience.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Nakash, Yitzhak, The Shi'is of Iraq (Princeton University Press, 1994).
  • Bloom, Saul et al. (ed.), Hidden casualties: environmental, health and political consequences of the Persian Gulf War (London: Earthscan, 1994)
    A series of analyses from biologists, physicians, atmospheric scientists, demographers and lawyers on the effects of the war.
  • Human Rights Watch, Needless Deaths in the Gulf War: Civilian Casualties During the Air Campaign and Violations of the Laws of War (Yale University Press, 1991)

Analyses of the general use and other applications of economic sanctions

  • Niblock, Tim, "Pariah states" & sanctions in the Middle East: Iraq, Libya, Sudan (Boulder, Co.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001).
    Professor Niblock argues that economic sanctions do not enhance the stability of the international order when applied over a prolonged period. He also reviews in detail the social, economic and political impact of sanctions upon Iraq. A table of contents can be found here. Tim Niblock's presentation to CASI's conference of March 2001 can be heard here. [audio]
  • Hufbauer, Gary Clyde; Kimberly Ann Elliott and Jeffrey J. Schott, Economic Sanctions Reconsidered (3rd edn, 2001)
  • Cortright, David and George A. Lopez, The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000)
    Prepared for a Security Council review of sanctions in the 1990s. [audio] Listen to David Malone, the president of the International Peace Academy, which prepared the book, interviewed on Canadian radio about UN sanctions (interview starts 13:32 min. into the recording) (17 April 2000).
    Order from: | | Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Machel, Graça
  • Drezner, Daniel W. The Sanctions Paradox : Economic Statecraft and International Relations, (Cambridge University Press, 1999)
    Describes the paradox of sanctions: those most likely to be the targets of sanctions (dictators) are those least likely to feel their consequences, which are most acutely felt by the civilian population.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop |
  • Mueller, John and Karl Mueller, "Sanctions of Mass Destruction", Foreign Affairs, vol.78:3 (May/June 1999), pp.43-53. Excerpts from this article are reprinted here.
  • Crawford, Neta C. and Audie Klotz (eds.), How Sanctions Work: Lessons from South Africa (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999)
    A series of articles analysing how effective different parts of the economic embargo on South Africa were.
  • Gordon, Joy, "A Peaceful, Silent, Deadly Remedy: The Ethics of Economic Sanctions", Ethics & International Affairs, vol.13 (1999), pp.123ff.
  • Winkler, A., "Just Sanctions", Human Rights Quarterly, 21 (1999), pp.133-155.
  • Hoskins, Eric, "The Impact of Sanctions: A Study of UNICEF Perspectives" (February 1998)
  • Pape, Robert A.
    • “Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work,” International Security, vol.22:2 (Fall 1997), pp.90-136. Abstract available here.
    • “Why Economic Sanctions Still Do Not Work,” International Security, vol.23:1 (Summer 1998), pp.66-77. Abstract available here.
  • Doxey, Margaret P, International sanctions in comparative perspective, 2nd edn (Basingstoke: Macmillan 1996)
    Provides a valuable theoretical and comparative background to the Iraqi sanctions as well as extensive treatment of the Iraqi case itself.
    Order from: | Internet Bookshop

US policy towards Iraq since 1991

  • Simons, Geoff, Targeting Iraq: Sanctions and Bombing in US Policy (London: Saqi Books, 2002).
    Order from
  • Zunes, Stephen, "Foreign policy by catharsis: the failure of US policy toward Iraq", Arab Studies Quarterly, 23/4 (Fall 2001), pp.69-86.
  • Porter, Edward D., U.S. Energy Policy, Economic Sanctions and World Oil Supply. Published by the American Petroleum Institute (June 2001).
    Includes the assessment that if US sanctions policy is judged in terms of its "explaining the explicit goals of the sanction, the legal or political authority under which it is undertaken, the expected impact on the target, retaliatory steps that might be taken by the target or third parties, the potential humanitarian consequences, the expected costs to the U.S., the prospects for enforcement, the expected degree of international support, and an exit strategy, including the criteria for lifting the sanction", policy towards Iraq "could not survive the scrutiny" (p.24-25).
  • Bennis, Phyllis, Various published articles analysing US policy towards Iraq are compiled in this list of the Transnational Institute.
  • Drake, Laura, "Why the World is Blaming the U.S. for Iraqi Suffering", Middle East Insight, vol.16:3 (June-July 2001), pp.6-10. Table of contents here.
  • Foreign Policy in Focus, The Failure of U.S. Policy Toward Iraq and Proposed Alternatives, a position paper prepared by Phyllis Bennis, Stephen Zunes, and Martha Honey (June 2001).
  • Byman, Daniel, "After the Storm: U.S. Policy Toward Iraq Since 1991", Political Science Quarterly, vol.115:4 (Winter 2000-1), pp.493-516.
  • Tarzi, Amin, "Contradictions In U.S. Policy on Iraq and its Consequences", MERIA Journal, vol.4:1 (March 2000).
  • Emami, Mohammad Ali, "A Review of U.S. Policies on Iraq", Iranian Journal Of International Affairs, vol.11:1 (Spring 1999), pp.6-39.
  • See also CASI's index of documents from the US government.

Iraq's relations with other States since 1991

The Iraqi military and disarmament

The Iraqi opposition movements and the Kurdish region

Depleted Uranium Poisoning and "Gulf War Syndrome"

Assessments on the economic and humanitarian consequences of war

Information sources on this topic have been moved to a separate page

Polls of Public Opinion in post-war Iraq


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