'Awakening Councils' could serve as model to keep disgruntled Sunnis from joining insurgency

  • by: LARA JAKES , Associated Press
  • Updated: June 25, 2014 - 2:30 AM

BAGHDAD — They were known as the Sahwa, or the Awakening Councils — Sunni militiamen who took extraordinary risks to side with U.S. troops in the fight against al-Qaida during the Iraq War. Once heralded as a pivotal step in the defeat of the bloody insurgency, the Sahwa later were pushed aside by Iraq's Shiite-led government, starved of political support and money needed to remain a viable security force.

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