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Thread: Al Qaeda in Iraq

  1. #21
    Council Member kehenry1's Avatar
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    Default Denouncing Omar Al Baghdadi - What's in A Number?

    I always think these questions interesting.

    First, in the beginning, AQI was in Iraq under different names as is their usual practice of multiple leaders recruiting their own forces, housing them and paying them. It took them some time to coalesce into an organized force.

    Second, I recall (without referencing links, but having a decent memory) that the FRL and AQI (under whatever name they called their individual groups) were issuing statements attempting to assert their rightful leadership of the "resistance" or at least their legitimate claim to being in the fight at all. In some statements, they praised each other, but attempted to convince the other to follow their guidance in the matter. even in the beginning, their were questions about what targets were being attacked, the civilian death toll and other issues. They also, if I am not mistaken, occasionally exchanged fire with one another and accused the other of trying to injure their people and cause. All with flowery language still attempting to come to some sort of agreement for cooperation.

    I don't think I am incorrect in these statements. I also believe that this was the first sign of how we would and should "divide and conquer". Aside from recent developments regarding the split, after several years of reading Iraqi blogs, it seems that Iraqis were rather xenophobic regarding outsiders. Particularly after Saddam had brought in large numbers of "Palestinians" whom he gave preferential treatment to including housing, money and education.

    Which brings me to point number three: We are often too busy looking at the pronouncements of "AQI" from the point of view of a domestic audience. Which is interesting since we often talk of "strategic communications" in a "small war" that is global in nature (such as recruiting, funding and IO). Who was this information aimed at?

    In which case, it seems rather important that we divide the insurgency into "local" and "foreign", assigning much of the atrocities to AQI. While it gave them the publicity they wanted for their global jihad and they were quite willing to take it, in the end it allowed for several actions. Basically, damaging their global standing as "defenders of Islam" while allowing the FRLs an "out" whenever they felt inclined to return to the political process. Obviously, they can and have blamed some of the worst episodes on the "foreigners", true or not.

    Further, in regards to AQI "taking credit" willingly, they did everything in their power to assert their position of supremacy over this insurgency in order to stir support for their greater cause trans-nationally. Zarqawi beheading people on video and other propaganda from AQI cannot be dismissed. For quite some time, it was the strongest and most voluble propaganda coming out of Iraq. It colored all other pronouncements from all other groups within Iraq.

    It is clear that even during 2005 and 2006, prior to the great "awakening" their was a serious split over agenda and power between these two groups. Who was the "largest" v. who had the "power" v. "end state" was always going to be a question with these groups. It's fairly obvious that there were significant numbers of indigent FRL or other anti-government organizations and people within Iraq, but leadership, power and organization are not always about who has the most people.

    As Zarqawi once wrote to Zawahiri, it is about being "victorious" or perceived as such. Who has the strongest "sword arm" in his terminology. Clearly, AQI was, at least publicly, the "strong horse" in the arena. I believe that this led many smaller indigent organizations and individuals linking with AQI or affiliate "armies", enlarging their cadre and over all power. Eventually, leading to AQI becoming the governing force and organizer of the insurgency.

    However, the "cracks" were apparent in 2005 when several letters were being written to Zawahiri directly, by passing Zarqawi, complaining of some of the leaders that were taking money from the "mujihadeen" who were arriving, leaving them with little food, sub-standard housing, demanding mostly martyrdom attacks and poor leadership all together. There were also complaints regarding the targeting of civilians and the atrocious beheading videos. Which I believe prompted Zawahiri to write a letter to Zarqawi telling him to tone it down and cautioning him against trying to debate or enforce any religious ideology when he was not "educated" in the matter.

    Iraqi bloggers explained that AQI was generally Salafist Wahabi in nature while the Anbar tribes were largely from the Hanafi school of jurisprudence with a few other groups like Matridi, etc thrown in.

    As important (or more so) as the religious orthodoxy, AQI and several indigent criminal or insurgent gangs duked it out in Al Qaim in 2005. Later reports indicated this was over control of the smuggling routes and other traditional methods of income for those tribes on the border. AQI was obviously trying to control these routes to smuggle in money, men and weapons, by passing the "middle man" while possibly bringing the area under their total control.

    Of course, by cutting off the traditional money making methods of these tribes, they were cutting into the traditional power of the local sheiks and tribes. Which is why the Marines and other forces began providing money and jobs through the auspices of the local sheiks and other power structures within these tribal lands. All politics are local, as they say.

