Violence in Iraq has declined since its civil war of 2005-07 due to the implementation of the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy, Shi'a militia ceasefires, and the emergence of Iraq's Awakening Movement. But as the U.S. military draws down its forces, Iraq remains a fragile, unreconciled state, riddled with sectarian tensions and new political rivalries that may negatively affect its future security and stability. Al Qaeda in Iraq, Ba'athist elements, and Sufi insurgents alike have learned to adapt to the new challenges they face, while gradually evolving into a movement dominated by indigenous fighters. More determined on targeting and undermining the Iraq government, this new generation of militants is bound to pose a considerable threat to Iraq's security for the foreseeable future. Volatile Landscape provides advanced and in depth perspectives on the Iraqi insurgency, the various insurgent groups and leaders that shape the insurgency, and the tactics and strategies they employ.
Contributors include Mahan Abedin (Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi, India), Rafid Fadhil Ali (BBC World Service), Abdul Hameed Bakier (intelligence expert on counterterrorism, crisis management, and terrorist-hostage negotiations), Ahmed S. Hashim (U.S. Naval War College), Lydia Khalil (Council on Foreign Relations), Erich Marquardt (CTC Sentinel), Andrew McGregor (Aberfoyle International Security and Jamestown Foundation's Global Terrorism Analysis), Babak Rahimi (University of California-San Diego, USA), David Romano (Rhodes College and Inter-University Consortium for Arab and Middle East Studies), Michael Scheuer (formerly with the CIA Counterterrorist Center), Rachel Schneller (Council on Foreign Relations), Murad Batal al-Shishani (analyst of Islamic groups and terrorism), Pascale Combelles Siegel (independent defense consultant), Emrullah Uslu (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Utah, USA), Reidar Visser (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs), Wladimir van Wilgenburg (Kurdish newspaper Rudaw ), and Joel Wing ( Musings on Iraq blog).