IRAQ'S INSURGENCY IN PERSPECTIVE
A report indicates that Iraq's multivarious, decentralized insurgency may be larger than previously estimated
. Perhaps upwards of 20,000 fighters, some part time and some specialized, out of a 20 million plus population.
By contrast, estimates of the Afghan mujahedin fighting against the Soviet occupation 1979-1989 were close to 160,000 out of a population of around 16 million. In the American Revolution, Patriot forces fielded a full-time continental Army of 7000 and part-time militia forces of 250,000 out a population of 3 million, including slaves, indentured servants and Loyalists.
It would seem to me that the insurgents have surprisingly little
support among most Iraqis in comparison and most of what political support they do have will dry up if the new Iraqi government is allowed to wield real authority and moves quickly towad democratic elections. It also indicates how badly the Bush administration blew the political aspects of the Occupation and squandered a chance to engage an Arab population in the democratic reconstruction of their country.