    Recall also Zawahiri's letter requesting funds be sent to them in Afghanistan and bin Laden's recent plea for unity and money. Pleas that have been repeated more than once throughout this period.

    Later, Zarqawi was relegated to the role of a "military commander" and an umbrella council was set up to manage the multiple connections with the other insurgent groups. This is one area that AQ in general was successful in the past. Recalling that Al Qaeda means "the base" and was essentially bin Laden's managerial and organizing skills that had lists of mujihadeen from the Afghan/Russo conflict who he contacted and began organizing for this current global conflict. They attempted to use these same managing and organizing skills in Iraq.

    The umbrella council was essentially a response to complaints regarding the continued encroachment on these FRL organizations' power by AQI, Zarqawi's style and a belated realization that they needed to put an Iraqi face on the insurgency. That after we had labeled it largely AQI, blamed them for the worst of the worst and, through their own actions and our IO, gave the Iraqi people someone else to hate and blame for their misery. And, provided the backdrop for political reconciliation since the Shi'ites and other Iraqis were not going to feel too friendly towards the "insurgency" if it was all blamed on indigenous forces.

    I think we'll see similar activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan by AQI. Take, for instance, the recent release on As Sahab (AQ media) of the Afghan Taliban leader asserting his leadership of the Afghan "insurgency" while declaring allegiance to bin Laden. Are the Pashtuns going to fight a war for a bunch of Saudi, Egyptian, Yemeni, Libyan, Uzbek, etc outsiders? Or, are they fighting for their own people and power?

    They are apparently copying our own tactics by trying to assert some legitimate indigenous group as the having the "right" to legitimate resistance while simultaneously maintaining the facade of a global Islamic conflict. They were simply too late in doing that in Iraq. Zarqawi's ego, the zealous nature of the foreigners and their attempts to assert absolute control had already ruined that.

    Back to the council and Zarqawi's demise as both a leader and literally. In Zawahiri's letter, he warned Zarqawi, not too subtly, either that his ego and inability to "get along" was going to get him killed by someone in the organization like a leader in Afghan (who was killed, some say, on the orders of Zawahiri for being "outside" of their control) or that he already had a traitor in his midst and that he should watch out. That is an interesting question since, not long after that letter, we nearly apprehended Zarqawi and he was severely wounded. Then, a few months later, we followed someone in his organization, eventually leading to Zarqawi's location and death.

    Al Masri and AQI attempted to step back and become "the king makers" behind the FRLs, but the cracks were too great. Multiple denouncements and attempts at reconciliation were flying back and forth, eventually leading to al Junabi's insurgency media denouncing Omar al Baghdadi, the nominal "Iraqi face" of the council, as a fake. He said that the insurgency could not swear allegiance to someone without a face and whose father no one knew (considering the Arab/Muslim attachment to ancestors tracing back to Muhammed, that was a good indication of the FRLs contempt for that theatrics). All the while, the "awakening" was gaining power in the tribal lands.

    Then we see the insurgency virtually collapse back on itself. Which view is correct? Do the numbers count or don't they?
    Kat-Missouri

  2. #22
    Council Member kehenry1's Avatar
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    Default Half the Battle

    Now, to the question of whether AQI was more or less of the insurgency than any public statement said it was.

    I want to re-assert this thought: numbers do not mean power. If it did, then our presence there with over 100,000 soldiers at any given time would have eliminated the possibility or probability of an insurgency. Further, the number of dead and wounded "insurgents" would have quickly finished it off. That was not true. So, I have to wonder if "numbers" of AQI v. indigenous insurgents make it any more true for control of the insurgency?

    Whether it was 20% AQI and 80% locals, it seems clear that AQI had control over the insurgency by mid 2005. The organization, types of attacks, and targets with the number of foreign fighters and suicide attacks makes that a reality. I would add that the information, such as maps and organization records, gathered from exploiting the site where Zarqawi died, with subsequent re-organization of our own battle plans that rolled up a huge portion of the insurgency seems to also indicate AQI had operational control.

    Their spiraling loss of control in mid to late 2006, post Zarqawi's death, and the damage we were able to inflict on the "insurgency" using this exploited information through 2007, seems to have led the FRLs to the conclusion that it is better to negotiate for internal power than give it to AQI who were never going to leave and had a totally different agenda for the end state of Iraq than the FRLs. And, had they maintained that association with AQI, might have seen themselves and the rest of the Sunni tribes smashed into nothing without any political, economic or military power. Possibly totally dispossessed and constantly on the defensive in a future Iraq ruled by Shia and Kurds.

