Regime-Transitions in the 2003-2010 Iraq War: An Approach Based on Correlations of Daily Fatalities
This paper studied the dynamics of civilian and military fatalities in the Iraq War during the 2003-2010 period. R/S-scaling analysis, a method to characterize fractality and memory effects in sequences, was used to estimate time variations in the correlations of daily fatalities. Together with concepts from complex social networks and systems theories, the dynamics of correlations (measured in terms of the so-called scaling Hurst exponent) provide a framework to describe the Iraq War evolution and to evaluate the effects of the major military and political events. In terms of changes in a correlations parameter, five regimes in the evolution of the war were identified. The first regime, occurring in the first months after the invasion, corresponds to a conventional confrontation. In the second regime occurred in the last months of 2004, the dynamics of civilian fatalities evolved toward uncorrelated behavior, indicating that the occurrence of daily fatalities was basically governed by random processes. This is in contrast to the dynamics of military fatalities that showed increased correlations. The second regime can be seen as the advent of a chaotic episode where the different insurgency groups acted within an erratic, poorly coordinated, manner. In the third regime that occurred in the first two 2005 quarters, correlations of civilian fatalities increased and converged into the correlations patterns of military fatalities, and this was interpreted as the surging of a well-organized, although non-centralized, insurgency structure. The fourth regime lasted from mid-2005 to the last 2007 months and showed an important correlation decrement for the military fatalities. This was related to the clash of two antagonist war structures, namely, the traditional centralized Coalition Army and a non-centralized insurgent army. Finally, the fifth regime, from mid-2007 to date, is characterized by stable fatality dynamics converging to uncorrelated behavior. It is apparent that this behavior is related to the start of the endgame to achieve stable economy and government. The concept of a scale-free network was used to describe the insurgency operations and the subsequent war and political events oriented to incorporate the former Baath Party member in the formation of a national Iraqi government. It is concluded that, given the availability of data (fatalities, economic activity, migration, etc.) in contemporary conflicts, the usage of mathematical methods and tools would provide further insights of the conflict evolution and, in this way, help to design better policies and strategies to reduce the adverse effects of violence on civilians.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 16 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/peps|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lo, Andrew W. (Andrew Wen-Chuan), 1989.
"Long-term memory in stock market prices,"
3014-89., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
- Gündüz, Güngör, 2007. "Dynamics of the world terror and the war in Iraq," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 376(C), pages 579-595.
- Galam, Serge, 2003. "Global physics: from percolation to terrorism, guerilla warfare and clandestine activities," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 330(1), pages 139-149.
- Telesca, Luciano & Lovallo, Michele, 2006. "Are global terrorist attacks time-correlated?," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 362(2), pages 480-484.
- Neil Johnson & Michael Spagat & Jorge A. Restrepo & Nicolás Suárez, 2005. "From old wars to new wars and global terrorism," DOCUMENTOS DE ECONOMÍA 002745, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:pepspp:v:16:y:2010:i:1:n:11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.