Tuesday, February 20, 2007

11 Point Plan for Victory in Iraq

From Pat Dollard the official 11 Point Plan for Victory in Iraq. Couple of items I have posted about in the past as something I would do. One of which I talked about over a year ago re: embedding with police and military right in the citie, is already happening for at least the last year.

Here are points I've noted previously on this blog.

6. A massive assault is shortly due to be launched on Ramadi, the capital of Al Qaeda, and the remnants of the Sunni Insurgency, in Iraq. Ramadi has degenerated to a sort of post-modern trench warfare, Marines and Soldiers locked away in a variety of new urban outposts, while all the schools have finally been closed and it is nigh on impossible for the average citizen to conduct his daily life. The deadlock must be broken, and Al Qaeda must finally be ejected.

You may wonder why you would announce that you were going to assault Ramadi Fallujah style. Lots of good reasons:

A) The regular citizens will be less willing to allow enemy forces to stay and may demand/force them to abandon some of their positions in town. It's self preservation. Like the propaganda about Ghengis Khan and the 40,000 heads outside the city gates, the Al Qaida propaganda from Fallujah is a two edged sword. It might have provoked many to join the insurgents/ Al Qaida and it might have made some generals and politicians leery of the "bad publicity" about alleged civillian deaths from US hands. However, the broadcast and images also reminded many that the US can bring unmitigated destruction that is less than discerning.

All in all, any citizen in a city that is about to be assaulted will want to: a) make the insurgents leave; b) join the insurgents; or c) leave the city in self defense. Either way, it has a way of sorting out the "hardliners" and resolving it once and for all.

B) Send the insurgents running. Announcing the oncoming Fallujah attack sent a number of high profile forces running from their redoubt. When they run, they are less protected. When they are less protected, they are easier to find and kill.

C) The early announcement also provides opportunity for indecision and infighting among the enemy. It may shake up the leadership. Some may stay and some may go. It may cut the forces that actually have to be dealt with inside Ramadi in half.

D) The enemy may send "re-enforcements" from other areas to fight the "big battle". Again, they move, we find them. Again, they come, the people leave, it makes it easier to pick the "bad guys" out.

9. Immediate, highly visible Infrastructure improvement first focused on the peaceful and cooperative areas of Mosul, Amara and Karbala. The idea is to make other areas around jealous of the rapidly modernizing cities, in order to incent them to tow the line of cooperation with the new Iraqi Government.

Such improvements will include, but are not limited to dozens of new bridges being built to accommodate the literally trebling of auto ownership in Iraq since the liberation; the building of many new hospitals to modern standards of medicine ( Ever been to an Iraqi hospital? Just stay home where it’s cleaner and send someone to fetch some drugs ); a massive campaign for fresh American private sector investment, and a raising of all school standards, with a centerpiece of several new universities being built.

The big discussions have been about how much money it costs to do security compared to how little is being spent on reconstruction. Here's the truth, they should have spent it about equally if not more so on the reconstruction. Highly visible reconstruction. For too long the insurgency has been governing the advancement and economics of Iraq. While we were busy letting them do that, it looked like Iraq was crumbling regardless of how many dams, hydro-electric plants, electric grids, schools, etc were being built.

Most of "what the insurgents stop" is BS anyway, but unless an Iraqi (or an American for that matter) can see it on their way to work or on their TV screen everytime they glance at it, it doesn't exist. It has to be nationally and internationally visible.

Second, it has to mean something to the people and have an immediate impact. Many discussions have gone on about the electricity problem in Iraq. Depending on who you listen to, the electrical output has collapsed and insurgents routinely damage the conduits or the infrastructure was already badly damaged, is being repaired as quickly as possible but cannot meet the demands. Both are likely true, but there are very few, if any, things that can be done that can have a huge and immediate effect. It takes years to build dams and plants, it takes years to develop the kind of output to meet the gigantic growth in demand.

Hospitals, on the other hand, are immediate, huge and needed. As Dollard notes, Iraqis only go to the hospital if they have internal bleeding, need major surgery or are comatose. Those places are death traps. Mostly because they are badly funded, in horrible structural shape, very old equipment and understaffed. But, if the hospital (not clinic) is big enough, it can be seen from everywhere and, since it serves the needs of the people immediately, it will be worth more for them to protect it. Even the insurgents have laid off attacking hospitals after the 2005 attack on the Children's Hospital. Very bad publicity.

I also recomment big government buildings and steel girded high-rises.

Yes, it makes them targets for the insurgents, but it also makes them important to the people. Also, as bizarre as it might sound, it is cheaper to rebuild anything that the insurgents knockdown than to keep paying $5bil/day for "war and security). It's a version of the "broken windows theory". Whatever is destroyed, rebuild it bigger and faster. That is how you defeat the insurgent.

You must make the insurgent irrelevant to the future of Iraq. He can fight, but he can't win.

10. Electoral Reform: The old system of national parties selecting candidates for positions was believed to have unfairly tipped the balance in favor of the Shiites and led to too many Pro-Iranian, Pro-Achmedinejad candidates ( like the nutbag terrorist Al Sadr ) receiving too many seats in the parliament. A new system of local candidates simply stepping forward and adding their name to the ballot will instead prevail.

Many have thought this was needed, but I am not sure how this is going to happen. The Iraqis have their constitution. Petraeus may try to conjole, but he certainly cannot force the national assembly to recreate the electoral process. Maybe this is in reference to local politics?

Nationally, this would have been nice if the areas had been formed into districts and individuals run for individual seats instead of this bizarre parliamentary process that simply allows the party that wins X% to fill Y seats. Some of which have no connection to or reference to the districts.

We'll see what they mean by this.

Very interesting indeed.

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