Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Notes on Counterinsurgency and De-Ba'athification

Talisman Gate’s Counterinsurgency Recommendations: Al-Hayat reports today that Iraqi officials are planning to wall-in certain Baghdad neighborhoods within concrete barriers as part of the new security plan. An unidentified source at the Ministry of Interior told Al-Hayat that the neighborhoods that are to be walled-in are four predominately Sunni ones (Dora, ‘Amiriya, Al-‘Adel, and ‘Adhamiya), another predominately Shi’a one (Sadr City) and one mixed (Hai al-‘Amil).

This sound a lot like one of the counterinsurgency plans I was advocating four months ago: Go Smart (December 1, 2006). But I would have also added other Sunni neighborhoods and satellite towns such as Hai al-Jami’a, Khadra’, Yarmouk, Ghazalia, Jihad, Mushahdeh, Khan Dhari, Mahmoudiya, Yusufiya, and ‘Arab Jbour.

It doesn’t make sense to close-off Shi’a areas since the biggest danger from these neighborhoods would be death squads aimed at Sunnis; if the Sunni neighborhoods are already secure then there’s no need to close off Sadr City, which would have serious economic ramifications on Baghdad’s economy and services by bottlenecking the movement and circulation of the capital's workforce.

Here it is in full:

The ‘Fallouja Model’ and the ‘Kadhimiya Canton’: After the November 2004 offensive to take-back Fallouja from the insurgents, the U.S. military embarked on a drastically new experiment of controlling the turbulent town of 200,000 souls: fence the population in. Instead of bringing back old Ba’athists like the failed ‘Fallouja Brigade’ experiment of April 2004 to police the town, which only ended-up emboldening the insurgents, the Americans opted to turn Fallouja into a vast interment camp. But for a few incidents here and there, the plan worked very well.

All residents of Fallouja were issued special localized IDs, and unknown vehicles were barred from entering the town. The US forces set-up a perimeter around the dense urban center. However, this chokehold did not completely surround Fallouja’s ‘rural suburbs’ on the western back of the Euphrates River—hence, there is room for improvement on this particular model.

A ‘closed canton’ model was voluntarily imposed on the Kadhimiya suburb in northern Baghdad. This Shi'a center with a population of 500,000 is now virtually closed off: entry points have been bottle-necked to a handful, and no unfamiliar cars are allowed to pass through. The levels of violence in Kadhimiya have been drastically reduced over the past year since this model was put in place. In lieu of car bombs and suicide bombers, the insurgents now resort to lobbing mortar attacks to get the residents of Kadhimiya. But there is a feeling among the resident that their town is safe—a spectacular feat considering that it borders some major hotbeds of insurgent activity.

At least 90 percent of attacks on U.S. troops over the last year were conducted by Sunni insurgents, so isolating them and their operative bases should be the starting point in rolling back the insurgency.

I propose a ‘closed canton’ method for Baghdad’s Sunni-heavy suburbs of Hai al-Jami’a, ‘Amiriya, Jihad, Ghazaliya, Yarmouk, Dora, Khadra’ and ‘Adhamiya, closing each off unto itself. A similar fix should be extended to the rural Sunni satellite towns (the housing clusters) to the north, west and south of Baghdad: Mushahdeh, Khan Dhari, Mahmoudiya, Yusufiya, and ‘Arab Jbour.

This should be done using the Israeli method: fence them with concrete and technology. The Israelis have been building a separating wall between them and the Palestinians over the past two years. It is an expensive solution but not exceedingly prohibitive. According to Iraqi pricing, a 4 meter high and 1.5 concrete wide ‘T-wall’ barrier costs about 1,200 USD. That evens out to 1 million dollars per kilometer of concrete. Motion sensors, night-vision cameras, sniper observation towers and barbed wire would probably cost an additional 250,000 USD per Km. It is doable.

This would take 6-8 months to complete, and should be dismantled in two years time.

