Why they hate us : disaggregating the Iraqi insurgency
Steliga, Mark A.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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The violent and diffuse nature of the Iraqi insurgency has become a major obstacle to reconstruction and the withdrawal of coalition military forces. The central problem with the coalition's counterinsurgency strategy is that it fails to take into account the diverse goals and historical motivations of the groups involved. A coalition counterinsurgency strategy flexible enough to deal with Iraq's insurgent groups differently as opposed to monolithically will be more effective in achieving stability in Iraq. This thesis argues that the Iraqi insurgency can be disaggregated into categories that will better assist policy makers in identifying and understanding insurgent groups. Sunni, Shi'ite, and transnational categories are used to divide insurgents, showing each to have specific traits. Categories of insurgents are further divided, where insurgent groups are examined in more detail. Based on the disaggregation, recommendations for counterinsurgency strategy orientations are proposed. America's longterm legacy in the Middle East will depend on the conditions of our departure from Iraq. It is only through a more thorough understanding of Iraq's insurgent groups and the proper application of a counterinsurgency strategy which accounts for the differences between groups that America will be able to make this legacy a positive one.
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