Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nibras Kazimi of Talisman Gate is a Shia partisan - though he may call himself secular.

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.

What about death squads aimed at Sunnis in non Sunni (mixed) areas? Or how about demonstrations like the very recent one sponsored by Al Sadr?