The Death of the Mehdi Army: The Rise, Fall, and Revival of Iraqs Most Powerful Militia

Hardcover | May 29, 2015

byNicholas Krohley

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The Mehdi Army militia was a towering force in Iraq during the early years of the post-Saddam era. As an aggressive opponent of foreign occupation and one of the principal antagonists in Iraq's brutal sectarian civil war, the militia was central to the violence that ravaged the country and apivotal political actor. Growing rapidly in size and strength, and controlling entire districts of Baghdad and broad swathes of southern and central Iraq, the Mehdi Army seemed poised to become a Hezbollah-like 'state within a state' that would remain enormously powerful for years to come.Drawing from extensive field experience in one of Baghdad's most volatile militia-held districts, Krohley exposes how, and why, the militia suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed in the midst of the Americans' "Surge" of forces during 2008. Building from an examination of the Mehdi Army's social andideological roots, he presents a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood study of the militia's changing fortunes that offers unparalleled local detail and specificity. Krohley shows how the Mehdi Army's demise was ultimately a self-inflicted 'death' as opposed to a triumph of its foes. In so doing, he notonly challenges prevailing orthodoxies of counterinsurgency doc- trine and the mythology of the Surge, but also offers penetrating insights into the battered state of Iraqi society after decades of dictatorship, privation and war.

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The Mehdi Army militia was a towering force in Iraq during the early years of the post-Saddam era. As an aggressive opponent of foreign occupation and one of the principal antagonists in Iraq's brutal sectarian civil war, the militia was central to the violence that ravaged the country and apivotal political actor. Growing rapidly in s...

Nicholas Krohley is the founder and CEO of Subaltern Research Services and a Visiting Research Fellow at King's College London. He served in Baghdad as a social scientist with the US Army's Human Terrain System.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.4 × 5.4 × 0.98 inPublished:May 29, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199396256

ISBN - 13:9780199396252

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"A most valuable and original insight into issues and dynamics that have eluded the grasp of Iraq specialists for far too long ... an urgently needed scholarly contribution to our understanding of modern Iraqi history." --Fanar Haddad, author of Sectarianism in Iraq