Paul McGeough
Paul McGeough

Paul McGeough is chief correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald. A former editor of the Herald, he has been a reporter for almost thirty years, focussing on conflicts in the Middle East since the 1990–91 Gulf War. McGeough has written several books about his experiences, including Quarterly Essay 14: Mission Impossible – The Sheikhs, the U.S. and the Future of Iraq and Manhattan to Baghdad: Despatches from the Frontline in the War on Terror. His reporting has earned him Australia’s highest journalistic honours, from being named Australian journalist of the year twice to five Walkley awards.

By the author

Quarterly Essay 14: Mission Impossible
The sheikhs, the U.S. and the future of Iraq

In Mission Impossible: The Sheikhs, the U.S. and the Future of Iraq, Paul McGeough offers a dramatic account of why Iraq remains in chaos despite desperate American efforts to create a model democracy in the Middle East. According to McGeough, Iraq to this day remains a tribal society. It cannot be governed without the cooperation of the true powers in the land, the tribal and religious sheikhs. Those who have ruled Iraq in the past, including Saddam Hussein and the British before him, understood this fact. The Americans, by contrast, seem to have missed the point.