Even before the current confrontation in the Gulf, Iraq was an extremely militarized country, preoccupied with internal and external “security threats. ” When I traveled to Iraq in early 1990, I was struck by the extent of militarization in parts of the country. The whole of Iraqi Kurdistan was covered by a net of military and paramilitary installations. It was difficult to drive or walk more than a few hundred yards without seeing or being seen by soldiers in an outpost, or in a military installation of considerable size. Traveling south of Basra, I found the Fao peninsula completely honeycombed with military camps. In the Umm Qasr area, security was so tight that I was not even allowed to get out of the car, much less to take pictures.