A quick post to capture some recent chewy commentary on “surge” performance in Iraq.
- UPDATE: Also in the Small Wars Journal, Petraeus advisor David Kilcullen calls the Baghdad security operation a “marathon.” “The message for all of us, as professionals who do this for a living, is patience, patience, patience. The war has been going for nearly four years, the current strategy less than four weeks. We need to give it time.” (His emphasis.) We linked to a New Yorker profile of Mr. Kilcullen and other counter-insurgency theorists in a January 17 post on bloggers in Iraq. (3/15/07: The story has gone. But here is a cache.)
- UPDATE: Omar Fadhil describes the evolution of operations in Baghdad, which sounds strikingly like a broken windows policy: “In areas such as Karrada and Palestine Street Iraqi soldiers and workers of the Baghdad municipal services are working on removing trespasses on public property and irregular roadblocks set by locals at earlier times. … Traffic cops who would normally stop a suspicious vehicle only if it passed by their post are now riding their motorbikes and chasing suspected vehicles down highways and other streets.” (Via Instapundit.)
- LATER: Hey, Tigerhawk thinks so too! “If it worked in the worst neighborhoods in New York City, can it work in Baghdad…?”
- Writing at Small Wars Journal, Bing West has a set of pithy observations and recommendations from a Feburary 2007 trip to Anbar and Baghdad. “In most countries, bombers are stopped by effective policing and spy networks, and Iraq is years away from that. This is the Achilles Heel.” (His emphasis. Via Instapundit.)
- Col. Austin Bay summarizes a very interesting discussion with development economist Peter Shaefer. “…Peru turned the “land reform” tables on the Communists. Property right reform helped defeat Peru’s “Maoist” Shining Path guerrilla movement.” According to Shaefer, 95% of the land in Iraq is encumbered by unclear titles; therefore it cannot be used as security. Land reform would unlock capital and clear the way for an entrepreneurial middle class, as in Japan and Peru.
- Kimberly Kagan, a senior scholar at Georgetown’s Center for Peace and Security Studies, has a detailed narrative report on the first month of the “surge” (via The Belmont Club).
- Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald has his own roundup of good and bad news from Iraq and elsewhere. “When is bad news good news? When it is your enemy’s.”
Any suggestions? Let us know in the comments.