Insurgency and Counter-insurgency in Iraq

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Cornell University Press, 2006 - History - 482 pages
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Years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a loosely organized insurgency continues to target American and Coalition soldiers, as well as Iraqi security forces and civilians, with devastating results. In this sobering account of the ongoing violence, Ahmed Hashim, a specialist on Middle Eastern strategic issues and on irregular warfare, reveals the insurgents behind the widespread revolt, their motives, and their tactics. The insurgency, he shows, is not a united movement directed by a leadership with a single ideological vision. Instead, it involves former regime loyalists, Iraqis resentful of foreign occupation, foreign and domestic Islamist extremists, and elements of organized crime. These groups have cooperated with one another in the past and coordinated their attacks; but the alliance between nationalist Iraqi insurgents on the one hand and religious extremists has frayed considerably. The U.S.-led offensive to retake Fallujah in November 2004 and the success of the elections for the Iraqi National Assembly in January 2005 have led more "mainstream" insurgent groups to begin thinking of reinforcing the political arm of their opposition movement and to seek political guarantees for the Sunni Arab community in the new Iraq.Hashim begins by placing the Iraqi revolt in its historical context. He next profiles the various insurgent groups, detailing their origins, aims, and operational and tactical modi operandi. He concludes with an unusually candid assessment of the successes and failures of the Coalition's counter-insurgency campaign. Looking ahead, Hashim warns that ethnic and sectarian groups may soon be pitted against one another in what will be a fiercely contested fight over who gets what in the new Iraq. Evidence that such a conflict is already developing does not augur well for Iraq's future stability. Both Iraq and the United States must work hard to ensure that slow but steady success over the insurgency is not overshadowed by growing ethno-sectarian animosities as various groups fight one another for the biggest slice of the political and economic pie. In place of sensational headlines, official triumphalism, and hand-wringing, Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq offers a clear-eyed analysis of the increasingly complex violence that threatens the very future of Iraq.
 

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Insurgency and counter-insurgency in Iraq

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Hashim (strategic studies, U.S. Naval War Coll.;Iran: Dilemmas of Dual Containment ) has written a much-needed assessment of the Iraqi insurgency. He has spent several months in Iraq from 2003 through ... Read full review

Counter Insurgency

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Insightful information. A new look into the subject matter. Read full review

Contents

EVOLUTION OF THE IRAQI INSURGENCY FROM CONVENTIONAL TO PARTISAN WARFARE DURING OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM
xxvii
The structural organizational and societal weaknesses of the Iraqi armed forces
xxviii
The evolution of the Sunni insurgency April 2003 to April 2005
15
ORIGINS AND MOTIVES OF THE INSURGENCY
57
Protection of Sunni Arab identity and fears of marginalization
58
Motives of former regime elements
80
Motives of former military personnel
90
Nationalism honor revenge and pride
97
CONTENDING NATIONAL IDENTITIES THE KURDS AND SHIA ARABS
212
federalism or independence?
213
The empowerment of the Shia Arabs
228
IDEOLOGY POLITICS AND FAILURETO EXECUTE THE US COUNTERINSURGENCY CAMPAIGN
269
Ideological lens versus political pragmatism
274
Political development basic services rehabilitation and reconstruction
286
Creation of legitimate coercive state apparatus
297
The US militarys approach to counterinsurgency
317

Tribal motives
102
Religion
106
The political goals of thc insurgency
119
THE INSURGENTS WAY OF WARFARE
123
External support for the insurgents
133
Organizational typology
149
Insurgent organizations
168
Operational goals and art
174
Targets and tactics of the insurgency
186
Weaknesses of the Iraqi insurgency
198
WHITHER IRAQ?
343
Should we stay or should we go?
346
EPILOGUE
365
The insurgencv and counterinsurgency in Tal Afar
366
The constitutional debates of 2005
378
NOTES
389
BIBLIOGRAPHY
449
INDEX
471
Copyright

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Page xvi - terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
Page xv - Insurgency: An organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict.
Page xv - In its most general sense insurgency is a struggle between a non-ruling group and the ruling authorities, in which the former consciously employs political resources...

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About the author (2006)

Ahmed S. Hashim is Professor of Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College.

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