Tribes and Proxy Wars

Haian Dukhan, Francesco Belcastro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter analyzes the role of tribes as proxies in the Middle East and North Africa region. It seeks to answer two closely related questions. Why and how do local and international actors rely on tribes in the Middle East as proxies to achieve their military purposes? And second, how has this process influenced peace and stability in the Middle East? Tribes in the Middle East and North Africa have frequently been used by state actors for domestic security and external fighting purposes. While this strategy has often proved to be successful, the use of tribes as proxies can have significant consequences. This study explores the use of tribes as proxies by examining two case studies: first, the instrumentalization of tribes as proxies in US counterinsurgency efforts against al-Qaeda in Iraq between 2006 and 2008; and second, the use of tribes as proxies by multiple parties during the Syrian civil war.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Proxy Wars
EditorsAssaf Moghadam, Vladimir Rauta, Michel Wyss
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781003174066
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2023


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