Insurgency and Counter-insurgency in Iraq

Ahmed Hashim, reveals the motives and tactics behind the widespread revolt in Iraq. He claims that the insurgency involves former regime loyalists, Iraqis resentful of foreign occupation, foreign and domestic Islamist extremists, and elements of organized crime.

Ahmed S. Hashim, Insurgency and Counter-insurgency in Iraq, Cornell University Press, 2006.

More than two 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.

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.

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