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Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars Student’s Name Institution Affiliation Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars The point at which unrest moves from an insurgency to a civil war is not distinct. In most instances, it is debatable. A bookish definition cannot, in many cases, be authoritatively used to tell an insurgency from a civil war. This is because most conflicts are unique. Civil war cannot be viewed as a widespread insurgency. The best definition of civil war is a conflict where the parties have almost equal military strength and extensive influence over the populations they control. In Iraq, the fears of a civil war started arising when the conflict there took a sectarian turn. About 60% of Iraqis are Shia Muslims while the rest are Sunnis. Sunni insurgents, who were waging war against American and Iraqi forces, had started gaining influence over the Sunni population (Harvey, 2003). They successfully incited Sunni muslins to boycott the elections held in January 2005. Kurds and Shia participated in the voting. Before the insurgents acquired dominion over the Sunnis, the conflict was just a government crackdown on Sunni guerrillas. The battle became a civil war when the sectarian violence broke out in 2006. The Sunnis were fighting against the Shias. Shias dominated the government. Both groups had influence and the ability to launch attacks. Sunni Muslims expected the militias to defend them CITATION Tan12 l 1033 (Tankel, 2012). This granted the insurgents some legitimacy. Using the Iraq case as the sample, the boundary between an insurgency and civil war is drawn based on the strength of the warring sides, their influence over the populace, and the sense of

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