Last updated on: 5/27/2009 8:47:00 AM PST
What was the insurgency in Iraq?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) The World Factbook report on Iraq (accessed on Feb. 27, 2007) described the insurgency in Iraq as:
"...an insurgency against the Government of Iraq and Coalition forces is primarily concentrated in Baghdad and in areas north, northeast, and west of the capital; the diverse, multigroup insurgency consists principally of Sunni Arabs whose only common denominator is a shared desire to oust the Coalition and end US influence in Iraq; a number of predominantly Shia militias, some of which are associated with political parties, challenge governmental authority in Baghdad and southern Iraq"
Feb. 27, 2007 - Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook
The Iraq Study Group described the insurgency in Iraq in its Dec. 6, 2006 "The Iraq Study Group Report":
"Most attacks on Americans still come from the Sunni Arab insurgency. The insurgency comprises former elements of the Saddam Hussein regime, disaffected Sunni Arab Iraqis, and common criminals. It has significant support within the Sunni Arab community. The insurgency has no single leadership but is a network of networks. It benefits from participants' detailed knowledge of Iraq's infrastructure, and arms and financing are supplied primarily from within Iraq. The insurgents have different goals, although nearly all oppose the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq. Most wish to restore Sunni Arab rule in the country. Some aim at winning local power and control."
Dec. 6, 2006 - Iraq Study Group Report (1.72 MB)
Iraq Study Group (ISG)
The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) described the insurgency on its website in an Aug. 15, 2006 posting titled "Guide: Armed groups in Iraq":
"Tracking the insurgency's size and make-up is notoriously difficult, with groups constantly appearing and disappearing, and allegiances shifting...
The incentives driving individual insurgents are equally disparate - from religious zeal to economic gain, nationalist feeling and anger at the loss of loved ones to the conflict. Virtually all insurgent groups share the goal of attacking US forces, but other goals vary - with some elements apparently aiming to foment civil war. Estimates of the number of insurgents are impossible to confirm. By 2006, US military estimates ranged from 8,000 to 20,000, although Iraqi intelligence officials have issued figures as high as 40,000 fighters plus another 160,000 supporters.
Fighters have been found among the insurgents from countries including Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan. Foreign nationals are widely considered to account for less than 10% of the insurgency, but their role is high profile.
Some Sunnis have also formed informal militias, which operate as private defence forces in certain neighbourhoods where Shia militias are thought likely - or known - to carry out attacks."
Aug. 15, 2006 - BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)
The International Crisis Group (ICG) discussed the makeup of the insurgency in Iraq in its online Feb. 15, 2006 Middle East report "In Their Own Words: Reading the Iraqi Insurgency":
"The Four Main Groups. Based on the data Crisis Group collected, four groups stand out. Over time, they have developed recognised, proficient, and uninterrupted channels of communication through which, among other things, they regularly take responsibility for armed operations.
Feb. 15, 2006 - International Crisis Group (ICG)