Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Iraq, No Insurgency


Iraq cooled from a raging boil to a slow simmer, thanks mostly to tactics taken from the military's counterinsurgency manual. Or, at least, that's the accepted wisdom. But a group of military thinkers and Iraq veterans says the established narrative is all wrong. According to them, Iraq may not even be an insurgency at all.

In the classic insurgency scenario, you've got a group of guerrillas on one side, and an otherwise-legitimate "host government" on the other. It's the job of a military like America's to tip the balance towards stability and order, by keeping the insurgents from overthrowing that government.

[...] Instead, what seems to be going on in Iraq is a “competition among ethnic and sectarian communities for power and resources,” as General David Petraeus put it. Shi'ites are fighting Shi'ites; Sunnis are battling Sunnis; splinter groups from both sects are waging a low-level religious war; AQI and other jihadists are stirring chaos; and criminal gangs trying to profit from the mayhem. It's an "extremely difficult and lethal problem," observes Lt. Col. Ollivant, who, until recently, was the chief of planning for U.S. military operations in Baghdad. "But it "is not exactly an insurgency."


  1. William S. Lind describes the Iraq situation as a "Fourth Generation War." Which is a clever military term to describe a mad scramble over power and resources in a failed state.

  2. Jason good points and the genrals are right in the defanition of the word this is not a surge you also can not fight a war against a war tactic so it is bogas to call it the war on terror but i think they use things so that people will understand unfortanitly you can sway the majority of the people with retoric and useing words that they can relate to most people do not understand war far or war termanolagy but will you go further with it what are you gathering from this, your right it is a fourth generation war actuly alot further then that its been going on sence abraham or you could even say sence Cain killed Abel, what do we do 20 years ago we fought to put the taliban in charge of afganistain we have returned and done a pritty damn good job at takeing them out of power so what tribe do we decide to side with in iraq and will my son just have to return to over throw them who knows
    the fact is you can not hand people there freedom they must fight for it themselves its something are founding fathers knew and acomplished but the modern generation just cant grasp the consept maybe because they have had everything handed to them from nipple to grave they think they can hand freedom to someone but the fact of the matter is we may just have to sit back and let them fight amongst themselves and see who wants it more, or we just lay clam to we want it the most and take it for are selves, but i would like to know more of what you were trying to get accross with this post thanks