RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Wolves at the Gates <

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Wolves at the Gates

'But, grandmother, what big eyes you have!' she said.
'All the better to see you with, my dear.'
'Oh! but, grandmother, what big teeth you have!'
'All the better to eat you with!'
--Little Red Riding Hood

The U.S. is now walling off neighborhoods in Baghdad, building seven so-called ''gated communities,'' using the terminology of some U.S. official's idea of a bad joke.

Middle East expert Anthony Cordesman, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., noted
''Both Ulster and the Balkans have shown such an approach can bring added security, but that it can also polarize and freeze divisions within the population.''

Also from Cordesman's report:

"[I]t is unclear that any degree of local success will matter without [political solutions and conciliation as every other military activity]. Unlike the British or the forces in the Balkans, the US simply cannot stay long enough to wait out the tensions of a divided city or act as a long-term peace keeping force.''

It is all too easy for those providing security to become occupiers, jailers, or the enemy unless they have the trust of the local population. . . the US cannot afford to tie down troops for long periods in given neighborhoods, the better combat units in the Iraqi Army also should not be tied down (and present ethnic and sectarian problems), and much depends on the very uncertain quality of the Iraqi police. . ."

Ranger has previously compared the fighting in Baghdad to the fighting in the Warsaw Ghetto (recognizing the obvious disparities in availability of weapons and other provisions.) The U.S. forces are now reinforcing this estimate by creating a Sunni Ghetto. All the better to see you, my dear.

Now imagine this marvelous plan: Channelize the Sunnis into a ghetto and force them to enter and exit through portals controlled by Shia army units. If I were a cynical man, I'd say it sounds like a great method to facilitate Sunni murders at the clotted checkpoints.

When the U.S. leaves the country, then a full-blown ethnic cleansing scenario can play out. And it will happen.

One must wonder when this insanity will stop. . .will it be when we run out of bodies, or money?



Anonymous Publius said...

Well, the burning question is, "When do they start on the golf course?" Gated community, golf course. And I'll bet Halliburton will do it for no more than about a billion dollars. Works for me. These people need some relaxation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 9:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

No doubt they do, Publius.

Are you sure you're not some subcontractor soon to tell me how many ecological niches the course will provide for any wildlife not scared off by the gunfire? Of course we'll be needing a passel of St. Augustine grass seed, and pesticides...


Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 10:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous trip wire said...

Sounds like some ill conceived Strategic Hamlet program to me

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 11:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

trip wire,

Hmmm, interesting. Yet another... I'll get Jim's take on it tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 12:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

trip wire,

Jim here: that's a good analogy, except the hamlets were usually formed after relocating populations.

Of course, the strategic hamlets did not work, as these Texas walls around these enclaves will not. The strategic hamlets were a CI move, whereas the present wall in Baghdad is really addressing a Civil War.

Lt. Colonel Jeff Peterson who devised the plan, said the only hope was to provide the indigenous population with some autonomy. He concedes it is beyond COIN; it is civil war.

Ranger questions that any of this addresses the safety of American citizens.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 4:35:00 PM GMT-5  

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