Search

Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Patrick Gaughen
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Even as U.S. operations to co-opt large elements of the Sunni insurgency and target irreconciliable al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters resulted in lower levels of violence during the summer, U.S. forces have simultaneously pursued rogue elements of Muqtada as-Sadr's Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM). These operations, often in collaboration with Iraqi Security Forces friendly to Sadr's main Shi'a rival, the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq (ISCI), took place within the broader context of a violent struggle between ISCI and the Sadrist Trend for supremacy within the Shi'a community, the lucrative income from control of the Shi'a shrines, and control of southern oil fields. This struggle has increasingly centered on the city of Diwaniyah, located in southern Iraq, approximately halfway between the capital of Baghdad and the southern port city of Basrah.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria
  • Author: Eric Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Coalition operations have significantly degraded the Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) network over the last year, particularly in central Iraq. One of the main successes was the dismantling of AQI's vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) network. As the VBIED network was rolled up, AQI shifted to conducting more suicide bombings. A major component of the suicide bombing network was located in the Baqubah-Khan Bani Saad corridor in Diyala province, which lies northeast of Baghdad. In January and February Coalition and Iraqi forces set about dismantling this network. This backgrounder details AQI's shift to suicide bombings and the operations to dismantle the Diyala suicide bombing network. A number of conclusions are draw about how AQI continues to operate throughout Iraq, the increasing capacity of the Iraqi army, and the relationship between kinetic and non-kinetic aspects of counterinsurgency.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Kimberly Kagan, Marisa Cochrane, Eric Hamilton, Farook Ahmed, Andrea So, Wesley Morgan
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Operations by Coalition and Iraqi Forces throughout 2007 have transformed the security situation in Iraq. Violence decreased dramatically in the second half of 2007. The number of enemy attacks in Iraq, the number of attacks against Iraqi civilians, and the number of murders in Baghdad, dropped to levels last seen in early 2006. The mission shift to an aggressive counterinsurgency strategy, with an emphasis on population security, which occurred in January 2007, solidified these gains more quickly than many had predicted. Unexpected developments, like the emergence of Awakening movements and the unilateral Sadrist ceasefire, further helped to accelerate the ground level improvements in security. By late 2007, Al-Qaeda in Iraq had been defeated in Anbar, and its network and safe havens in Baghdad and the belts were largely disrupted. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been steadily pushed north, into isolated pockets, often far from population centers. Coalition Forces have also aggressively targeted Shi'a militia extremists and Iranian-backed Special Groups, with encouraging results.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Eric Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: In the last year Coalition and Iraqi Forces and local Iraqi citizens made significant progress fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). AQI was cleared from former areas of operation like Anbar and Baghdad and the organization became fragmented with its freedom of movement and ability to conduct operations reduced. Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-Iraq) recently released a series of maps illustrating these developments. These maps are presented and explained in this Backgrounder.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Marisa Cochrane Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: While al-Qaeda in Iraq remains the primary threat in northern Iraq, violence by Special Groups—Shi'a extremist elements funded, trained, and armed by Iran—remains a key challenge to stability and security in central and southern Iraq. Despite reports in late 2007 that Iranian sponsorship of Special Groups had declined, the trend in Special Groups activity in January and February 2008 suggests otherwise. In a recent briefing, Admiral Gregory Smith, the Deputy Spokesman for Multi-National Force-Iraq, explicitly stated, “The Special Groups' activity has not decreased in recent months. They continue to be probably the most violent of the extremist groups that we're seeing from Shi'a sects. [The] intent of Iran in supporting the training and financing we believe continues.” Other officials from both the Departments of State and Defense have also cited an increase in Special Groups activity since the beginning of 2008.The use of highly-lethal explosively-formed penetrators (EFP), a hallmark of Iranian-backed groups, has risen since the start of 2008.Indeed, the month of January saw twelve EFP attacks, which was the highest monthly total of such attacks in over a year. This meant that, on average, from early January to early February, there was an EFP attack every three days.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Marisa Cochrane Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: It is widely speculated in the media that the relationship between the Shi'a government of Iran and the Sunni insurgent group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, is a hostile one, primarily because of the sectarian differences between the two. However, there is clear evidence of Iranian support for another Sunni group, the Taliban in Afghanistan. Therefore, it is worth investigating the potential links between al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Iranian regime, particularly the Iranian Revolutionary Guard-Quds Force (IRGCQF). The dossier below contains articles, press releases, and Defense Department briefings from the last year that consider the nature of this relationship. While it may not present a definitive explanation of the connection between these groups, it does suggest possible links exist between the groups and the sectarian grounds for dismissing the relationship are likely too simplistic. The most relevant passages have been highlighted in yellow.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: Richard E. Hartwig
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: CONfines de Relaciones Internacionales y Ciencia Política
  • Abstract: After the events of 9/11/01, the United States rallied around President George W. Bush. An administration that was initially weak and semi-legiti-mate came to directly control the executive and legislative branches of government and gradually strengthen its influence over the judiciary. Bush and the Republican majority in Congress attained hegemony domestically as well as internationally. Having acquired the power to ignore the rules, they often proceeded to do so. A semi-idealistic “winning is everything” approach to foreign policy led the United States into a quagmire in Iraq. An unempirical “winning is everything” approach to domestic policy, which often distorts the rules (law, science, and standard economics) and ignores the “referees” (the GAO, the CBO, the IMF), has created potentially disastrous medium and long-term problems for the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: James Russell
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Like the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War of 1967, the U.S. invasion of Iraq is fundamentally reordering regional politics and security in ways that will be felt for a generation, if not longer.1 The Pandora's Box opened by the United States in Iraq adds a new level of unwelcome complexity to an already strained regional fabric. Threats to regional security stem from global, interstate, and intrastate sources. The complicated, multidimensional, and interrelated natures of these threats suggest that the United States must reassess strategy and policy if it is to protect and further its regional interests. The objective of this monograph is threefold: (1) deconstruct the threats to regional security and stability in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion; (2) determine whether U.S. strategy is tailored to the threat environment; and (3) suggest steps that can be taken to bring strategy and the environment into closer alignment.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Sheila Miyoshi Jager
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The wide-spread recognition of the need for cultural knowledge in counterinsurgency has been noted and actively promoted recently by the Department of Defense (DoD). General David H. Petraeus, commanding general of the Multi-National Force Iraq (MNF-I), has been at the vanguard of these efforts. As the commander of the 101st Airborne Division in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, he later took responsibility for governing Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. Relying on his experiences in Mosul, General Petraeus is currently in charge of a major new counterinsurgency effort in Iraq.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Stephen D. Sklenka
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the interrelationship among national interests, stated ends, means to achieve those ends, and the strategies required to tie all of them together into a cohesive and effective vision for the commitment of U.S. forces. The introduction addresses the current U.S. debate regarding proposed actions in the Iraq War and postulates that the lack of true strategic discussion, particularly by our national leadership who instead prefer to focus on far less appropriate discussions such as tactics and techniques, inhibits the development of a comprehensive and effective overarching vision and ultimately is to blame for the setbacks that the U.S.-led coalition has experienced in Iraq. This lack of strategic foresight, however, is not surprising and has become endemic to American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. The fact that so much of U.S. post-Cold War foreign policy involves interventions merely exacerbates the difficulties a lack of strategic foresight engenders. The U.S. inability—or unwillingness—to connect strategic ends and appropriate means to accomplish clearly defined goals has occurred so often over the past 15 years that one could make a credible argument that it has become a disturbing and pervasive characteristic of the modern American way of war.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East