Search for Patterns in Insurgency ; A Major US Offensive in Western Iraq Aims to Stem the Flow of Foreign Fighters into the Country

By Peter Grier writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 2005 | Go to article overview

Search for Patterns in Insurgency ; A Major US Offensive in Western Iraq Aims to Stem the Flow of Foreign Fighters into the Country


Peter Grier writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


When it comes to insurgent attacks in Iraq, the only pattern is that there may be no pattern.

The recent upsurge in Iraqi violence, after a relative lull following national elections, has left US officials and outside experts alike groping for answers about the nature of the enemy. It's possible that the attacks are meant to take advantage of the new Iraqi government's struggles to organize itself, for instance. But it is at least as likely that the increase has been powered by reasons known only to the insurgents themselves, such as flagging morale or an increase in the availability of fighters or weapons.

Even to speak of "an insurgency" is something of a misnomer, as there are probably a number of insurgencies, split between foreign jihadis, die-hard Saddam Hussein followers, and anti-American opportunists. One expert compares them to a flock of birds or a school of fish who suddenly group, travel in formation, and then disperse - all without any central command.

"And with birds and fish, who knows where they are going to go?" says Itamara Lochard, a specialist in insurgencies at Tufts University's Fletcher School in Medford, Mass.

On Tuesday the US military continued to engage insurgent fighters in the fiercest fighting of the occupation since US forces retook the city of Fallujah.

For a third day, Marines, backed by extensive air power, swept through western Iraq near the Syrian border - an area in which insurgents, particularly foreign insurgents motivated by a desire for anti-American jihad, had operated with some impunity for months.

The offensive, named Operation Matador, had killed as many as 100 insurgents since Sunday, claimed US officials. US casualties were said to be light.

The fighting comes amidst a surge in suicide bombings and other insurgent attacks that began to take shape in late March. Those attacks continued Tuesday, as well, with the explosion of at least two car bombs in central Baghdad.

The last 10 days to two weeks has seen an increase in car bombs, detonated both remotely and by drivers, said Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, director, Joint Operations, Joint Staff, at a Pentagon briefing on May 5.

It is possible that this increase reflects an increase in activity on the part of the foreign jihadis, as suicide attacks have long been part of their operational pattern. It is also possible that the bombers are native Iraqis who have been forced into a desperate move by the kidnapping of loved ones, said General Conway.

"We're asking ourselves, what's all this mean? And we don't have the answers yet," he added.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Search for Patterns in Insurgency ; A Major US Offensive in Western Iraq Aims to Stem the Flow of Foreign Fighters into the Country
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.