Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Demise, But Not Death of Al Qaeda In Iraq

In 2007 Al Qaeda in Iraq was soundly defeated in its former strongholds of Anbar province and the Baghdad area. Today its forces have fled its last urban stronghold in the northern city of Mosul. Over the last three years, its indiscriminate use of violence especially against Iraqis, and its insistence that it lead the insurgency have turned most of the population against it. That is usually the turning point in a guerrilla war, and thus Al Qaeda in Iraq finds itself on the run in many provinces today. The fact that the surge is coming to a close however, means that there will always be safe havens for the group to hide in, and they will still be able to carry out attacks for the foreseeable future. 2007 thus saw the demise, but not death of Al Qaeda in Iraq.


Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in life and death

Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi founded Al Qaeda in Iraq. Originally it was called Attawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War) and carried out a number of high profile bombings soon after the U.S. invasion ended in 2003 such as the destruction of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad. Zarqawi was a dogmatic and ruthless Islamist who saw the U.S. occupation of Iraq as a way to turn himself into a terrorist celebrity. It wasn’t until 2004 that Zarqawi pledged allegiance to bin Laden and his group became known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. Zarqawi wanted the brand name recognition Al Qaeda offered, and like a fast food restaurant started his own franchise. Despite the new name, Zarqawi was always highly independent and didn’t listen to advice and admonitions from Al Qaeda central. In several letters that were later published by the U.S. Al Qaeda leaders such as #2 man Ayman al-Zawhiri remonstrated Zarqawi for his attacks on Shiites, his refusal to work with fellow insurgents that didn’t follow his leadership, and his general dismissal of the Sunni population’s concerns in Iraq. Zarqawi never changed his policies and was killed in June 2006.

The Initial Split With Al Qaeda in Iraq

Just as Al Qaeda central warned, Zarqawi’s harsh tactics turned many people against his organization. That was a change because during the first few years of the insurgency, many Sunnis looking to fight the Americans turned towards Zarqawi and his followers for money, weapons and organization. By 2005 however many Iraqis had enough.

The first reports of a split occurred in mid-2005 in Anbar province. In May and June 2005 two tribes in Anbar and several insurgent groups began turning their guns on their former allies. The causes were many. For the tribes, Al Qaeda in Iraq had attempted to take over their smuggling and robbery trade in Anbar to finance their insurgency, angering sheikhs. The tribes also didn’t like Al Qaeda imposing its form of Islamic law upon their people, especially because the militants often killed those that didn’t follow their interpretation of the religion. Zarqawi’s followers also assassinated sheikhs that attempted to work with the government. For the insurgents, their complaints were three fold. First, they were tired of Al Qaeda trying to boss them around and killing their leaders and fighters if they didn’t obey. Second, Al Qaeda’s increasing use of car bombs that killed Sunnis and their sectarian attacks on Shiites that were aimed at provoking a sectarian civil war divided the insurgency over tactics and costs. Finally, the vast majority of Sunnis had boycotted the first round of elections in 2005 and felt left out of the political process. Many were determined to vote on the Constitution in December, even if many were against its passage. Zarqawi stated that his group would kill anyone who participated. Instead, many insurgent groups cut a deal with the U.S. in October 2005 to work together to ensure there would be no major violence during the polling.

The Tribal Awakening Movement

Sunni tribes in western Iraq were the first ones to really organize against Al Qaeda in Iraq. In the spring and summer of 2005 tribes began fighting with Al Qaeda in Iraq and reached out to the U.S. for help. At first the U.S. Marines were standoffish, but eventually agreed to help. By March 2006 the tribes had formed at least two different military organizations to fight the militants, leading to the deaths of six Al Qaeda in Iraq commanders. One group was destroyed, but in the fall of 2006 the sheikhs founded the Anbar Salvation Council that included 26 tribes in the province and 30,000 fighters, led by sheikh Sattar Rishawi.

