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Boy on the BridgeThe Story of John Shalikashvili's American Success$
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Andrew Marble

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178028

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178028.001.0001

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Warning the Iraqis

Warning the Iraqis

Friday, April 19, 1991

—Harbur Border Crossing, Northwestern Iraq

(p.190) 15 Warning the Iraqis
Boy on the Bridge

Andrew Marble

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter is set during the April 19, 1991, meeting, held at Iraqi border customs house, between Lieutenant General John Shalikashvili and Iraqi generals. The chapter reveals that Shalikashvili has been given the difficult assignment of actually returning all the Kurdish refugees back to Iraq, overviews his ability to be tough and effective despite his low-key manner, and highlights the grave risk that this mission could lead to military conflict with the Iraqi military. It overviews the complexity of the diplomatic challenges he faces in coordinating this multinational and multi-organizational effort to repatriate the Kurds back into Iraq. It also explains two leadership skill sets Shalikashvili brought to dealing with this challenge: his aversion to conflict and his broad “holistic perspective”—understanding how the parts relate to the whole.

Keywords:   John Shalikashvili, Operation Provide Comfort, Iraqi military, repatriation, Kurdish refugees, multinational coordination, holistic perspective, conflict averse, leadership

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