Working for the Enemy: Are the Employment Options for Iraqis Under US Occupation Today the Same as Forced Conscription of Dutch Citizens by the Nazis During World War II   [open pdf - 4MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The invasion of Iraq has presented the United States with the unanticipated challenge of reconstructing a failed state. In particular, labor policies have been especially important to the United States' conduct of its occupation. Similarly, the Germans had to determine labor policies for the people of the Netherlands during their occupation in World War II. For the Dutch, the German policy of conscription served as a clear case of being forced to work for the enemy. For the Iraqis, there are few options other than to work for the US or the US-installed central government. By not providing alternative employment options, has the US essentially 'conscripted' Iraqis to work for the enemy? This paper will review these two cases, the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II and the US occupation of Iraqi since 2003, and compare the central factors to consider when determining labor policies during an occupation. Although separated in time and location, both the US and Nazi Germany found that their labor policies would have a powerful effect on the occupied peoples. The compelling parallels between the two cases highlight issues that could be central to any nation occupying another. It is essential that the occupiers have a detailed understanding of the society that they wish to control. It is essential that occupiers understand the complex emotions and perceptions of the occupied people. Finally, it is essential that the occupying nation understand the underlying framework for the existing administration and the effects of its policies on that administration. With these facets in mind, an occupying country can better develop and implement labor policies that will help ensure success for both the occupier and the people of the occupied nation."

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