Insurgents in motion: Counterinsurgency and insurgency relocation in Iraq
Pui Hang Wong
No 2014-045, MERIT Working Papers from United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)
Recent studies in general are positive regarding the effectiveness of US counterinsurgency programs in Iraq. The right mix of coercion, ethnic strategy, and public goods provision, it is argued, makes Iraqis less likely to rebel against the US army and the Iraqi government, thus reducing insurgent violence. In fact, the number of insurgent attacks dramatically declined shortly after the change in the counterinsurgency strategy in 2007. How robust is the positive finding; A common assumption behind previous analyses is that insurgent attacks have a strong local root and is unlikely to be reproduced in other areas. Violation of this spatial independence assumption, however, can potentially bias towards the positive result. Based on the novel spatial dynamic panel data SDPD model, my analysis shows that spatial dependence should be addressed and cannot be assumed away. Results based on the new model also reveal that, conditional upon other strategies, the effects of a counterinsurgency strategy vary considerably both in magnitude and direction, suggesting that some policy mixes could be counterproductive. Policy makers seeking to adopt similar strategies in Afghanistan should take the relocation into account in their policy evaluations.
Keywords: Insurgency; Counterinsurgency; Conflict; Conflict resultion; Iraq; Afghanistan; dynamic panel data; spatial dynamic panel; sdpd (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 F51 F52 H53 H56 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unm:unumer:2014045
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