The newly organized tribesmen were able to put the pressure on Al Qaeda in Iraq in the province during 2007. With their new alliance with the Americans, the tribes began providing recruits for the provincial police in cities like Ramadi where the number of police went from 35 in June 2006 to 1,300 by November. In turn, attacks in the city dropped by as much as 50% by the end of the year. The tribes also formed eight Provincial Security Forces of 10,000 fighters, eight Emergency Response Units, plus a small group of special forces that operated outside of Anbar tracking down and killing Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders. Together, these tribal units were able to force Al Qaeda in Iraq into northern and eastern Anbar.

The Council grew confident enough that they began sending out emissaries to other Iraqi tribes in Diyala, Ninewa, Salahaddin, Babil, and Baghdad to form their own Awakening movements. Even after Al Qaeda in Iraq was able to kill the Salvation Council’s head, Sheikh Sattar Rishawi, the group was able to expand their influence. By late 2007-early 2008 attacks in Anbar had dropped to the lowest point since the war, 23,000 tribesmen had joined the Anbar police force, and the Council was trying to transform itself into a political party to take part in the government.

Sheikh Sattar Rishawi who led the Anbar Salvation Council until his assassination by Al Qaeda in Iraq in September 2007

The Insurgency Turns On Al Qaeda In Iraq And the Birth Of the Concerned Local Citizens Movement

Many nationalist insurgent groups also began turning on Al Qaeda in 2005-2006. Two of the main ones were the Islamic Army of Iraq and the 1920 Revolution Brigades. Both were mostly former soldiers and Baathists that had become more Islamist as the insurgency wore on, but grew tired of Al Qaeda in Iraq. In 2005 there were repeated clashes between the insurgents and Al Qaeda in Iraq in Anbar over participation in the December 2005 elections and Zarqawi’s murdering of commanders of the Islamic Army and the 1920 Revolution Brigade that didn’t follow his leadership. In January 2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq also killed 70 Sunni police recruits in Ramadi, which led to a shoot out with the Islamic Army. The U.S. began to realize and exploit these divisions by opening negotiations with insurgents that were opposed to Zarqawi. They were helped by the death of the terrorist leader in June 2006.

Zarqawi’s successor Abu Ayyub al Masri attempted to patch up relations with Iraqis. He formed a number of umbrella organizations to try to unite the insurgency, such as the Mutayibeen Coalition, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq, the Mujahadeen Shura Council, and finally the Islamic State of Iraq. The problem was that Al Qaeda in Iraq always insisted that they be in the lead even though their leadership was not Iraqi, and Masri continued on with Zarqawi’s tradition of killing anyone that didn’t get into line behind him.

By early 2007 many elements of the insurgency were in open revolt against Al Qaeda in Iraq. The Islamic Army and 1920 Revolution Brigade had several clashes including the assassination of the latter’s leader by Al Qaeda in Iraq in March 2007. In May 2007 the Islamic Army and two other insurgent group formed their own coalition, the Reformation and Jihad Front to oppose Masri’s Islamic State. More importantly, some members of the 1920 Revolution Brigade formed the Adhamiya Awakening in Baghdad to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq. This was the first of many Concerned Local Citizen (CLC) groups that would pop up around Baghdad’s Sunni enclaves, and then to other regions in central and northern Iraq to fight the militants.

The Effects of the Surge

The main focus of the surge was in Baghdad and Anbar province, just where Sunnis were beginning to revolt against Al Qaeda in Iraq. When the extra troops began to arrive in early 2007 they were able to take advantage of this turn in events. In May 2007, 2nd in command Gen. Odierno outlined the new U.S. policy towards Sunnis. He said there were reconcilable and irreconcilable members of the insurgency. The reconcilable ones were open to negotiations and involvement in the nation’s future like the Sunni tribes in Anbar and the nationalist groups such as the Islamic Army and 1920 Revolution Brigade. The irreconcilable was Al Qaeda in Iraq that would never talk with the U.S. and only believed in their victory. The next month Gen. Petraeus and his advisor held a conference and decided that the Sunnis were ripe for negotiations and cooperation with the U.S. military against Al Qaeda in Iraq. They began negotiating with tribes and insurgent groups throughout central and northern Iraq.

The Sunni policy spread like wildfire. By February 2008 there were 71,000 CLC/Awakening fighters. 43,000 in Baghdad, 10,000 in Ninewah, Salahaddin, and Tamin, 6,000 in Babil, 4,000 in Diyala and 8,000 in Anbar provinces, plus another 54,000 members of the Anbar Salvation Council and Anbar provincial police that mostly came from the Council. The CLCs and tribal Awakening movements were able to clear and hold cities with the cooperation of U.S. forces, and deny Al Qaeda in Iraq new recruits. The Americans also launched repeated military operations in other regions where Al Qaeda in Iraq was fleeing to, to keep them off balance.

By early 2008 Al Qaeda in Iraq was on the run. Their headquarters had been pushed from Anbar to Diyala province to Mosul in Ninawa province. They were also still operating west of Kirkuk, in Tikrit and Samarra in Salahaddin, Baquba in Diyala, south Baghdad, north of Karbala and around Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar. This was a far cry from 2006 when Al Qaeda in Iraq announced the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq, had a parade through Ramadi in Anbar to celebrate it, and was able to fly its flags in a Sunni neighborhood in the center of Baghdad.

A U.S. military map showing in red the areas where Al Qaeda in Iraq is still active in December 2007. The insert map on the left hand corner is of Baghdad

Not The End of Al Qaeda In Iraq

Despite the shrinking area within which Al Qaeda in Iraq is able to operate in, the group is not defeated. U.S. officers are quick to point out that the situation in Iraq is still tenuous, and militants are still able to carry out deadly attacks. Al Qaeda in Iraq also appears to have finally learned from their mistakes and changed their tactics. In Mosul, they started warning civilians before attacks and didn’t impose Islamic law. They also changed their targets to blowing up pipelines and power stations, and attacking CLCs and Awakening groups. In May 2008 Prime Minister Maliki launched an operation to clear Mosul, but many insurgents fled the city months beforehand.


In 2006 the U.S. released a letter from Al Qaeda central leader Attyia al-Jaza’ri to Zarqawi. Al-Jaza’ri was a veteran of the Islamist insurgency in Algeria that was crushed by the government. Al-Jaza’ri, like an earlier letter by Al Qaeda second in command Zawahiri, warned that Zarqawi’s policies would lead his organization to ruin. Al-Jaza’ri wrote:

“[The] al mujadhidin are our brothers, the Sunni are our brothers and our friends, as long as they are Muslims, even if they are disobedient, or insolent; whether they come into the organization with us or not, for they are our brothers, our friends, and our loved ones. We should cooperate with them, help and support them, and work together. Besides, how do you know you won’t be humbled tomorrow, while they are strengthened? You may diminish while they increase! … Their [the Algerian Islamists] enemy did not defeat them, but rather they defeated themselves, were consumed and fell.”

His words proved prophetic in Iraq. Zarqawi and his successor Masri demanded that they be in the lead even though none of them were Iraqis, they did not have the same religious beliefs as Iraqis, and turned to killing and intimidation against anyone that stood in their way. The price for their stance was to lose the sympathies of most Iraqis, turn the country towards civil war with attacks on Shiites, and eventually lose their bases throughout the country. Unfortunately, just as the organization is on the ropes, the surge is ending. The pressure is still on Al Qaeda in Iraq, but with fewer U.S. troops there’s little hope they can actually be defeated anytime soon. The group is still alive and able to dish out death in Iraq.


