chapter  16
The Second Persian Gulf War: Operation Iraqi Freedom II, the Nation-Building and Counterinsurgency War, 2003–2010
ByAdrian R. Lewis
Pages 95

In the post-invasion political debate much has been made of the lack of intelligence about WMD. The WMD assessments were clearly wrong. The counterinsurgency war can best be understood by dividing it into three phases, each distinguished by shifts in strategy and changes in leadership. Numerous arguments have been advanced to explain the emergence of the insurgency in Iraq. In twenty-first-century wars the media is of greater strategic importance to the outcome of war than ever before. New forms of electronic communication and imaging technologies have made it possible for any individual with a cell phone, whether civilian or soldier, to capture a moment and transmit it around the world at the speed of light. Iraq had many attributes that should have made it a paradise on Earth. Rich in oil resources and fertile land, with an educated, talented population, Iraq had all the attributes necessary for advanced civilization, wealth, prosperity, and happiness.