05:05 PDA Bulletin -- The Vicious Circle in Iraq
- US Locked in 'Vicious Circle' in Iraq
The American effort in Iraq may be locked in a "vicious circle,"
according to a new report - http://www.comw.org/pda/0505rm10.html -
that surveys Iraqi public opinion data and interviews with Iraqis.
The report concludes that U.S. military actions meant to quell the
insurgency have increased its recruiting base.
"A paradox haunts our counterinsurgency effort," says the report's
author, Carl Conetta. "U.S. forces have succeeded tactically again
and again, but insurgent activity remains four- or five-times as
great as it was in early summer 2003," he explains. The report seeks
clues in Iraqi opinions about the occupation, how they vary, and what
influences them. "Public discontent is the medium in which the
insurgents swim," says Conetta, "and without it, they could not
Strong majorities in the Sunni and Shi'ite community oppose the
occupation and significant minorities have registered support
for attacks on U.S. troops. "What drives these attitudes more than
anything else," says Conetta, "are nationalism, the coercive
practices of the occupation, and the collateral effects of military
According to one poll reviewed in the study, 22 percent of Iraqi
families have suffered serious effects of violence since the war
began. The report finds a correlation between Iraqis' experiences of
violence, negative appraisals of U.S. troops, and support for
insurgent attacks. Moreover, the pattern of coalition military
activity corresponds with variations in these attitudes, which peak
in Sunni areas and Baghdad.
Reviewing postwar U.S. military activity, the report estimates that
as much as 80 percent has focused on Baghdad and Sunni
areas. "Initially these operations aimed only to assert coalition
control in tribal areas, apprehend former regime leaders, and locate
their possible supporters," said Conetta. "But a series of mistaken
and overzealous engagements in summer 2003 involving Iraqi tribes,
police, and former military personnel may have pushed the insurgency
over the tipping point."
"Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq"
was released on 17 May 2005 by the Project on Defense Alternatives, a
policy research effort based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and
Report abstract and Executive Summary:
Full report: http://www.comw.org/pda/0505rm10.html
If you have a blog or Website please link to our site(s):
Project on Defense Alternatives - http://www.comw.org/pda/
War Report - http://www.comw.org/warreport/
Occupation Distress - http://www.comw.org/od/
Chinese Military Power - http://www.comw.org/cmp/
Revolution in Military Affairs - http://www.comw.org/rma/
Bookmark "What's New at PDA" - http://www.comw.org/pda/new.html