The benefits are the following: keeping the insurgents in, and the death squads out. The US military can pledge that all police patrols or raids in these enclosed areas would be accompanied by American overseers and advisors. The municipal councils should be encouraged to form sub-contracting firms from within their neighborhoods to undertake high-visibility development projects such as putting-in spanking new water mains and fiberglass optic cables (the ‘Sadr City model’). Instead of low-output neighborhood generators, the Iraqi government should bring in larger temporary electrical generators (…there are some that are worth 1 million USD a piece) to provide 24 hrs of electricity to these cantons.

Close it off, throw money at it and gather information. Such measures restricting maneuverability would render these Sunni enclaves useless for insurgents, driving them to find other locales.

A state-of-the-art biometric ID card system that incorporates DNA data as well as genealogical tables (…I’ll discuss this at length later) should be beta-tested on the residents of these cantons.

Furthermore, a systematic effort to match the Saddam regime’s personnel archives to the current residences of these ex-officers from the military and intelligence services should be undertaken. Most of these officers were given state-sponsored housing in the above mentioned neighborhoods during the Saddam era. The former regime kept meticulous files on all its officers and their extended families—these need to be updated and the officers placed under closer supervision for either recruiting or counterinsurgency purposes. We should match skills, such as sniper expertise, to sophisticated insurgent tactics. It holds to reason that if an ex-army sniper lives in a certain sector and there is sniper activity there, then that this person would be a good starting point for an investigation: he may be doing it himself or training others.

Moreover, the current rule that allows every Iraqi family to hold an unregistered Kalashnikov rifle for protection inside its home should be suspended in these cantons. Since these areas are closed off in the first place, they should have less to fear from death squads or criminal gangs. No weapons outside of state control would be registered; finding such a weapon (and ammunition) during a routine search should result in a fine and some prison time (two months).

Raid on Khalaf ‘Alayan’s House: Multinational Forces put out a press release yesterday detailing Tuesday’s (April 3) raid on a house in Yarmouk that yielded plenty of evidence of terrorist activity, but they did not release any information on the owner of the house or the affiliation of those 14 gunmen who were detained during the raid. The New York Times and the Washington Post both identified Iraqi Sunni MP Khalaf ‘Alayan as the owner of this house in their Sunday editions today, and described the detainees as members of his security detail.

News of this raid, along with all the pertinent details, was first reported here on Talisman Gate five days ago. The implication of this raid, as well as several others of late, is that the security teams of many of the top Sunni lawmakers seem to have been compromised by insurgent infiltrators, either with or without the connivance of those Sunni politicians, many of whom are facing investigations and are likely to have their parliamentary immunity revoked. Such an accumulation of evidence grinds against any logic behind rolling back de-Ba’athification; if anything we need to de-Ba’athify some more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, the Shia political parties are not infiltrated with Iranian and pro-Iranian infiltraters making IEDs?

There are alot of people with blood on their hands in Iraq. And, all should be targeted. But, the idea we should just focus on Baathis and deprive them not of jobs, but the oppritunity for jobs and not do the same to the Medhists is wrong.

3:30 PM, April 08, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insurgent groups in Diyala wage war on al-Qaeda

Differences between armed groups fighting the U.S. in Iraq have come to the open and the groups are reported to be resorting to force to settle disputes.

In the restive Province of Diyala, a major stronghold for the Iraqi insurgency, most armed groups are said to have joined forces against al-Qaeda which is behind the majority of devastating car and suicide bombs in Iraq. The groups are said to be unhappy with the way Qaeda is operating particularly its attacks on Muslim Shiites in Baghdad and elsewhere.

The armed groups involved in fighting are Muslim Sunnis which until recently have been the only ones attacking U.S. troops. U.S. and Iraqi troops are taking a wait-and-see attitude and are apparently happy to see their enemies killing each other.

The Americans are busy filming the battles and Iraqi officers with access to U.S. footage and insurgent groups say scores of armed men from both sides have been killed or injured.


