The Fifth Estate
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Immediately after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, British civilian Emma Sky was enlisted as the representative of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Kirkuk, one of Iraq’s most volatile areas. She went on to serve in the region longer than any other senior military or diplomatic figure – including as political advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007–2010.
In The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq, Sky recounts the years following the fall of Hussein, detailing the corruption, the brutal insurgencies and the often disastrous manoeuvres of both the Bush and Obama administrations. Offering a unique insider’s perspective, it has been praised in the Guardian as ‘adetailed and darkly humorous account that tries to understand everyone involved, Iraqis and Americans, on their own terms.’
Prior to her time in Iraq, Sky worked in the Palestinian territories for a decade. She is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, where she teaches Middle East politics. Sky visits Melbourne and Ballarat to talk with Sally Warhaft about the Middle East post-Hussein and the lessons to be learned about the limitations of power.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
Emma Sky is Director of Yale World Fellows and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, where she teaches Middle East politics. She is the author of The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.
Emma served as advisor to the Commanding General of US Forces in Iraq from 2007-2010; as advisor to the Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2006; as advisor to the US Security Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process in 2005; and as Governorate Co-ordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004.
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This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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