Counterinsurgency in Iraq

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  • 1.THE ARTSThis PDF document was made availableCHILD POLICYfrom www.rand.org as a public service ofCIVIL JUSTICE EDUCATION ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS NATIONAL SECURITY POPULATION AND AGING PUBLIC SAFETY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SUBSTANCE ABUSE TERRORISM AND HOMELAND SECURITY TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE WORKFORCE AND WORKPLACEthe RAND Corporation. Jump down to document6The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world.Support RAND Purchase this document Browse Books & Publications Make a charitable contributionFor More Information Visit RAND at www.rand.org Explore RAND National Defense Research InstituteView document details Limited Electronic Distribution Rights This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law as indicated in a notice appearing later in this work. This electronic representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for non-commercial use only. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of our research documents for commercial use. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please see RAND Permissions.

2. This product is part of the RAND Corporation monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity. 3. RAND C O U N T E R I N S U R G E N C Y S T U D YVO L U M E 2Counterinsurgency in Iraq (20032006) Bruce R. Pirnie, Edward OConnellPrepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense Approved for public release; distribution unlimitedNATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INSTITUTE 4. The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community under Contract W74V8H-06-C-0002.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available for this publication. ISBN 978-0-8330-4297-2Cover Image Courtesy of 4th PSYOP Group, Ft. Bragg, NCThe RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world. R ANDs publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.R is a registered trademark. Cover Design by Stephen Bloodsworth Copyright 2008 RAND CorporationAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from RAND. Published 2008 by the RAND Corporation 1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138 1200 South Hayes Street, Arlington, VA 22202-5050 4570 Fifth Avenue, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2665 RAND URL: http://www.rand.org To order RAND documents or to obtain additional information, contact Distribution Services: Telephone: (310) 451-7002; Fax: (310) 451-6915; Email: order@rand.org 5. PrefaceThis monograph is one of a series produced as part of the RAND Corporations research project for the U.S. Department of Defense on how to improve U.S. counterinsurgency (COIN) capabilities. It should be of interest to persons in the government who are concerned with COIN issues and to scholars working in this eld. The project will culminate in a report that builds on these earlier eorts. As of spring 2007, when eld research for this monograph was completed, Iraq appeared to have slid from insurgency into civil war. The U.S. failure to focus on the protection of the Iraqi population in the preceding four years had contributed signicantly to the subsequent increase in insurgency and sectarian violence. In the security vacuum that ensued, Iraqi citizens were forced to engage in a Faustian bargainoften looking to bad actors for protectionin order to survive. The failure of the United States and the Iraqi government to subdue the Sunni insurgency and prevent terrorist actspunctuated by the 2006 destruction of the Golden Domeproduced an escalation of Shia militancy and sectarian killing by both militia and police death squads. However, by early 2008, when this monograph was published, the security situation in Iraq had started to stabilize due to a number of factors: a Sunni reaction to al Qaeda excesses, a pullback of Shia militias from anti-Sunni violence and confrontation with coalition forces, a decrease in externally supplied armaments, and strides made by U.S. and Iraqi forces in gaining control of important areas in the country, including western provinces such as Anbar and parts of Baghdad. Itiii 6. ivCounterinsurgency in Iraq (20032006)should be noted that as of this publication date, it is still not clear how the political-security situation in Iraq will eventually turn out. In particular, the authors maintain considerable doubt as to whether Iraq can reconcile the divisions between the Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish elements of the population. Nevertheless, the reduced level of violence as of early 2008 was an encouraging development. That said, the authors view is that our examination of U.S. political and military challenges in Iraq from 20032006 has important implications for improving future counterinsurgency strategy and capabilities. Iraq presents an example of a local political power struggle overlaid with sectarian violence and fueled by fanatical foreign jihadists and persistent criminal opportunistssome combination of forces likely to be replicated in insurgencies in other troubled states in the future. In that sense, this monograph highlights national capability gaps which persist despite the adoption and improved execution of counterinsurgency methods in Iraq. This analysis was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Oce of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Sta, the Unied Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community. For more information on RANDs International Security and Defense Policy Center, contact the director, James Dobbins. He can be reached by email at James_Dobbins@rand.org; by phone at 703413-1100, extension 5134; or by mail at the RAND Corporation, 1200 South Hayes Street, Arlington, Virginia 22202-5050. More information about RAND is available at www.rand.org. 7. ContentsPreface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxiii Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxv CHAPTER ONEOverview of the Conict in Iraq . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Baathist Regime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 The Invasion of Iraq. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The Occupation of Iraq. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The First Priority: Setting Up a Constitutional Government. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Spiral Downward Begins (Spring 2004) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Benchmark One: Holding Iraqi Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Islamic Extremist and Sectarian Violence Begin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 A U.S. Approach Hesitantly Unfolds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 CHAPTER TWOArmed Groups in Iraq . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Kurdish Separatists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Sunni Arab Insurgents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Violent Extremists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Shiite Arab