PLS 470-B01

*** PRESENTATION: FIASCO ***

Crime problem

  • Saddam opened prisons
  • loosed 100k criminals
  • regime collapse
  • power vacuum
  • nothing to fill
  • war plan: skirt urban areas
  • war plan: too few troops
  • US troops cannot provide security

dilemma 1: dealing with looting

  • tolerate
  • deal with it…how?
    • arrest?
    • shoot?
    • “liberators” killing Iraqis
  • good PR!

who provides security?

  • in South, religious parties/militias
  • Sunni center: tribal leaders/Ba’athists
  • North: Kurdish militias
  • militias empowered
  • limited US presence in Sunni triangle
  • allows resistance to organize

dilemma 2: De-Ba’athification

  • need someone to run the country
  • keep Ba’athists in power
  • experience & expertise
  • but then, no regime change
  • initial plan: limited implementation

Plan B

  • all Ba’athists out
  • including teachers
  • security
  • army disbanded
  • created 400k unemployed…
  • …pissed-off Sunnis

CIA report Nov 2003

  • 50k+ insurgents
  • Bush admin estimate: 5k
  • most in Sunni triangle
  • cannot be defeated

who are the insurgents?

  1. ex-Ba’athists
  2. Sunni nationalists
  3. Islamist groups
  4. foreign fighters
  • largest of above: #2
  • alliances of convenience

get tough approach

  • kick ass and take names
  • need info
  • mass roundup of Sunnis
  • Abu Ghraib
  • “Gitmoize” Iraq
  • generated huge resentment
  • effective in short term
  • counter-productive in long term

consequemces

  • horrible PR
  • US moral legitimacy lost

the problem of Fallujah

  • 4 Americans strung up
  • how to respond?
  • initial response: massive force
  • 600-700 Iraqis killed
  • many civilians
  • political disaster
  • reisstance = heroic (as seen in IQ)
  • united Sunni & Shi’a
  • had siege continued, US faced major rebellion

the outcome

  • US  blinks (Bremer’s orders)
  • withdraws from city
  • turns over power to “Fallujah Brigade”
  • led by former Republican Guard members
  • Fallujah beyond control
  • haven for resistance

Sunni triangle

in sum:

  • Sunnis pissed off
  • violent resistance
  • violent response from US

Sunni v. Shi’a, overview

political implications

  • Shi’a clerics descended from Prophet’s bloodline
  • clerics much more powerful
  • Shi’ism is hierarchical
  • clerics issue fatwas,
  • followers obey
  • history of suffering, persecution

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

  • most revered Shia cleric in the world
  • 11 million+ followers
  • Iranian (Persian)
  • traditionally, a “quietist” (stays out of politics)
  • lives in Najaf
  • most powerful man in IQ

Sistani post-2003

  • (sistani.org)
  • orders Shia not to oppose US
  • demands democracy
  • Shia: 60% population of IQ

Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)

  • formed Iran 1982
  • from exiled Iraqis
  • to fight against Saddam
  • goal of Islamic state in IQ
  • militia: Badr brigades
  • 10-50k strong
  • trained by Iran
  • ally of US (!!!)
  • now called ISCI

Islamic Dawa

  • formed 1957
  • insurgency v. IQ govt
  • terror attacks on US targets (1983)
  • assassination attempts
  • goal: Islamic state
  • close ties to Iran
  • small militia
  • ally of US
  • current PM: Dawa

secular/middle class Shia

  • where are they?
  • very weak
  • all exiles
  • seen as US stooges
  • Allawi
    • former Baathist
    • former CIO “asset”

al-Sadrs

  • Muhammed Sadiq
  • Muhhamed Baqir
  • Muqtada
    • fills power vacuum
    • Kufa
    • Najaf
    • Sadr City (Baghdad slum)
    • NOT an exile
    • Iraqi nationalist
    • appeals to IQ’s poor Shia
    • rival to ISCI
    • hates USA
    • Mahdi Army: 50k?
    • supporters: 100k+
    • starts uprising across south IQ in Apr 2004

US response

  • smash Mahdi army
  • arrest Sadr (dead or alive)

outcome

  • battles in holy cities
  • Karbala, Najaf
  • heavy casualties for Mahdi Army
  • few US casualties
  • Sadr negotiates his way out
  • becomes a “democrat”
  • very popular
  • US response: counterproductive

Kurds

  • 1991-2003 under US/UK protection
  • allies of US
  • participated in OIF
  • Kurdish troops occupy large part of N Iraq
  • united
  • powerful

the balance

  • Sunnis: angry insurgents
  • reject US presence
  • Shia want democracy
  • Kurds want autonomy/independence
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