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Insurgency Iraq Report

Insurgency Iraq Report

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Published by Roisnahrudin
The development of the U.S ops in Iraq
The development of the U.S ops in Iraq

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Published by: Roisnahrudin on Nov 26, 2007
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Cordesman: Insurgency in Iraq 8/22/07 Page i
Center for Strategic and International StudiesArleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy
1800 K Street, N.W. • Suite 400 • Washington, DC 20006Phone: 1 (202) 775-3270 • Fax: 1 (202) 457-8746Email:
Iraq’s Insurgency and Civil Violence
 Developments through Late August 2007 
Anthony H. Cordesman
Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy
With the Assistance of Elizabeth Detwiler
Working Draft: Updated August 22, 2007
Cordesman: Iraqs Sectarian and Ethnic Violence 8/22/07 Page
Executive Summary
Changes in the American military posture in Iraq has mixed the aggressive forward deploymentof US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad, its surrounding areas, and key conflict zones like Diyala witha build up of US troops to 160,000 military personnel in June 2007. The impact on theinsurgency, however, has so far been mixed. While violence in Anbar Province decreased, large-scale bombings with mass-casualties remained constant in other areas. Operation PhantomThunder drove many insurgents out of highly patrolled areas, to increase activity in areas thatwere previously relatively quiet, particularly in the north. Civilian and military casualtiesdecreased slightly during the month of June, compared to May figures. However, civiliancasualties rose again in July.As of late-August, no progress had been made in achieving the key objective of the “surge” – toprovide a safe space for political progress at the national level. No progress was made on theother key legislative benchmarks of de-Ba’athification reform, provincial elections, militiadisarmament, or reconciliation. The Iraqi Cabinet passed legislation that would establish aframework for an oil law. However, that legislation did not address the particularly sensitiveissues of revenue sharing, or the status of the Kurdish region.The performance of Iraqi Security Forces also lagged behind US hopes and plans. They didperform well in some areas, and the Iraqi Army did show a steadily increasing capability tooperate with reduced US support. However, the ISF continued to have serious performanceproblems, and some had clear ties to Shi’ite factions and sectarian cleansing. The National Policepresented serious problems in spite of efforts at reform and the regular police failed to providesecurity at local levels. The security forces in most areas were undermanned, under-prepared,and still rife with sectarian allegiances. In July, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs chairman,reported that the number of Iraqi army battalions able to operate independently, without UScontrol, decreased from 10 to six.Much of the progress in the fighting came from a rising Sunni tribal resentment and angeragainst al-Qa’ida and the most extreme elements of the Sunni Islamic extremist movements thathad nothing to do with US plans and strategy or the actions of the Iraqi central government. USAmerican military officials were able to pursue local alliances with tribal and sectarian groups tofight against al-Qa’ida in Iraq. There were also signs that such alliances could be expanded fromAnbar to cover other parts of Northern and Central Iraq and Shi’ite, as well as Sunni tribes. InTaji, the first Shi’ite-Sunni tribal alliance was formed between the 25 local tribes in the area of Anbar.At the same time, however, some aspects of the Shi’ite extremist threat continued to increase.Many Shi’ite militia elements did “stand down” as a result of the “surge,” and did not clash withUS troops. Less violent forms of Shi’ite sectarian cleansing continued, however, and Sunniscontinued to be pushed out of mixed areas, including Baghdad. According to one calculation byU.S. military officials, 52 % of violence in Iraq was caused by al-Qa’ida and other Sunniinsurgent groups, while 48% was due to Shi’ite militias.Coalition encounters with the Mahdi Army in northeast Baghdad increased, raising tensionsbetween Coalition forces, Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Maliki government. Prime Minister Malikihas publicly condemned American-led actions such as the blockade of Husseniyah and raids intoSadr City, which did not receive the official sanction of the Iraqi government. Maliki feared that
Cordesman: Iraqs Sectarian and Ethnic Violence 8/22/07 Page
iiisuch US-led offensives without Iraqi sanctioning worked to undermine the credibility of thegovernment.The continued implosion of the British presence in southeastern Iraq reduced British forces tothree token enclaves in the Basra area. The end result was to turn the four provinces insoutheastern Iraq over to feuding Shi’ite factions whose actions were mixed with corruption,extortion, and links to criminal activity. Other Shi’ite provinces in the southwest increasinglydistanced themselves from central government control. The result was to create Shi’ite zones inthe south, Sunni zones in the west, and Kurdish zones in the north, with tension, violence, andinsurgency in mixed areas in central and northern Iraq.US commanders have cited the growing activity of Iran in Iraq as reason to root out Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias. The flow of Iranian arms and more sophisticated weapons likeexplosively formed projectiles increased. More Iranian personnel infiltrated into Iraq, and Iranstepped up its training of the various Shi’ite militias in Iran. These actions were confirmed byboth the interception of weapons and the interrogation of Lebanese Hizbollah operative Ali MusaDaqduq, who was arrested in March. Brig. Gen. Kevin J Bergner said that the al-Quds unit of theIranian Revolutionary Guards were using veterans of Hizbollah to train Shi’ite militias, smugglearms, plan attacks, and take groups to Iran for training.

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