Peace in Iraq WebQuest


Mr. Stanton's AP Human Geography Class

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion


             It has often been said that War is easy. It's peace that is difficult. From early humanity to the 21st century, war has existed as one of the defining elements and features of human history. Ideological, religious, political, social, economic, cultural, and ethical orientations, interests, and goals of nations have come into conflict quite often when interacting with each other throughout history. If conflicts among nations are not solved through such peaceful ways as diplomacy, negotiations, and formal agreements, those people who have power and authority either legitimately or illegitimately to make decisions with respect to important issues confronting their country, often resort to war as an attempt to accomplish their goals at the expense of other nations.
            On the 19th of March, 2003 US President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair unilaterally declared war on Iraq. The initial reason given to the world was that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were ever found and President Bush and Prime Minister Blair later publicly admitted such. The First Gulf War, waged in 1991, with the blessing of the United Nations, and with the participation of the armed forces of more then 20 countries, stopped short of marching into Baghdad and physically removing Sadam Hussein. There was a reason for this. The coalition, lead by President George Herbert Walker Bush, believed such a move would destabilize Iraq and perhaps even the entire Mideast. The world is now seeing that the first George Bush was right, at least on the first account.
            Now more then three years after the overthrow of Sadam Hussein, Iraq is in chaos. With the death of more then 3,000 US and British troops and 600,000 Iraqi's,  there seems to be no end in site to the mass violence plaguing Iraq. Citizens of the United States, Great Britain and around the world are demanding a solution the quagmire. A time-table has now been set to with-draw all foreign forces in Iraq with-in the next 18 months. Your job is to find a way to end the violence in Iraq, so the people of Iraq can live in peace once US and British forces leave.

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion


            The United Nations has determined that one of four options would work best for Iraq and the region as a whole. The first option is to partition Iraq into three equal countries along ethnic lines, but giving fair consideration to also equally partitioning the countries oil fields. The second option is to keep Iraq intact as a nation, but to divide it into three autonomous confederacies. Forming an oil ministry that would equally divide the oil revenues among the three autonomous zones. The third option is divide the country along ethnic lines and give the three parts to Turkey, Iran, and Syria or Jordan. The final option is to create a new nation of Kurdistan, asking Turkey and Iran to surrender their Kurdish areas and giving Turkey and Iran equal or more parts of Iraq as compensation. (That's of course if the Iranians and the Turks are willing, to do the later. Basically they would want to know what they would get out of it.)

Your Job is to:
Select one of these four solutions.
Redraw the Map of the region.
Write a two page position paper supporting your solution
Present your findings to class in a persuasive way

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion



Work in teams of 2
Read the background information on Iraq's ethnic issues.
Read about other recent ethnic issues that have occurred around the world and some of the solutions that have been instituted to solve these issues.
Answer the questions about Iraq's ethnic and Economic boundaries.
Re-draw the map of Iraq using one of the four options identified in the Task.

Write a two page position paper supporting your solution to the ethnic issues in Iraq.
Present your findings to the class in a persuasive way.

1. Complete answers to the 5 sets of questions that relate to the associated  web sites below. (3 points each, 15 points total)
2.  Showing the current boarders of Iraq and it's direct neighbors, you are to plan, design, and construct a new map of the region using one of the four options outlined in the task.  (10 points total)
3.  Write a two page persausive position paper supporting your solution. You must explain, in depth, why your solution is better then any of the other three options. You use the information you gathered by answering the questions.
(20 points total)

4.  You must present your finding to the class in a persuasive way in no more then 5 minutes.
(10 points total)


Answer each question carefully. Make sure to fully explain your answer. A good answer is three sentences long. 

Go to each website, read the article, and answer the question, before doing the map and writing the two page position paper.

  1. The History of Iraq - How has Iraq's history contributed to it's current problems?
    1. Note how the country was divided by the Ottoman Turks, before the British created the Iraqi Mandate. Ottoman Empire 1481-1683
    2. Take a look at Iraq's Oil Fields. Iraqi Oil Infrasructure
    3. Read the San Francisco Chronicle article on partitioning Iraq. Way out of Iraq - Partition
    4. Here's a good strory from the Pittsburg Post Gazette. Redraw the Map
    5. Here's a Washington Post article against partition. Partition not the solution
  2. Encylopedia Britanica (Ethnic Groups in Iraq pg 13-16) -  What are the main differences between the three main ethnic groups in Iraq? 
    1. Note the map of the ethnic divisions that exist in Iraq today. Ethnic Map
    2. Take a look at the Kurdish and Shite areas in and around Iraq. Disident Map
    3. Note the population centers in Iraq. Population Density Map
    4. Read the Gardian article agaist Federalism. Treading a federal tightrope
    5. Here's a short article to ask Iran and Syria for help. Blair says Iran and Syria can aid path to peace
  3. The History of Bosnia (Read the section in the World Book On-line about the history of Bosnia.) Why did Bosnia plunge into ethnic war after it's independence? What was the solutiion devised by the Dayton peace plan? What has life in Bosnia been like since the the Dayton Peace Plan?
    1. Take a look at a map of the former Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia Map
    2. Take a look at the map of Bosnia's ethnic groups. Ethnic Majorities
    3. This is a map of Bosnia now, after Dayton. Bosnia Today
  4. The Partition of India - Why did the British decide to partition India before granting it independence? What was the effect of India's partition into India and Pakistan? (Maps are included in the article)
  5. Break up of Czechoslovakia (Read the section in on-line Britanica "Struggle for Independence" and "The collapse of Communism and the dissolution of the federation")- Why did Czechoslovakia break-up into two countries? What has been the effect of that break-up?
    1. Take a look at Czechoslovakia before it's breakup. Czechoslovakia
    2. This is the two new countries that make up the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion





ProQuest -[Online] available
This allows you to search for articles on issues of concern, to help you get a strong background on your choice.

University of Texas Map Collection -[Online] available
This site has an extensive set of Maps on Iraq. Basically, all the maps you need are at this site.

US State Department Background Notes -[Online] available
This site has information human rights issues and economic issues on various countries around the world.

Human Rights Watch -[Online] available
This site has great information on human rights issues throughout the world.

Encyclopedia Britannica -[Online] available
MCPS has a special license to use the Encyclopedia Britannica and this a great site to find information and great maps on Iraq and other counties of interest.

Worldbook Encyclopedia - [Online] available
This site also has information and maps on Iraq and countries of interest.


Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion


The final product is worth a total of 55 Points. Students will be evaluated according to the following:


GRADE FOR FINAL PRODUCT (Up to 55 points each)(see The Process section above)

INDIVIDUAL GRADE FOR GROUP PARTICIPATION (Points will be deducted if participation is unequal)


Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion


        Congratulations! By engaging in the task structured into this Web Quest, you have gained insight into different aspects of what it takes to make peace. You are now in a better position to look at the issue from a different and multiple perspective after experiencing the perspectives, goals, and interests of the Iraqi people and the people of the middle east. Your engagement with critical analysis of the issue through online research will help you understand the problems caused by ethnic and religious strife. By evaluating peace in Iraq within the larger historical, social, economic, ethnic, and cultural framework, you developed your skills in understanding how decision makers of the past shaped the present and how decisions of today's policy makers can shape the future. The war with Iraq will certainly have long-lasting effects on people's lives both in the Middle East and in the world, and you can view those prospects effects and changes from a better vantage point.

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion

This webquest was altered from one found on the web at