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Rethinking Iraq strategy

Reader comment on item: Iraq: "Could a New Strongman Help?"

Submitted by Dennis (Canada), Nov 13, 2006 at 13:37

Another excellent piece of advice, Daniel.

I was reminded about how foolish American policy is in Iraq while watching "War Diary" on the military channel the other night. In one segment, American troops were fired on by an Iraqi civilian whom they quickly caught and disarmed. After discovering a huge weapons cache in his house, they turned him over to the Iraqi police.

Given what I know about the Iraqi police, there's a good chance he would have been back on the street shortly thereafter.

Had this event occurred in World War Two, the perpetrator would have put before a military tribunal and executed. If capital punishment is not going to be an option, the gunman should at least have been put in a U.S. administered POW camp for as long as U.S. troops are in the country.

I have no doubt you've seen the famous video of the KBR contractor whose convoy is ambushed. He has to watch helplessly as the truck driver ahead of him is executed by insurgents. He is helpless in large part because KBR prohibits its employees from carrying weapons. Since the insurgents know this, they of course create tactics to get between civilian contractors and the military forces that are supposed to protect them, and then move in to eliminate the defenseless target. These two incidents have reinforced in my mind the insane rules of engagement that are key U.S. policy in Iraq. They make U.S. and supporting forces far more vulnerable to being killed than would otherwise be the case if we had rules that fitted the context of the Iraqi insurgency.

I'm not suggesting that U.S. troops be permitted to kill anything that moves in Iraq, but that their ability to respond to threats and the people who perpetrate them has to become more flexible if U.S. forces are going to prevail.

Submitting....

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