Julia Dunlea

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2011

Capstone Advisor

Hossein Bashiriyeh

Honors Reader

Dennis Kinsey

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Citizenship and Public Affairs

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies | International Business | Other International and Area Studies


In the short term, the United States negatively impacted the relationships among the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The United States’ lack of communication and credibility led to this negative impact. Six variables: the United States’ lack of knowledge about Iraq, the preexisting anti-western political culture, removal of local elites and army, inadequate media outreach, impact on reactionary violence, and the inability to fulfill all their promises to the Iraqi population expanded problems in credibility and communication. Although the United States brought democracy to Iraq by enforcing equality for Shiites and Kurds, and expanding Kurdish autonomy in the north, this lack of communication and credibility made it difficult for the United States to convey its democratic values. A public relations campaign can improve communications and credibility with the Iraqis and help emphasize democratic goals. Iraq is beginning to build a strong democratic future, and the United States can help with the country’s democratic strides by improving its communications and credibility with Iraqis.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
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