January 28, 2005


Why insurgents may be the winners (Ehsan Ahrari , 1/29/05, Asia Times)

Today's Iraq has become a place where all the major actors have some advantages, yet those advantages encounter serious limitations and require cooperation from one or more major actors. In the absence of such cooperation, one or more main actors are likely to falter. To be specific, the Shi'ites, the Kurds, the US and the Sunnis enjoy discernible, though limited, advantages. Shi'ites have a numerical majority, yet they must have the US-backed elections in order to become a dominant force. The Kurds have a comparatively lesser advantage, but the US eagerly seeks their support. The Kurds, in turn, are dependent on US support and on the willingness of the Shi'ites not to undermine the Kurdish advantage after the elections. If that were to happen, the Kurds would retaliate by starting a campaign to reject the March 2004 constitution. The Sunnis, seemingly the biggest losers, are on the sidelines, either willing to boycott the elections or afraid to participate because of insurgent threats. Still, they are expected to be given a minority role in the government. After their dominant status of the Saddam era, they don't expect to emerge as a major player, unless the Shi'ites and the Kurds were to become embroiled in a protracted conflict.

The insurgents, on the other hand, are emerging as potentially the most advantaged party, since they have everything to gain if all other parties lose their respective advantages.

What do they have to gain?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 28, 2005 12:06 PM
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