Government Reports

Biddle, Stephen, “Iraq after the Surge,” Committee on Armed Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, United States House of Representatives, 1/23/08

Department of Defense, “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,” December 2007

McCaffrey, Gen. Barry, “Ater Action Report – Visit Iraq And Kuwait 5-11 December 2007,” United States Military Academy, 12/18/07

National Intelligence Council, “Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: Some Security Progress but Political Reconciliation Elusive,” National Intelligence Estimate, August 2007

White House, “Benchmark Assessment Report,” 9/14/07

Think Tank Reports

Bakier, Abdul Hameed, “Al-Qaeda Adapts its Methods in Iraq as Part of a Global Strategy,” Terrorism Monitor, Jamestown Foundation, 12/20/07

Beehner, Lionel, “Al-Qaeda in Iraq: Resurging or Splintering?” Council on Foreign Relations, 7/16/07

Cordesman, Anthony, “The Evolving Security Situation in Iraq: The Continuing Need for Strategic Patience,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1/21/08
- “Iraqi Force Development: A Progress Report,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 8/23/07
- “The Tenuous Case for Strategic Patience in Iraq,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, 8/6/07

Fishman, Brian, “The Imaginary Emir: Al-Qa’ida in Iraq’s Strategic Mistake,” Combating Terrorism Center, 7/18/07

Gwertzman, Bernard, “Cordesman: Despite Gains, Future in Iraq, Afghanistan Remains ‘Uncertain,’” Council on Foreign Relations, 1/14/08

Kagan, Kimberly, “The Anbar Awakening: Displacing al Qaeda from Its Stronghold in Western Iraq,” Institute For The Sstudy of War and, 8/21/06-3/30/07

Katulis, Brian, Juul, Peter, and Moss, Ian, “Awakening to New Dangers in Iraq,” Center for American Progress, February 2008

Khalil, Lydia, “Anbar Revenge Brigade Makes Progress in the Fight Against al-Qaeda,” Terrorism Focus, Jamestown Foundation, 3/28/06
- “Divisions Within the Iraqi Insurgency,” Terrorism Monitor, Jamestown Foundation, 4/12/07

Kohlmann, Evan, “State of the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq: August 2007,” NEFA Foundation, August 2007

Scheuer, Michael, “Al-Qaeda and Iraq: Too Soon to Declare Victory,” Jamestown Foundation, 10/24/07

Simon, Steven, “Prepared testimony Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,” Council on Foreign Relations, 7/17/07

Steinberg, Guido, “The Iraqi Insurgency,” German Institute for International and Security Affairs, December 2006


Agence France Presse, “Fewer foreign attackers entering Iraq: US general Petraeus,” 9/14/07
- “Sunni tribes of Iraq’s rebel bastion declare war on Zarqawi,” 3/5/06
- “US commander gives part credit to Syria for military gains in Iraq,” 11/21/07

Ali, Fadhil, “Iraqi Government Launches Operation to Expel al-Qaeda from Mosul,” Terrorism Focus, Jamestown Foundation, 5/20/08

Al-Ansary, Khalid and Adeeb, Ali, “Most Tribes in Anbar Agree to Unite Against Insurgents,” New York Times, 9/18/06

Allam, Hannah and al Dulaimy, Mohammed, “Marine-led Campaign Killed Friends and Foes, Iraqi Leaders Say,” Knight Ridder, 5/17/05

Alsumaria, “Iraq Qaeda tactic relies on suicide bombers,” 1/22/08

Anderson, John Ward, “Iraqi Tribes Strike Back at Insurgents,” Washington Post, 3/7/06

Associated Press, “Al-Qaida linked group moves to patch up rift among insurgent factions,” 4/17/07
- “Al-Qaeda targets Sunni tribal groups,” 1/2/08
- “Purported spokesman for an Iraqi insurgent group offers negotiations with the United States,” 10/5/06

Aswat Aliraq, “Double suicide bombing kills Sahwa leader in Fallujah,” 2/23/08

BBC News, “Iraq chiefs vow to fight al-Qaeda,” 9/18/06

Beaumont, Peter, “Iraqi tribes launch battle to drive al-Qaida out of troubled province,” Guardian, 10/3/06

