Friday, November 11, 2005

How to Win in Iraq

Debate about US strategy in Iraq has been heating up lately, with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in a recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington advocating a strategy of establishing what are basically security zones within Iraq, rather than using military forces to go to a particular city, town, or area, "sweep out" the insurgents, then leave for somewhere, with the insurgency simply retaking control of the area.

One influential article of late is "How to Win in Iraq," by Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (the pdf of the story is located in the section "latest from CBSA"). Published in the September/October 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs, the article advocates creating "security zones" where a sense of permanence is created. These zones would become like "ink spots," able to spread outward.

Perhaps surveillance assets, airborne or ground based, could help play a part in establishing such zones? Satellite imagery or UAV cameras may not work as well as contractors claim for detecting individual insurgents (see "Promises, Promises"), but when it comes to helping keep the peace, they seem to be quite helpful: think of all the video cameras on the London Underground. Then again...

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