Examining the influence of civilian casualties on insurgent attacks in Iraq
Author(s)Karnis, Jessica Eve
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
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Although there have been several attempts to tabulate civilian casualties in the Iraq War, the effect of these casualties on the Iraqi population and insurgent organizations has not been thoroughly examined. From the literature of the motives and mechanisms behind the formation and expansion of insurgencies, as well as the culture and values of Iraqi society, it is expected that increased civilian casualties will create grievance among the population, causing support for insurgents and increased attacks on coalition forces. This paper statistically analyzes data on Iraqi civilian and coalition force casualties to determine if there is a causal relationship between the two variables. It also recognizes the limitations and potential biases of the available data. Control variables are included in the statistical analysis to compare the influence of civilian casualties to competing theories of insurgency formation. Analysis demonstrates that while civilian casualties and coalition casualties have a positive relationship, significant causality between the two variables cannot be established. Alternative hypotheses examine unique factors in Anbar and Baghdad provinces and the role of focus events in insurgent activity. The paper concludes with recommendations for further study.
Thesis (S.M. and S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2006.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 63-65).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology