State Actors in Transnational Insurgencies

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

In “Everyone thought the Taliban would not fight!” I observed concerning the difference between modern day insurgencies and classical insurgencies that “In addition to an insurgency being a function of counter-forces within a nation state, they can be (and have been in the case of Iran) funded, supported and trained by nation states to undermine the stability of the host country.”

Today we have yet another indication of Iran’s actions in Iraq, given to us straight from someone who would know.

Iranian secret service agents are working to “sabotage” the operations of groups fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Baghdad’s intelligence chief said on Wednesday.

Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani issued the statement shortly before a landmark visit to Baghdad on Sunday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We have information confirming that Iranian secret services have sent agents to sabotage the Sahwa experience in Iraq,” the statement said, referring to mostly Sunni groups fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq alongside the US military.

Shahwani “stressed the need for the Iraqi people to be vigilant in facing these activities.”

Vigilant indeed.  They should kill the Iranian usurpers.  Another example is given to us in the Pakistan / Afghanistan region, but this example is not of a formal nation-state actor (although it is being allowed to exist by a nation-state).

Al Qaeda is taking a greater role in coordinating the Taliban and other Islamist militant groups operating in Afghanistan’s volatile border region with Pakistan, a top U.S. commander said yesterday.

U.S. military officials are concerned the activity is part of an ongoing effort to escalate violence in Afghanistan against U.S.-led NATO forces as attacks in Iraq subside.

Similar to Vietnam where the Viet Cong were supported by North Vietnam who was supported by Russia and China, this is the brave new world of transnational movements that David Galula didn’t get to experience.


You are currently reading "State Actors in Transnational Insurgencies", entry #974 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Counterinsurgency,Transnational Insurgencies and was published February 28th, 2008 by Herschel Smith.

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