11:03 AM, April 09, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

US forces to 'wall off Baghdad streets'

US FORCES in Baghdad are planning to seal off vast areas of the city with barricades, effectively imprisoning the inhabitants of neighbourhoods, according to The Independent.

"The campaign of 'gated communities' - whose genesis was in the Vietnam War - will involve up to 30 of the city's 89 official districts and would be the most ambitious counter-insurgency program yet mounted by the US in Iraq," wrote Robert Fisk.

The project to stop the movement of insurgents and weapons would involve joint US-Iraqi "support bases" in nine of the 30 districts to be "gated" off.

Militias would be cleared from civilian streets which would then be walled off and the occupants given ID cards. Only the occupants would be allowed into these "gated communities" where there were likely to be pass systems, visitor registration and restrictions on movement outside.

The plan, of which The Independent had learnt the details, was concocted by General David Petraeus, the US commander in Baghdad.


9:08 PM, April 10, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

[ to the Medhists ]

That's Mahdi, مهدي. There's a soft h before you say the d

2:00 AM, April 11, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jaguar Big P,

We are very proud of you for copying and pasting a word in Arabic from Wikipedia. Iraq will be cleansed of trashy Ba'athists and Wahhabis, you will see.

7:39 AM, April 11, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jaguar Big P,

The pigs and dogs of your resistance are apparently unhappy with only killing Iraqis. Now you want to bring your seventh century paradise of death and slavery to Algeria:


This must be like pornography to you. Do you also have a fashionable dark green, high thread count bedsheet to put over your face?

11:38 AM, April 11, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I go to http://www.ekhlaas.org/forum for my videos and stuff.

[ Iraq will be cleansed of trashy Ba'athists and Wahhabis, you will see. ]

Really? But what about those people protesting on Monday,
are they Ba'athists or Wahhabis?

Oh wait, they are neither. It's a completely different resistance group altogether,
making it more likely that Iraq will be cleansed of the salib occupier and collaborating traitors instead.

12:26 AM, April 12, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jaguar Bi P,

So you don't bother to refute that these terror death videos are like pornography to you? Normal men get turned on by women, not mass murder, you sick SOB.

Those people protesting on Monday were Shi'a, who you said you want to kill. How short your memory is... You cannot applaud their "resistance" while at the same time stating that you want to murder them. Then again, when did logic matter to your type - more blood and death, enjoy your necrophilia you bastard.

You are very tough at your keyboard - why don't you go to Iraq to fight your holy war or, better yet, fight it in your home country? Enjoy your caliphate, ya chalib.

I hate you.

7:20 AM, April 12, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I applaud the effort of anyone who's against the salibiyeen, I don't care who's Shi'a or Sunna.

Says Allah's apostle, sallallahu 'alayhi wassalam:

"Who struggles against them by his hand is a mu'min.
Who struggles against them by his tongue is a mu'min.
Who struggles against them by his heart is a mu'min.
And there is no weight of mustard seed of faith beyond this."

Gawad, you sound like you are fatigued from your country being subjected to various kinds of calamities in the past 16 years, so now you feel like surrendering to Bush just in exchange for a little peace and quiet.
This is completely wrong and you shouldn't sell the memory of the fallen for a paltry price.

[ when did logic matter to your type - more blood and death, enjoy your necrophilia you bastard. ]

This is Western propaganda which portrays the mujahideen as half-mad people who kill for the sake of killing.

On the contrary, my problem is with people who murder others.
Which in this case is the United States killing half a million Iraqis over invisible WMD.
So only USA and their helpers are fair game in Iraq.

8:22 AM, April 12, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jaguar Big Pimping,

I hate when an SOB like yourself quotes holy people or holy books. You already condemned the Shi'a and Kurds so don't go back on your word.

I am fatigued from dealing with an army of Ba'athists, terrorists, bestiality rights activists, Wahhabis, sons of whores, homosexual activists, perverts, Persian schemers, etc. Funny how you and your family fall into most of these categories. I hope the day comes when an animal like yourself is locked in a cage.

