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Global Dynamics by Alan Wilson

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Chapter 12Space–Time Modelling of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Iraq

Alex Braithwaite and Shane Johnson

12.1 Introduction

The United States and its Coalition partners concluded combat operations in Iraq in August 2010. Rather surprisingly, little empirical evidence exists as to the factors that contributed to localized patterns of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks. To compensate somewhat for this dearth in evidence, this chapter investigates an increasingly relevant yet understudied phenomenon in counterinsurgency (COIN) policy-making: the dilemma governments face in determining how best to balance the use of various coercive actions when attempting to minimize the threat posed by campaigns of violence carried out by non-state actors. This study is carried out by assessing the co-evolving space and time (hereafter, space–time) distributions of insurgency and counterinsurgency in Iraq in 2005. To do so, we employ a novel analytic technique that helps us to assess the sequential relationship between these two event types.

Forty years have passed since the emergence of a modern wave of transnational terrorism and insurgency (Hoffman, 2006; Wilkinson, 2001) with the rise of hijackings of Israeli airliners by Palestinian organizations. Israel's preferred approach to countering the threat of Palestinian violence in the four decades since has been to retaliate with military strikes against terrorist cells, munitions stores and leadership hideouts. Israel has commonly ...

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