Sunday, August 19, 2007

Iraq, the Surge, and 'Twenty Eight Articles'

It's interesting to note how far the MSM, the Main Stream Media, can lag behind the new media, the pajama journalists, the bloggers. I posted this 6 months ago in February (not original, I got it from the MilBlog community).

It seems some progress is being made in Iraq, and the Surge, and new tactics seem to be having some effect, according to this article in 'The Australian' this weekend.

And it seems David Kilcullens 'Twenty Eight Articles' is the new approach being used. He should know. They have their roots what he practiced with INTERFET in East Timor in 1999, that we used in Vietnam in Phoc Tuoy province, and that the British and Commonwealth used successfully in the Malayan Emergency.

The article in the Australian in part says;

"...After 40 years of struggling with the aid dependency trap we learned that you don't go in there and do it all for them. That builds corruption, it creates dependency and it weakens the people you're trying to help. It's much better to do it on a commercial basis, to give people jobs, don't give them aid."

Kilcullen says everywhere in Iraq and Afghanistan where the techniques have been applied, they have worked. He is confident that the counterinsurgency can stabilise Iraq but he is not confident that it can be done to fit in with a US electoral timetable.

"Throughout history there has never been a counterinsurgency that has succeeded in five years. Ten years is the norm. Difficult ones like Northern Ireland, that had a sectarian dimension, took 30 years."

Kilcullen believes there is a strong moral argument about Iraq that doesn't get talked about enough. "When people feel tired of the war and want to walk away, we have to remember we assumed a responsibility when we invaded Iraq and we can't leave until we can hand over to a stable sovereign government. These people's lives are in our hands now. It's important to realise Iraqis don't want us to leave. They are terrified we are going to leave. If we walk away it will be like Rwanda. And it won't be quick. It will play out on CNN over five years..."

I truly wish them godspeed. What I really can't understand is that we have groups in the West who want them to fail. What possible good could come of that, for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, for the world generally? The only thing that it would advance is their own political agenda.

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