Counterinsurgency Policy in Phase IV of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Gokhan Akcesme, Recep Arpat


Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was launched on March 20, 2003 to move the regime of Saddam Hussein and help Iraqi people to rebuild a new Iraq. The outcomes of the operations demonstrate that plans and preparations were hastily made and with a lack of contingency plans. The role of civilian agencies working with the new Baghdad regime in the post-war era was not implemented successfully. The post war period’s desired end states were not achieved as planned. What were the assumptions of CENTCOM before the OPLAN 1003? What did the counterinsurgency policy rely on? What was the reaction of the Iraqi people against the OIF army? How does this policy affect the desired end state? The aim of this article is to respond to the aforementioned questions. This paper seeks to demonstrate the weaknesses of the counterinsurgency policy pursed in the OIF and the measures taken in wake of the failure. Finally, the lessons learned are described and suggestions are given.

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