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I'm not sure how America can extinguish the Sunni/Shia violence without either throwing their lot in with the Shiites or simply allowing the (IMO) inevitable to take it's course.
How the hell can an occupational force mitigate a civil war from a strategic and logistically neutral position?

At any rate, good to see you back.


It was my understanding that, along with the surge, the American troops were going into the Baghdad neighborhoods to stay in small outposts - that is, to "hold" the area. I don't disagree with your main point, that the surge in and of itself will not result in positive momentum, and absent similar efforts outside Baghdad, will have no operational impact.

Good point on the Iraqi security forces - now that we've armed them and given them carte blanche to "enforce the peace," will they act responsibly or go for paybacks? I guess we'll see very soon.


What nonsense. Using this rational shouldn't we eliminate cops since mor cops will not stop crime.



"Using this rational shouldn't we eliminate cops since mor cops will not stop crime."

How is a domestic police force analogous to an occupying force trying to mitigate a civil (or sectarian) conflict?

J Thomas

We should kick out the iraqi militias?

What percentage of iraqi voters do we want to kick out as part of this strategy?

Ideally we should somehow persuade the various militias that a defensive position is best, that they don't gain by attacking.

And then we persuade them that they don't need to keep their weapons and group training going, but they can settle down to being political parties.

People claim that this approach has mostly worked in lebanon except for Hezbollah. They claim the other militias have disbanded because they see they aren't needed. And Hezbollah isn't armed to fight other militias, they're armed to fight israel. I don't know how true that is, but on the surface it looks right. Not a whole lot of political violence in lebanon at the moment, and when a politician gets killed they point to foreign agents.

That should be the goal. If we try to disarm all the militias, then it's us against everybody. We would do better to establish friendly relations with each militia that claims to be *defensive*, and get it clear who they are. And then if we find them in the wrong place we have questions, what are they doing out of their defensive zone? We might establish tactics to keep raiding militias from getting away. Like, some way to close off a bunch of roads at once, and when somebody responsible tells us they're being raided, we keep the raiders from getting away. They can run through their enemy's area on foot, leave the vehicles behind for us to inspect later....

Make it easy to defend and hard to attack. When the attacks die down they won't defend as hard either. Easier on everybody to handle their disputes in court, and at city hall, and in the legislature. Easier and safer. And if you don't have the votes to win the easy way, you probably aren't strong enough to win the hard way either. These guys fight and do revenge and all because they have no good alternative, not because they really want to.

Papa Ray

Well, you have me convinced. I have read your "surge" essays and your right, we might as well just pack it in, since we just can't seem to get it right and there is no chance we will.

I guess those 21,000 Arabic speaking, counter insurgency troops will just have to wait and go into Iran or Pakistan when we invade them. Oh...I forgot we don't have any troops like that in the first place. Our SOF are just a bunch of Knuckle Dragging, weapons tecks who mostly speak spanish and russian and maybe a few words of french.

Just send me an e-mail when the last American leaves Iraq, I think I just might live that long.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Papa Ray
West Texas

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