Don't lecture me on what is wrong and don't talk about "the fallen" when you support those who are doing the killing of innocent Iraqis.

Thanks for quoting me calling you a bastard, it is good to see my wise words (insults) repeated. It isn't western propaganda that you are a necrophiliac... you were talking about where you get "your videos", talking like a 16 year old scoring pictures of naked women online. You are a sick person and a criminal.

Your problems are many. You need a sandal on your head and your followers need one way tickets to Guantanamo.

9:19 AM, April 12, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this Gate

10:25 AM, April 12, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

[ don't talk about "the fallen" ]

I'm talking about those who fell defending Iraq from the Crusaders;
while you are referring to those who fell while trying to help the Crusaders.

How many Iraqis were killed only in the initial onslaught - March and April 2003?

You want to justify all US actions and all your treachery by pointing at istishhad bombers.
Well, back in March 2003 when your cross-worshippers were murdering Iraqis by the tens of thousands, no such martyrdom bombings existed.

The invasion was the original crime of this war; you must understand it in order to understand everything else.
Once you recognize that lots of people got murdered over made-up WMD,
then it's clear why Americans must be slain, and their helpers by extension.

2:34 PM, April 12, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jaguar Big Pimping,

Funny how you never mention the hundreds of thousands of victims of Saddam, the overwhelming majority of whom were Muslim. A half-blind bastard like yourself has trouble noticing these things.

You still haven't explained why you, a non-Iraqi, needs to establish your 7th century caliphate in Iraq. Why not start in your own homeland with your martyrdom bombings and other assorted bullshit? You can still post it online, I promise.

If you gave a damn about Iraqi lives, your concern would have begun prior to March 2003 - what about Anfal, what about 1991, etc.? You son of a bitch don't pretend to care.

Better an American than a fake Muslim such as yourself. I heard that they give you a mat to pray on in Guantanamo. Ask your friends, sucker.

3:36 PM, April 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jaguar Bitch Pimp,

What the hell is a soft H? You are a real SOB.

3:37 PM, April 13, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I cannot believe you are actually advocating walling off sunni towns. Are you even Iraqi? If you are, how can you have such utter disdain and hatred of your own people? If you're a nationalistic Iranian, atleast I'd know from where your hatred and animosity towards the Iraqis originates. But to actually pursue the failed policy of segregation--to support a horrific strategy that results in the economical and political disonnect of an entire segment of the population from the rest of the country is pure insanity. And, your sectarian favoritism of the shia towns does not go on unnoticed. The death squads and militias who are directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of iraqis-and whom are financed, armed and supported directly from Tehran-originate in those "shia areas" you so full-heartedly protect.

This is yet another example, of all the absurd ideas you propagate on this website, and undoubtedly what you push for at work as well. You have consistently stood against any sort of solution to Iraq's problems that recognizes justice, equality and liberty for ALL of Iraq's citizens. Iraq is an arab state, not an Iranian one, lest you forget. Our population holds various ethnic and religious groups that all add to the strength that is our nation. The idea of segregating and muting the voice of one population while allowing the other free reign does nothing but an immense disservice to our great country. If you'd like to pursue your sectarian ideology, I suggest you go back to Iran, and push your views there--you may find a more accepting audience there.

Your website is riddled with anger, propelling false accusations against secular and nationalistic politicians who stand for developing a strong, democratic and united Iraq. People like Iyad Alawi, Salah al Mutlaq, Ayham Alsamarae, are all consistently under the attack of your posioned pen. While people who wish nothing but to segment Iraq, dividing it into bantustans, so that they may distribute the spoils amongst themselves such as Ahmed Chalabi and Mithal al Alousi, are constantly praised.

The only uncoventional part to your "thinking" is the fact that someone of supposedly middle eastern lineage is propagating such anti-arab, anti-Iraqi, anti-Sunni, sectarian drivel.

6:07 PM, June 17, 2009

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