Bringing The Surge Home
By now we’ve all heard how the surge strategy in Iraq has been a great success. Which raises the question whether the things that have made this “success” possible can be applied to problems in our own country. Here are a few tips in that regard.
So-called “Awakening Councils” in Sunni areas of Iraq where we used to encounter fierce resistance have been largely pacified. How? We simply put the guys who were killing our soldiers and marines on the American payroll. We pay them regular salaries, arm them, and train them.
So why not apply the same principle to street gangs in places like Los Angeles? We could pay gang members with public funds, arm them and train them in advanced fighting techniques. And all we would ask in return is that they stop shooting up their neighborhoods and be less public about dealing drugs. A great deal all around, no?
To lessen the damages done by exploding truck bombs in Iraq, we have built blast walls that separate ethnic neighborhoods, and placed armed guards at the only entrances and exits through these walls. This has worked wonders in cutting down civilian casualties.
Why not do the same thing to separate ethnic neighborhoods in American cities like Washington? Officials there are already stopping and searching vehicles going into some neighborhoods. And heaven knows, there are literally thousands of gated communities around the country that separate the well-off from those who are less financially desirable. Blast walls are thus a natural extension of what we’ve been doing in this country for some time—with the added benefit that constructing them would provide infrastructure jobs for the wall builders.
And then, of course, is the glorious success that we’ve had in Iraq by hiring mercenaries (oops, contractors) to do the work of regular military personnel. Sure, these hirelings cost six figure salaries each and seem surprisingly detached from ordinary rules governing the regular military. But their deaths don’t make the papers and they stretch a regular military that doesn’t attract enough men and women to do the jobs they are currently assigned because these jobs have so little popular support.
We could easily create a variant of this approach in our own homeland. Armed, highly trained and paid vigilantes who do the dirty crime-stopping jobs and aren’t held back by silly legal piccadillos.
If this transference of ideas and approaches from our Iraq venture strikes you as a good way to go, let your Congress person know. After all, what could be fairer than doing unto ourselves what we have so egregiously done unto Iraqi others?