How al Qaeda lost Iraq

Phillips, Andrew (2009) How al Qaeda lost Iraq. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 63 1: 64-84. doi:10.1080/10357710802649840

Author Phillips, Andrew
Title How al Qaeda lost Iraq
Journal name Australian Journal of International Affairs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1465-332X
Publication date 2009-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10357710802649840
Volume 63
Issue 1
Start page 64
End page 84
Total pages 21
Editor Andrew O'Neil
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 360105 International Relations
360204 Defence Studies
750702 Understanding other countries
940301 Defence and Security Policy
160604 Defence Studies
160607 International Relations
Formatted abstract
Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has suffered a grave setback in the context of its ongoing campaign there. Since late 2006 Sunni tribal militias working in conjunction with Coalition forces have decimated AQI’s ranks, and the organisation has been largely expelled from its former sanctuaries in western Iraq. This article seeks to explain the causes of al Qaeda’s defeat with a view towards drawing out their broader implications for the ongoing struggle against jihadist terrorism. I argue that AQI’s defeat can be ascribed to its ideological inflexibility, its penchant for indiscriminate violence, and its absolute unwillingness to accommodate the sensitivities and political interests of its host communities. Furthermore, I argue that, far from being exceptional, al Qaeda’s mishandling of its local allies in Iraq represents merely the latest instance of a tendency to alienate host communities that has long been evident in its involvement in conflicts in the Islamic world. My analysis confirms that al Qaeda’s ideological extremism constitutes a vital point of vulnerability, and that it remains possible to pry global jihadists away from their host communities even in the context of ongoing high-intensity conflicts.
Keyword Terrorism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 23 Sep 2009, 09:19:24 EST by Elmari Louise Whyte on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies