Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Kobrak

Second Advisor

Dr. Eric Austin

Third Advisor

Dr. Adam Sabra


This research investigates the trajectory of the U.S. policy toward Iraq and the factors that went in the making of its phase shifts. The research is qualitative in nature, uses official governmental documents, articles, books, focus groups and one-on-one interviews in order to answer three questions: How does a linear observation interpret the U.S. policy toward Iraq? How do the new sciences of complexity interpret the U.S. policy toward Iraq? How does a linear observation of the U.S. policy toward Iraq contrast and compare with that of a complex analysis? The language of the research is metaphorical. Its analytical model, the Phi Model, is designed to interpret the data in three steps. Step one is to observe the policy within a machine metaphorical model and according tothe linear Newtonian science. Aided by Ethnograph for the purpose of coding the content analysis, step one emerges with 67 concepts, 13 metaphorical themes, and four super themes. Step two is to observe internal changes within the policy's four super themes within a flux metaphorical model while guided by four complexity dimensions: autopoiesis, bifurcation, the S-Matrix, and mutual causality. Step three is to observe changing trends in the environment that impact the policy's super themes as guided by the same dimensions. A major finding is that the Newtonian linear analysis is a necessary first step in conducting a complex qualitative analysis. Another finding is that the U.S. nation-state's primordial interest is a primary motive in the policy's trajectory. This trajectory benefits from rational tactics but lacks a cohesive and consistent strategy. The policy's trajectory is altered in accord with a pattern of relations that embrace changes in its environment. These changes result in a collapse in the policy's myths and tactics, but aspects of the policy, such as its dichotomous nature and primordial interests, resist such a collapse and remain the same, due.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access