    In numbers, does it matter that AQI was only "20%" of the insurgency with "80%" being indigenous if, in power and operational control, they were 60-80%? Do the numbers change the tactics or delegitimize any claims that AQI was the "real" enemy in Iraq?

    Do public statements by politicians, the SoD or commanders in the field represent a failure to recognize the complexity of the insurgency? Is this why we were slow to change tactics? Were such statements purposefully misleading for political reasons (ie, to keep domestic political support for staying in Iraq)? Or were they based on our first clumsy attempts to separate the insurgency from the people of Iraq, managing any support for its on going efforts by claiming it was "foreign", and basically kill two birds with one stone by damaging AQs claims to be "defending" Islam and Muslims at the same time?

    Or, were we right all along that AQ represented the power and organizing force behind the insurgency and our failure to change tactics was an internal military and political philosophy? A philosophy and organization that wanted nothing to do with fighting another counter-insurgency and performing nation building post Viet Nam and the much vaunted "Powell Doctrine"? Instead, was geared towards conventional war fighting and killing as many "tangos" as possible? A political, military and popular idea that war should look like GW1?

    Was the culmination point of victory a combination of all of these things with the addition of AQI damaging itself through a bad strategic decision to declare war on Shi'ites and anybody else that didn't fit their idea Muslim or go along with their religio-political ideology or accept their plan for an "Islamic State of Iraq"?

    The focus on the exact numbers or "percentages" that either group represents seems too narrow a focus to try to evaluate the how or why of this war or any future insurgency. What seems more important is to be able to identify the different groups involved, their amount of operational and political control or influence and determine any differing agendas among them. Using this calculation to split the group into smaller and smaller pieces, pealing it like an onion as they say.

    In repeating a previous question, was making AQI "the fall guy" a bad idea in the whole scheme of things considering current outcomes?
    Kat-Missouri

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    Thumbs up

    An outstanding pair of posts Kat. Fantastic work.

  4. #24
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Wink Thank You

    Kehenry-

    " In numbers, does it matter that AQI was only "20%" of the insurgency with "80%" being indigenous if, in power and operational control, they were 60-80%? Do the numbers change the tactics or delegitimize any claims that AQI was the "real" enemy in Iraq? "

    Thank you very much for explaining it in such a detailed fashion.

    I couldn't have asked for better explanation

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    Default It matters

    First, if AQI is only one aspect of the insurgency (perhaps the global aspect, much as AQ was the global aspect of the insurgency against the USSR in Afghanistan), then our success against this foreign inspired insurgent/terrorist element doesn't equate to a strategic victory, at the most is an operational victory, if AQI has truly been defeated, but my study and experience indicates otherwise.

    Tactics must be adjusted based upon who the enemy is, and all the factors that influence the enemy's behavior, so it does make a difference. A foreign enemy that does not have popular support needs to be defeated through attrition. An insurgency that is home grown and has some degree of support from the population must be separated from the population, which means the primary effort is winning over the population, instead of strictly waging a war of attrition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
    A foreign enemy that does not have popular support needs to be defeated through attrition.
    But, they can control their loss rate, by slipping across the border when out gunned, and not slipping back until they've gathered new recruits.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Default And?

    Of course foreign AQ fighters can slip across the border, but the reality is there is little need to do so when there are plenty of areas in Iraq that are wide open for them to relocate. The homegrown insurgents, beyond the well to do FRL, don't necessarily have that option, as it is not a pleasant experience for the average Iraqi insurgent to relocate to Jordan, Syria, or Iran.

    One example was the most recent battle of Falluja, where AQI left several fighters in the city, and the rest withdrew to fight elsewhere in Iraq. That means we need to clear, hold, and build, and not resort to the Vietnam strategy of taking hills just because the enemy is there and then giving them back to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
    That means we need to clear, hold, and build, and not resort to the Vietnam strategy of taking hills just because the enemy is there and then giving them back to him.
    Agreed, but isn't that different from attrition.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Default A combination of strategies based on the situation

    SOF have fixated on the mantra find, fix and finish, which is an attrition strategy, but one that failed us. The conventional forces have also, for the most part, focused on this attrition approach, and again to no end.

