Part 3 of 5


The Industrial (Counter-Terrorism) Revolution


The early days following the invasion of Iraq saw joyous celebrations of Saddam Hussein’s ouster spill out into the streets. However, those streets soon took on a very different feel. The nation devolved into chaos and bloodshed, and as much as the Coalition attempted to ignore or deny it, an ugly sectarian conflict cascaded into civil war. Several tens of thousands were killed as Sunni and Shi’a Muslims battled it out in an ever-escalating series of attacks, typified by Sunni suicide bombings and Shi’a death squad hits.i

The violence was not exacerbated so much as driven by the calculated campaigns of foreigners who pulled strings on either side of the equation, fanning the flames of civil war.

The United States had cited questionable al-Qaeda connections to Saddam’s Iraq as a motivating factor in support of the invasion. If anything, America’s presence as a result of the decision to invade made those fears real; a significant al-Qaeda threat arose in Iraq in order to wage jihad on the ‘infidels.’

Led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was arguably even more bloodthirsty than its parent organization. Zarqawi’s brutal tactics, actively targeting Shi’ites and Westerners alike, were initially discouraged by Osama bin Laden and his #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri. However, they ultimately decided it best to just get on board and ride the wave of the Jordanian’s rising popularity (and death toll).ii