Iraq's many wars

June 1, 2007

There is not "one" civil war in Iraq, nor "one" insurgency, but several civil wars and insurgencies between different communities, according to a study by Gareth Stansfield of Exeter University's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies.

Dr Stansfield's paper, which is published by Chatham House, says that within this warring society the Iraqi Government is only one among many "state-like" actors and is largely irrelevant in terms of ordering social, economic and political life. It is now possible to argue that Iraq is on the verge of being a failed state that faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation.

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