    My point was this type of strategy could work in some limited cases, such as a small terrorist group that doesn’t have support from the people, such as many left wing terrorist groups in Europe in the 70’s and 80’s. You find and neutralize the leadership, then the threat is over. You already won the population over, they are law abiding citizens who dislike criminals (for the most part). This approach may work if you are able to eliminate the cadre of a budding insurgency before it turns into a movement. Once it is a movement, the attrition strategy won’t work unless you take it to the level that Stalin or Hitler did and wipe out entire populations, and even then the approach is questionable.

    In order to win these conflicts, it is essential we have a population focused strategy, which will allow us to separate the population from the insurgents, and if we can do that (if we can’t, then we probably can’t win) it then becomes a relatively easy manner of finding and killing the small percentage of insurgents who won't realize that they are now fighting for a lost cause.

    As for the quote about deep experience, I sometimes think that the so called deep experience for most of our senior officers and those who teach academics at their schools is narrowly confined to conventional warfighting, and they try to transfer their conventional maneuver warfare concepts, like culmination points, centers of gravity, etc. to irregular warfare, and it doesn’t work. All it does is distract our planners from the real work of figuring out what needs to be done and doing it. Instead our planners will spend countless hours tripping over mouse turds, and never reach an acceptable answer that will be mutually agreed upon. On the other hand those who actually have muddy boots experience are out there trying to get it done regardless of the inertia at the upper echelons of nonsense with their cool, yet meaningless slides depicting logical lines of operations, decisive points, tactical and operational COGs, etc. Yes, in this experience hinders.

  10. #30
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Good points. I become more convinced every

    day that banning Power Point would increase our real war fighting capability by an order of magnitude...

    Poor old METT-T is so simple and yet so often ignored in an effort to apply buzzwords to situations where they are an encumbrance.

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    CTC, 19 Dec 07: Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records
    Al‐Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records is the latest in a series of reports from the Combating Terrorism Center drawing on newly released information from captured al‐Qa’ida documents maintained in the Defense Department’s Harmony Data Base. The report is a preliminary analysis of records containing background information on foreign fighters entering Iraq via Syria over the last year. The data used in this report was coded from English translations of these records and undoubtedly contains some inaccuracies due to imprecise translation as well as through errors in the transcription process. The CTC plans further studies based on the Sinjar Records and expects to hone and improve the accuracy of our database as we do so.....

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Default Al-Qaeda Adapts its Methods in Iraq as Part of a Global Strategy

    Interesting report from the Jamestown Foundation:


    For the last few months, reports from Iraq have been indicating a tangible decline in insurgency and terrorist operations. For the first time since 2003, the Iraqi people are enjoying a sense of security in the streets of Iraq, although skeptics claim it is the calm that precedes the storm. The stabilizing security situation comes amid claims that al-Qaeda has been defeated or at least has been seriously crippled in Iraq (alerhab.net, November 24). Has al-Qaeda actually been defeated and subjugated by the coalition forces in the Iraqi arena? Taking al-Qaeda’s past and current behavior into account while monitoring Iraq’s jihadi websites, one is presented with strong indications that al-Qaeda is adapting to the new realities on the ground while avoiding direct confrontation with the coalition forces. The global strategy of al-Qaeda since 9/11—as posted in al-Qaeda’s internet forums—sheds further light on the terror plans it has designed to lure and engage Americans in various fronts in the region...

  13. #33
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default

    On a related note:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle3320938.ece

    From The Times
    February 7, 2008

    Children 'taught to kidnap and kill at al-Qaeda camp' in Iraq

    *
    Admiral Smith and Major-General Mohammed al-Askari, an Iraqi army spokesman, said they were releasing the videos to highlight al-Qaeda’s growing use of woman and children and deepening depravity.

    They were clearly seeking to build on the widespread disgust inspired by the terrorist group’s use of two mentally disablen women last Friday to attack two crowded pet markets in Baghdad, killing about 100 people. The explosives attached to the women were detonated remotely and they may not even have known what they were doing. They were also teenagers, the military said yesterday.

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    I recently had a chance to see the Sinjar data through a software demo which produced some of the stat's on the foreign fighters. I wish I had the data now as I type.

    Additionally, Newsweek just did a story on the Sinjar data and looked at Darnah, Libya, a dead-end city. http://www.newsweek.com/id/132938?from=rss

    There were a number of different outcomes from the Sinjar data when I reviewed it beyond the city of origin, it included which fighters donated to the cause, how much was donated, skills, who recruited them, and indicated there was only a handful of movement facilitators working the number of fighters entering into Iraq via Syria, at least to this location. The data would indicate an HR shop was busted, and there others with other movement facilitators bringing in the bodies. I did not notice, but were the fighters from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from a Wahabbi background leaning towards very anti-West, and some instances anti-Islam other than Wahabbi? The Saudi Arabia piece is probably not obtainable due to the lack of this pone piece of data. Additionally, further analysis the Sinjar data may show a difference in why each fighter was heading in to Iraq?

