RealNews

Insurgency pattern spans Islamic nations

Just as the United States has focused attention on how to reach the publics of Middle East countries, the governments of three countries with close US ties – Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan – are engaged in their own struggles with extremists to win hearts and minds. The three cases are not the same: Fledgling governments in Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling to establish legitimacy in the face of destabilizing violence, while the Saudi royal regime battles to retain a public legitimacy that is eroding. But when Secretary of State Colin Powell said earlier this week that Iraqis must be prepared to kill their own people – Iraqi insurgents – to establish a new government, he was painting a stark scene that broadly applies to all three countries across an arc of violence. With the battle for the public’s heart at the crux of each case, those working to undermine both old and new regimes are trying to limit the public outcry that may result from indiscriminate violence. In many cases, that means they’re shifting tactics. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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