chapter  Chapter 49
Terrorism and counter-terrorism in Iraq, 2003–2011
ByMichael Clarke
Pages 11

The experience of terrorism and counter-terrorist activities in Iraq after the war of 2003 is a classic example of the way in which both activities exist on their own spectrums of behaviour. The Iraq experience from 2003 to 2011 witnessed single acts of terror, and then terrorism directed within Western societies for the sake of events in Iraq, but also the use of terrorism as part of a guerrilla movement that eventually developed into outright civil war. Counter-terrorism activities, of necessity, followed a similar path along its own spectrum; from policing against criminal acts, to attempts to create social stability and then, quite quickly, to a full-blown counter-insurgency campaign across the entire country. When 'Islamic State' swept into northern Iraq, threatened Baghdad itself and began to encroach into the Kurdish areas of the north-east, it has been asserted that what the US and the British left behind in 2011 in Iraq was a facade state, ripe for a terrorist takeover.