    In reviewing the article by Mr Watts, the recommendation leans towards conducting surrogate operations around established governments to stem the flow of foreign fighters, or change the landscape of a nation. No government is going to allow another nation to microscopically focus on flash point cities. But, working through the country team at the embassy can provide information back to planners to assist identifying possible hot spots of interest and why these hot spots exist, and possibly how to deal with these locations. Some of the ideas behind why a foreign fighter is recruited may be no different than looking into inner-city gang’s and their recruitment in the United States and elsewhere. Is it culture and society, dead-end from the government, and a lack of being able to provide for oneself or one’s family (also culturally linked)? Cultural analysis is key to any actions simple or complex in future operations. Will analysis across the economic and social aspect of the M.E. and North Africa provide a better insight into the FFN in IZ? This is yet to be determined.

    In respect to finding linkages to the current FFN in Iraq and Afghanistan, one solid linking line is religion. But what is next; culture or nationalism? Motivations will be different between males and females and this is another aspect to be reviewed as there have been female suicide bombers.

    But, what happens when the region changes, it’s not the Trans-Sahel or the Middle East. Is it up-risings in Bolivia, Colombia, or Korea? The same the analysis will need to be performed to identify who is recruited and for what reasons; nationalistic, ideology or theological, cultural, desperation, or just for money and glory?

    In looking at the future of complex operations, Irregular Warfare, Hybrid Warfare (pick a term), will FFN' be classified as the surrogate fighters for other entities? These entities can be mafia or organized criminal elements, insurgencies, or some other form of activity. The fact a FFN needs money to pay for fighters and equipment comes from smuggling cigarettes and drugs and their sales starts to link organized crime into insurgent activities as quickly as donations from believers in the cause.

  15. #35
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Papers give peek inside al Qaeda in Iraq

    I found this Michael Ware report quite interesting. The AQI bureacracy is incredible; just like those little finance ladies in tennis shoes from the old days in the Army...

    Papers give peek inside al Qaeda in Iraq
    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- With Christmas 2005 approaching, the princes of al Qaeda's western command were gathering. They'd been summoned for something special -- to plot a three-month campaign of coordinated suicide, rocket, and infantry attacks on American bases, checkpoints, and Iraqi army positions.

    1 of 2 In al Qaeda in Iraq's hierarchy, prince designates a senior leader, and these princes had been gathered by the most senior among them, the prince for all of Anbar province itself.

    This commander, his name not recorded in al Qaeda's summaries of the meetings and referred to only by rank, spent that December fleshing out his vision for the wave of assaults with the gathered subordinates who would lead his combat brigades.

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    CTC, 23 Jul 08: Bombers, Bank Accounts, and Bleedout: al-Qa'ida's Road in and Out of Iraq
    This report analyzes al‐Qa`ida in Iraq’s (AQI) operations from spring 2006 to summer 2007 and is being issued with a trove of AQI documents captured by coalition forces near Sinjar, Iraq. The documents include almost 600 AQI personnel records for foreign fighters crossing into Iraq, AQI contracts for suicide bombers, AQI contracts for fighters leaving Iraq, narratives written by al‐Qa`ida’s Syrian smugglers, and AQI financial records. The CTC also acquired demographic information on all Third Country Nationals (TCNs) in detention at Camp Bucca, Iraq. Most of this data has not previously been released to the public.....

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    CTC, 16 Mar 09: Dysfunction and Decline: Lessons Learned From Inside Al‐Qa`ida in Iraq
    Al‐Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI) is a shadow of its former self, primarily because broad sectors of Iraq’s Sunni population rejected it after more than three years of active and tacit cooperation. That AQI’s ideological extremism alienated many Iraqis is well understood, but radicalism alone does not fully explain AQI’s decline: poor leadership, vulnerable communication mechanisms, tension between Iraqi and foreign members, and weak indoctrination efforts contributed to strategic and tactical blunders that alienated even other Sunni insurgents. In lieu of major social and political shifts (which are possible) that offer AQI a sustained safe‐haven, these dynamics are unlikely to change dramatically; they serve as important obstacles to AQI’s resurrection. Conversely, al‐Qa`ida elements elsewhere, primarily along the Afghanistan‐Pakistan border, are hindered less by these weaknesses. There are lessons from the fight against AQI that are applicable in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but al‐Qa`ida’s operations there are likely to be much more durable than those in Iraq.

