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Sheer resistance to occupation (regardless of prior status) is also at work. This stout and sizable opposition to the United States' policies and presence in Iraq can be explained, potentially, by seeing the large numbers of casualties allegedly due to coalition military actions as a source of perceived insecurity.Anti-occupation nationalism is evident in nearly all opinion surveys over the last three years in Iraq, with majorities nationwide stating their opposition to U. Another motivation is watching the humiliation and shame of one's compatriots, tribesmen, and family, especially vexing at the hands of a non-Muslim occupier, and intensified by the loss of life.
That the violence is horrific and worsening is broadly acknowledged, and it is increasingly evident that mortality is very high. There are a few commonly cited reasons for the Sunni Arab insurgency. that draw new family members into the insurgency as others are killed, captured, or roughed up; nationalism, both Iraqi and pan-Arab; and the recent flowering of religious fundamentalism in the Islamic world.
In the succinct words of Barry Posen, Professor of Political Science at MIT, there are "four sources of energy": the anger of a group that once stood at the pinnacle of power and privilege in Iraq and now has been thrust to the bottom; tight kinship ties among this group . The reason most frequently cited to explain Sunni Arab violence is the loss of the status they enjoyed under Saddam Hussein, as Posen notes, but this seems an unlikely engine to generate such widespread disruption for more than five years.
One of the striking characteristics of the insurgency is how durable and decentralized it is.
The research on this (with captured fighters, for example, or failed suicide bombers) indicates that the major motivation is "defense," i.e., they believe they are defending their family, village, or tribe from assaults.
The "Awakening councils" of the last few months are purchased, and may be motivated not only by money but by a desire to regain control of local areas from foreign and to create a new bulwark, with the U. With whom these now well-armed Sunni fighters will cast their lot in future years is anyone's guess.