Mapping the Factional Structure of the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq

This quantitative research approach to Sunni insurgency factions in Iraq provides perspective on which Sunni groups are most influential within the country—despite what Western Media would have the public at large believe.

The influence of various Sunni groups were measured around the time of the Sunni Awakening (2006-2007, which was unintentionally caused by the US) by their prominence in the country, including: how often other influential groups talk about them, a measurement on targeting policy, and an examination of joint operations between groups.

Most helpfully, there is a neatly mapped trajectory, showing the Islamic Army of Iraq as the most influential Sunni group in the country. This is important because, previously for example, al-Qaida was easily thought (by the population at large) to be the most influential group in the region because they made videos and sent them to Western Media outlets. This means that, within Iraq, if the focus remains on al-Qaida the IAI has the potential to become a powerful political force—because the US has not been concerned with this group nor has US policy towards Iraq accounted for religious/sectarian differences, it could mean this group can still become influential particularly after the withdrawal of US troops in January.

Mapping Sunni Insurgency in Iraq

 

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