    Section I of this paper traces al‐Qa`ida in Iraq’s transition from welcome partner to mortal enemy of Iraq’s Sunni insurgents, focusing particularly on the Islamic Army of Iraq. Section II draws on declassified internal AQI correspondence and open sources to describe how external pressures—from U.S. forces and tribal sources—exacerbated AQI’s fallout with other insurgents while rending the movement from within. Section III assesses AQI’s prospects in Iraq and the impact of AQI’s failure on the future of the global jihadist movement. Section IV offers recommendations for containing AQI in the future and for applying the lessons of AQI’s demise to other elements.....
    Complete 36-page paper at the link.

  18. #38
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    The very flawed concept of "Global Insurgency" has caused most to really mis-understand AQ in general, and AQI specifically.

    It is far more accurate to look at AQ as a non-state organization that has no populace, but that through the power of the information tools of globalization is able to take advantage of a legal "sanctuary of status," as well as to a lesser degree sanctuary of poorly governed populaces and sanctuary of state borders to conduct a very state-like unconventional warfare campaign. This campaign is primarily to take down the Saudi Monarchy, but also other western legitimized governments of the region; with a secondary and supporting objective of breaking US support to the region in order to facilitate success of the primary objective.

    So:

    AQI is not part of the Iraqi Insurgency, they are there conducting UW to incite, guide, and support the Iraqi insurgency.

    There are three general categories of insurgency, and all three existed in Iraq: Separatist (Kurd), revolutionary (Sunni), and resistance (Shia) in rough breakdown. None of these are AQ, and all are made up of Iraqis. Iran conducted UW as well in support of the Shia insurgency.

    "Foreign fighters" in AQI are largely nationalist insurgents from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Lybia, Algeria, and Morocco that want to change their own governance at home and who traveled to Iraq to support the second objective of breaking the US support to the region. Expect this brand of support to shift to Afghanistan along with the US. Where we go, they will go.

    None of these are "Terrorists," though all use terrorist tactics. If you describe your foes by their purpose for action it is far easier to separate them and design effective tactics for dealing with each. If you conflate them all as "terrorists" you are just shooting your way into a quagmire. Similarly misrepresenting AQ as waging "global insurgency" confuses our solutions for dealing with them as well.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 25 Nov 09:

    Al-Qaeda in Iraq Operations Suggest Rising Confidence Ahead of U.S. Military Withdrawal
    .....At the moment, the goals for the insurgents are less territorially defined and more aimed at encouraging the anarchical conditions that support the survival and influence of their organizations. Today, several factors contribute to a growing operational space for insurgent activity by promoting discouragement and subverting reconciliation efforts:

    • The U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq’s urban areas on June 30, in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), has left behind a less capable Iraqi Security Force (ISF) to carry on the mission of ensuring protection and confronting terrorists.

    • The growing Arab-Kurdish divide over the ownership of “disputed territories,” especially in Ninawa province, has provided an effective venue for insurgents to exploit security disparities and ethnic divisions (see Terrorism Monitor, October 23).

    • The continued reluctance of the Shi’a-dominated government to integrate Sunni fighters from the Awakening (Sahwa) Movement into the Iraqi security and civilian sectors has led to growing suspicions and uncertainty amongst some Sunnis over Baghdad’s long term intentions vis-à-vis their status and use.....

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    RAND, 15 Dec 10: An Economic Analysis of the Financial Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq
    This monograph analyzes the finances of the militant group al-Qa‘ida in Iraq (AQI) in Anbar province during 2005 and 2006, at the peak of the group’s power and influence. We draw on captured financial records that recorded the daily financial transactions of both one specific sector within Anbar province and the AQI provincial administration. To our knowledge, this monograph offers one of the most comprehensive assessments of the financial operations of AQI or any other contemporary Islamic militant group....

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    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 06-30-2008, 12:24 PM
  2. US Senator's Iraq Trip Comments: WSJ 15 June 07
    By TROUFION in forum US Policy, Interest, and Endgame
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-18-2007, 04:26 PM
  3. Roggio Interview on the Media and Iraq
    By phil b in forum The Information War
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-23-2007, 03:10 PM
  4. Insurgents Report a Split with Al Qaeda in Iraq
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    Last Post: 03-28-2007, 04:16 AM

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