Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Counterinsurgency, Public administration


The preponderance of postsurge analysis is devoted to military operations and their subsequent efficacy in reducing levels of violence by concentrating on troop deployments, tactics, and intelligence. Such studies are valuable, but only to a certain extent. Any holistic appraisal must also consider noncombat counterinsurgency strategies that addressed social issues—in particular, essential services. Reminiscent of Lebanon’s Hizballah, militias in Baghdad sought ascendency over services as a means to solidify control and influence. Therefore, the most pragmatic remedy for long-term stability in Iraq was not necessarily countering militants with force, but securing the populace’s allegiance to their government through the provision of services and opportunities for employment...

Emphasizing reconstruction projects not only improved the delivery of services, but also, more importantly, provided employment, reestablished the integrity of the Iraqi government, and created stakeholders in the overall process.


Joint Forces Quarterly is a journal of the U.S. Department of Defense. This article was posted at

Publisher Citation

J Treistman (2009). Victory over terrorism: essential services as counterinsurgency strategy. Joint Forces Quarterly 53, 110-115