Bergen, Peter & Cruickshank, Paul, “Al Qaeda in Iraq: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,” Mother Jones, 10/18/07

Bing, West, “Will the Petraeus Strategy Be the Last?”, 9/17/07

Boot, Max, “We Are Winning. We Haven’t Won,” Weekly Standard, 1/28/08

Burns, John and Rubin, Alissa, “U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq to Battle Old Qaeda Allies,” New York Times, 6/11/07

Carroll, Rory, “Al-Qaida in Iraq seizes border town as it mobilizes against poll,” Guardian, 9/7/05

Cave, Damien, “Remains of 40 Found in Mass Grave,” New York Times, 11/22/07

Cave, Damien, and Farrell, Stephen, “At Street Level, Unmet Goals of Troop Buildup,” New York Times, 9/9/07

Chon, Gina, “Under U.S. Pressure, AL Qaeda in Iraq Shifts Tactics,” Baghdad Life, Wall Street, 1/20/08

CNN, “Admiral: Al Qaeda in Iraq ‘killing off’ former allies,” 2/18/08

Crain, Charles, “Iraq’s New Job Insecurity,” Time, 12/24/07

Curtis, Kim, “Ramadi War Zone Now Rare Bright Spot,” Washington Post, 10/28/07

Dagher, Sam, “Rift threatens U.S. antidote to Al Qaeda in Iraq,” Christian Science Monitor, 2/13/08
- “Risky US alliances in Iraq,” Christian Science Monitor, 7/17/07
- “Sunni Muslim sheikhs join US in fighting Al Qaeda,” Christian Science Monitor, 5/3/07
- “Will ‘armloads’ of US cash buy tribal loyalty?” Christian Science Monitor, 11/8/07

DVIDS News, “Paramount Sheiks Sign Peace Agreement,” 5/2/07

Economist, “I want to kill you, but not today,” 10/4/07

Eisenstadt, Lieutenant Colonel Michael, “Iraq Tribal engagement Lessons Learned,” Military Review, September-October 2007

Evans, Dominic, “Sunni recruits to police volatile Abu Ghraib,” Reuters, 9/25/07

Farrell, Stephen, “U.S. Attack in Iraq Is No Surprise to Many Insurgents,” New York Times, 1/9/08

Fletcher, Martin, “Fighting back: the city determined not to become al-Qaeda’s capital,” Times, 11/20/06

Foreign Policy, “Seven Questions: Phebe Marr on the End Game in Iraq,” November 2007

Fumento, Michael, “Return to Ramadi,” Weekly Standard, 11/27/06

Gamel, Kim, “US Commanders Welcome Fallujah Revival,” Associated Press, 2/9/08

Ghoash, Bobby, “A Truce Between U.S. Enemies in Iraq,” Time, 6/6/07

Glanz, James, and Farrell, Stephen, “A U.S.-Backed Plan for Sunni Neighborhood Guards Is Tested,” New York Times, 8/19/07

Gordon, Michael, “The Former-Insurgent-Counterinsurgency,” New York times, 9/2/07
- “Pushed Out of Baghdad, Insurgents Move North,” New York Times, 12/6/07

Gordon, Michael and Farrell, Stephen, “Iraq Lacks Plan on the Retrn of Refugees, Military Says,” New York Times, 11/30/07

Greenwall, Megan, “Blast Injures U.S.-Allied Sunni Cleric,” Washington Post, 8/12/07
- “Villagers Battle Insurgents After Attack on Sheik Near Baqubah,” Washington Post, 8/24/07

Gumbrecht, Jamie and Yousse, Nancy, “In Iraq, U.S. airstrikes target insurgents near supposedly safe zone,” McClatchy Newspapers, 1/10/08

