Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Iraq and "the surge" d'uh

Tactics work best with a full understanding of what tactics your "enemies" are using. Ever since 1983 and the first big suicide terrorist strike it should be clear what the terrorists achieved that time and what they have since used as a tactic. That is to remove a big army from the region at the lowest cost to themselves. These tactics will fail if proper countertactics are used. There has got to be a clear signal to the various terrorist groups that every terrorist attack on US interests in Iraq will result in more troops, not less. Thus it would have been more helpful to have started with a much smaller, more expert force, to give room to surge at every opportunity. The example I am thinking of is Australia in the Solomon Islands. There was a small complement of federal police working there, and a sniper shot and killed one. Australia immediately sent in troops. When things had calmed down somewhat, the troops quietly moved out.


Dr. Clam said...

I think you are getting carried away with your game theory ideology here. It doesn't make any sense to start out with insufficient numbers/funding/whatever to do the job and ratchet up bit by bit as it becomes apparent that the job is not being done with the resources available. I consider this to be one of the real lessons (as opposed to the spurious lessons the isoloationists and crypto-Marxists are always going on about) of America's involvement in Vietnam.

Marco said...

No, I'm not getting carried away at all. The US has way backward thinking if it applied those lessons from Vietnam (a war of the 60's,70's, with added cold war complications) to a new millenium war (multiple terrorist enemies enmeshed within civilian areas - Unipolar complications). The whole point of the "Shock and Awe" seemed to be to hit it with all you've got early. Basically the US used way more than necessary troops and bombs to topple the regime there, has since always had too many targets for the suicide bombers, yet too few "Federal Police" style people with good knowledge of Arabic, doing the heart and minds thing. If those get killed in cold blood, the US gains moral authority. Heavily armoured personnell are fair game. I still think that this is elementary logic - yet nobody seems to be thinking this way. Even as it stands now, sending a signal that troops may yet increase, as well as decrease is important.