"It is hard to think of a more compelling issue in the international arena today than the question of who exactly is carrying out the suicide attacks in Iraq that have done so much to turn the country into a failing state. Mohammed Hafez has done the world a favor by producing this balanced, clearly written, and well-argued account of who the suicide attackers in Iraq are and why they are carrying out their deadly missions."


Peter Bergen, author of The Osama bin Laden I Know

 

"Rich in information and balanced in its comments, this volume helps us understand how terrorism and repression feed each other, reducing the chances for a peaceful evolution in Iraq. Hafez applies social movement theories to help interpret radicalization processes by focusing attention on the interaction between direct experiences with violence and sentiments of victimization. He combines the analysis of macrohistorical conditions, inter-organizational competition and individual paths into the underground, without losing sight of the diverse strategies of both oppositional groups and state agencies."

Professor Donatella della Porta, European University Institute

 

"Suicide Bombers in Iraq makes a signal contribution to the literature. Hafez has written what is the most detailed and authoritative account to date of suicide terrorism's impact on Iraq, along with its broader international implications. The book is especially noteworthy for its combination of meticulous research and incisive analysis. Suicide Bombers in Iraq is required reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of the conflict in Iraq and the concomitant rise of this devastating tactic."

Professor Bruce Hoffman, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and Senior Fellow, Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy

 

"Brilliantly considered, crisply written, unsparing in its conclusions, Suicide Bombers in Iraq is an absolutely essential contribution to understanding the factions that are warring over the future of that shattered country, the region, and Islam." 

Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

 

"Mohammed Hafez has produced a compelling book, which is both wide-ranging in debating the phenomenon of suicide bombing in Iraq and pertinent in terms of the future of this pivotal state in the Middle East. The work combines a forensic approach to the reasons why suicide bombings occur with an analysis of the myriad motives of the suicide bombers. This is a trenchant text for all who wish to understand the complex politics of Iraq." 

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, Queens University Belfast

 

"No better or more detailed analysis exists in making sense of the raging violence within Iraq and the nature of the terrorists. Mohammed Hafez’s mastery of the Iraqi insurgency and the forces behind it is unrivaled. No one better explores in detail the issue of foreign fighters in Iraq and the local forces of the insurgency. This seminal work is essential reading for anyone wanting to truly understand what is going on in Iraq and why the conflict is so intractable."

Dr. Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director, Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense College

 

Latest Publications

Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala

Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

By: Walter Flores; Miranda Rivers

This report analyzes the fight against corruption in Guatemala by social movements over the past five years, homing in on their major successes and challenges in working to advance transparency, accountability, and good governance. The lessons drawn from these efforts can be applicable for other movements around the world operating in similar contexts. The work also has a larger bearing for international actors helping states build peace and democratic governance following prolonged violent conflict.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent Action

North Korean Phone Money: Airtime Transfers as a Precursor to Mobile Payment System

North Korean Phone Money: Airtime Transfers as a Precursor to Mobile Payment System

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

By: Yonho Kim

More than one in five North Koreans have cell phones, and increasingly rely on them to conduct financial transactions. Many of these transactions involve trading cell phone airtime, or “phone money,” for goods and services, and even for offering bribes. This report examines the potential for airtime trading to evolve into a formal mobile money system, which could enhance market activity and stability while providing opportunities for the country to engage with the international community.

Type: Special Report

Economics & Environment

Prospects for Crisis Management on the China-India Border

Prospects for Crisis Management on the China-India Border

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

By: Patricia M. Kim; Vikram J. Singh

After a deadly skirmish in June and shots fired in September, Sino-Indian tensions have escalated to a level not seen in decades. Both countries’ foreign ministers recently agreed to a five-point framework to manage the situation, showing both sides want tensions to plateau rather than deteriorate further. But the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will not easily go back to a well-managed bilateral irritant—right now, it’s a dangerous flashpoint and likely to stay that way. USIP’s Vikram Singh and Patricia Kim look at the recent discussions, what’s driving the escalation, how the conflict affects the region, and what history can tell us about how it might be resolved.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Searching for COVID-19 Ceasefires: Conflict Zone Impacts, Needs, and Opportunities

Searching for COVID-19 Ceasefires: Conflict Zone Impacts, Needs, and Opportunities

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

By: Tyler Jess Thompson

On March 23, 2020, as COVID-19 was first appearing in many conflict-affected areas, UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a call for warring parties to cease hostilities and instead wage battle against the pandemic. Drawing on an examination of conflicts in Afghanistan, Colombia, Cameroon, Israel and Palestine, Libya, the Philippines, Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere—this report looks at how COVID-19 has affected conflict parties’ interests, positions, and capacities, and provides recommendation for how the international community leverage the pandemic to promote peace.

Type: Special Report

Global Policy

View All Publications