Guardian, “’We don’t need al-Qaida,’” 10/27/05

Hurst, Steven, “al-Qaida Regaining Some Footing,” 2/11/08

Irish Times, “Iraq’s Sunni offer to join Shia-majority police,” 10/2/06

Al Jazeera, “Al-Qaeda denies death of Iraq chief,” 5/1/07
- “Iraqi group ‘splits’ from al-Qaeda,” 4/12/07

Kelly, Mary Louise, “Rift Appears Among Iraq Insurgent Groups,” Long War, 5/14/07

Al-Khalidi, Suleiman, “Iraqi Sunnis set up fatwa body to combat al Qaeda,” Reuters,

Kilcullen, Dave, “Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt,” Small Wars Journal: SWJ Blog, 8/29/07

Kimmage, Daniel, and Ridolfo, Kathleen, “Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images And Ideas,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, June 2007

Klein, Joe, “Is al-Qaeda on the Run in Iraq?” Time, 5/23/07

Kraul, Chris, “Sunni chiefs in Anbar join mainstream,” San Francisco Chronicle, 4/20/07

Kukis, Mark, “Turning Iraq’s Tribes Against Al-Qaeda,” Time, 12/26/06

Lannen, Steve, “Mosul, the next major test for the U.S. military in Iraq,” McClatchy Newspapers, 1/31/08

Levinson, Charles, “Al-Qaeda tries to salvage image,” USA Today, 2/6/08

Lubold, Gordon, “A quieter Anbar Province rebuilds,” Christian Science Monitor, 9/5/07
- “Anbar streets illustrate Petraeus’s testimony,” Christian Science Monitor, 9/12/07
- “U.S. takes Anbar model to Iraq Shiites,” Christian Science Monitor, 10/2/07

Malkasian, Carter, “Did the Coalition Need More Forces in Iraq?” Joint Forces Quarterly, July 2007

Martin, Paul, “Washington seeks partial truce with Iraqi insurgents,” Washington Times, 12/21/05

Michaels, Jim, “U.S. gamble on sheiks is paying off – so far,” USA Today, 12/26/07

Mohsen, Amer, “Iraqi Papers Thur: Sunni-Kurdish Pact,”, 12/26/07

Moore, Solomon and Oppel, Richard, “Attacks Imperil U.S.-Backed Militias in Iraq,” New York Times, 1/24/08

Murphy, Dan, “How Al Qaeda views a long Iraq war,” Christian Science Monitor, 10/9/06

Oppel, Richard, “Magnet for Iraq Insurgents Is a Crucial Test of New U.S. Strategy,” New York Times, 6/16/05
- “Quieter Fallujah fears U.S. exit,” San Francisco Chronicle, 8/19/07

Oppel, Richard and Al-Husaini, “Suicide Bomber Kills Key Sunni Leader,” New York Times, 1/8/08

Oppel, Richard and Mizher, Qais, “Bomber Kills Sunni Allies of the U.S.,” New York Times, 1/21/08

Paley, Amit, “Iraqis Joining Insurgency Less for Cause Than Cash,” Washington
Post, 11/20/07
- “Shift in Tactics Aims to Revive Struggling Insurgency,” Washington Post, 2/8/08

Parker, Ned, “Hard-line Iraqi clerics group shut down,” Los Angeles Times, 11/15/07
- “Insurgents report a split with Al Qaeda in Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, 3/27/07

Partlow, Joshua, “Rival Sunnis in Deadly Gunfight,” Washington Post, 11/11/07
- “Sheiks Help Curb Violence in Iraq’s West, U.S. Says,” Washington Post, 1/27/07
- “Singing Up Sunnis With ‘Insurgent’ on Their Resumes,” Washington Post, 9/4/07
- “Sunni Insurgent Leader Paints Iran as ‘Real Enemy,’” Washington Post, 7/14/07

Partlow, Joshua and Paley, Amit, “Sunni Violence in Baghdad Called Disrupted,” Washington Post, 10/28/07

Peterson, Scott, “How fear turns to resolve in one Iraqi village,” Christian Science Monitor, 1/23/08

Pitman, Todd, “Sunni Sheiks Join Fight Vs. Insurgency,” Associated Press, 3/25/07

Price, Jay and Basri, Ali Omar al, “In Basra, vigilantes wage deadly campaign against women,” McClatchy Newspaper, 10/4/07

Raghavan, Sudarsan, “20 Die as Gunmen Descend on Village,” Washington Post, 12/2/07
- “Diary of an Insurgent In Retreat,” Washington Post, 2/10/08
- “In Iraq, a Perilous Alliance With Former Enemies,” Washington Post, 8/4/07

Reuters, “Iraqi insurgents’ clash with Qaeda kills 16,” 10/27/07
- “Rebels call on Al Qaeda to ‘review’ behaviour,” 4/7/07
- “Two suicide car bombs kill 11 in Iraq’s Ramadi,” 2/19/07

Ricks, Thomas and DeYoung, Karen, “Al-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled,” Washington Post, 10/15/07

Ridolfo, Kathleen, “Iraq: Al-Qaeda Tactics Lead To Splits Among Insurgents,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 4/17/07

Roggio, Bill, “1920s Revolution Brigades turns on al Qaeda in Diyala,” Long War, 6/12/07
- “Al Douri forms nationalist Sunni coalition; 1920s Revolution Brigades denounces al Qaeda,” Long War, 10/4/07
- “Al Qaeda establishes ‘a haven in Diyala,’” Long War, 12/30/07
- “al Qaeda on Sunni violence in Anbar,” Long War, 2/25/07
- “Al Qaeda, the Anbar Salvation Council and the Amiriya Battles,” Long War, 3/20/07
- “al Qaeda’s Grand Coalition in Anbar,” Long War, 10/12/06
- “Amariyah, the Anbar Salvation Council and Reconciliation,” Long War, 6/1/07
- “Anbar Rising,” Long War, 5/11/07
- “The Anbar Salvation Council goes expeditionary,” Long War, 5/2/07
- “Anbar Tribes vs. al Qaeda,” Long War, 9/29/06
- “The Anbar Tribes vs. al Qaeda, Continued,” Long War, 11/22/06
- “The Awakening, al Qaeda clash in Iraq,” Long War, 12/17/07
- “Choosing Sides in the Sunni Insurgency,” Long War, 10/6/06
- “Divisions in al Qaeda in Iraq,” Long War, 10/13/06
- “The Diyala Salvation Front,” Long War, 5/10/07
- “Harmony: The Attyia – Zarqawi Letter,” Long War, 9/27/06
- “Islamic Army of Iraq splits from Al Qaeda,” Long War, 4/12/07
- “Securing Eastern Anbar Province,” Long War, 6/15/07
- “The Sunni Awakening,” Long War, 5/3/07
- “The Sunni Civil War,” Long War, 3/27/07
- “Why the violence has declined in Iraq,” Long War, 11/8/07

Rosen, Nir, “The Many Faces of Abu Musab al Zarqawi,”, 6/9/06

Roug, Louise and Boudreaux, Richard, “Deadly Rift Grows Among Insurgents,” Los Angeles Times, 1/29/06

Rubin, Alissa and Cave, Damien, “In a Force or Iraqi Calm, Seeds of Conflict,” New York Times, 12/23/07

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Samuels, Lennox, “The Protection Business,” Newsweek, 1/11/08

Schwartz, Michael, “Car bombings: Iraq’s time bomb,” Asia Times, 6/8/05

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Tavernise, Sabrina, “In Air Attack, U.S. Soldiers Kill 18 Gunmen,” New York Times, 8/25/07
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Iraq’s Oil Exports And Revenue Drop In May

In May Iraq suffered a drop in international oil prices. Its exports dipped as well.