View Full Version : Scenarios for the Insurgency in Iraq

10-10-2006, 04:11 PM
From USIP: Scenarios for the Insurgency in Iraq (http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr174.pdf)

...Participants in the three scenario workshops, held in November 2005, January 2006, and April 2006, sought to anticipate possible outcomes of the insurgency in Iraq. To do this they tried to understand the underlying forces and trends and the uncertainties related to their development and impacts. Unlike most academic and intelligence analyses—which focus mostly on information known with confidence—scenario analysis focuses on uncertainties. This term refers to factors or forces whose development or impacts are impossible to forecast accurately.

Participants made no assumptions regarding historical continuity or change. Instead they focused on plausible developments in underlying forces and trends—in this case over a three- to seven-year period.

They considered multiple potential outcomes and the developments that produce them rather than forecasting a single outcome. Given the complexity of the insurgency, we recognized the value of having several potential outcomes for which we would evaluate U.S. and Iraqi goals and options.

The scenario process exposes and illuminates not simply the views of expert observers, but the assumptions underlying those views and the implications of conditions and uncertainties that might not have been considered. It includes the group’s exploration of possibilities, with a give-and-take that adds richness and nuance that otherwise might be more difficult to achieve. Finally, the process can preempt surprises by anticipating developments before they occur...

01-30-2007, 03:08 PM
26 Jan 07: Iraq's Evolving Insurgency and the Risk of Civil War (http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/070126_iraq_insurgents.pdf)

This report provides an overview of both how the Iraqi insurgency has moved towards civil conflict from its inception in the spring of 2003 through 2007, of the ways in which insurgent tactics and methods have changed over time, and the current level of civil conflict and risk of overall civil war. It is divided into five general sections:

• The first section examines Iraq under the rule of Saddam, the immediate post-war aftermath and the development of a violent insurgency in the spring and summer of 2003. It chronicles the insurgency’s inception and how it has evolved from 2003 until 2007 and examines Coalition operations to counter it.

• The second evaluates insurgent patterns of attacks, and Coalition and Iraqi casualties. It also examines insurgent tactics, methods of attack, and the political, psychological and informational warfare lessons from 2003-2006.

• The third section assesses the composition of the insurgency including Iraqi Sunni Arabs (both “Islamists and “Nationalists”), foreign jihadists, and the uncertain status of the Shi’ites. It also addresses the degree to which these factions cooperate or conflict and the role of Iraqi’s neighbors in the insurgency.

• The fourth considers Iraqi views of the threat.

• The fifth and final section offers an assessment of probable outcomes of the conflict and lessons of the war.
29 Jan 07: Iraq’s Sectarian and Ethnic Violence and the Evolving Insurgency: Developments through late-January 2007 (http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/070126_insurgency_update.pdf)

...Little progress has been made in political conciliation, the key step in reducing the level of violence in Iraq. As a result, the overall patterns in violence have broadened and grown more intense. The end result is a fragmented civil war driven more by sectarian and ethnic cleansing than killings and large-scale acts of violence....

04-02-2007, 10:07 PM
...a 2 Apr 07 update of the 29 Jan report linked above:

Iraq’s Sectarian and Ethnic Violence and the Evolving Insurgency: Developments through Spring 2007 (http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/070402_iraq_spring.pdf)

...The Sunni insurgency continued to use low-tech but innovative tactics to engage US forces in Baghdad and the surrounding urban belt and to try and incite Shi’ite reprisal attacks. According to US officials, car bombings reached an all time high in late February and early March 2007. It became increasingly likely that US and Iraqi forces would be stretched to maintain the “surge” presence in Baghdad while the insurgency strengthened in the surrounding provinces.

Tensions continued to grow in the northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk, but the Kurds did not take further steps toward autonomy – part out of fear of Turkey, the potential of the draft oil law, and a desire for US support. Tensions also increased between the US and Iran, but Iraq and Iran strengthened economic and political ties.

MNF-I and Iraqi government reporting focused on the falling number of “body dumps” and the total number of car bombings. It was all too clear, however, that the key metric was now the relative level of political, security, and economic control that the Iraqi government and the various sectarian and ethnic groups had over the population, territory, and key economic and infrastructure facilities...

04-03-2007, 01:36 PM
I couldn't connect with the assessments for some reason, they wouldn't come up, so I was curious what was said about Iran in the reports/updates. I'm wondering how much of an influence they estimate Iran to be exerting on the civil war/insurgency/resistance/terrorism? Would there be a tendency to minimize outside influence given the current focus and philosophy of the mission? It certainly isn't in Iran's interest to have a pro-West, stable Iraq on its flank yet I detect a subtle trend in some quarters to minimize Iran's role in the unrest and violence in Iraq.