View Full Version : AL Anbar and DDR

02-06-2007, 11:47 PM
Would it be possible to create a Weapons Secure Area in Ramadi, Fallujah, or Al Qaim in an effort to curb violence and promote governance and justice? I am thinking of the efforts of UNAMIR (Romeo Dallaire) to create a Weapons Secure Area in Kigali, Rwanda in 1993-1994 when faced by multiple armed forces (RGF, RPF, Interhamwe, Impuzumgambi) during the civil war / sectarian violence. I believe the concept was sound, while the means or methods to enforce it were absent. Would this not also facilitate the return of PVOs to Al Anbar?

02-07-2007, 08:44 PM
Rudy Giuliani impleneted "gun" control in NYC to curb violence to great effect. Hum. Is this guy running for President?

02-08-2007, 07:41 AM
Rudy Giuliani impleneted "gun" control in NYC to curb violence to great effect. Hum. Is this guy running for President?

The Sullivan Act outlawed guns in NYC LONG before "Rudy". What Rudy did was to actually ENFORCE the existing laws, and not just the gun control ones.

Gun control in Iraq will result in disarming the honest and will certainly not result in "justice". The intent of the "one gun per house" law was to allow the Iraqis to think they had a sufficiency of self-defense. As the gun is a totem, I think this is wise and just.

The only effective gun control is the symbolic kind, after utterly defeating the other side of the conflict by military means. "Stack Arms" at the end of acknowledged military defeat has merit.

To remove the totem without removing the basis for conflict would actually make things worse, and be seen as unreasonable high-handedness on our part. I think it would push fence-sitters (if there are any left) to the other side.

In addition, we have been trying to remove RPGs and crew-served weapons since 2003. So other than seizing legal guns from homes and antagonizing the populous, what is to be accomplished by a Weapons Secure Area?

02-08-2007, 09:05 PM
Trust that I remember seizing "unauthorized weapons" vividly...What I am suggesting is that the Iraqis could retain their individual weapons initially, so long as they were in their home and registered. I think this first step could potentially increase the Iraqi familiarity and comfort with the local magistrate, courts, etc. Next, by declaring a Weapons Secure Area, you seek to get all militias, gangs, etc. to put away their weapons. At first they would have control of their own weapons (just like the IRA under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement). Yes, this legitimizes these group in some measure; however, if they truly have some agenda other than anarchy, this would allow them to participate in the process. All others who retained weapons on their persons could be dealt with (depending on the situation and threat) by the Iraqi Police. This step would also help the IP become a police force instead of a commando force, and give them one major task. Now, I am confident that there would be those who would not want to cooperate; however, these individuals would have to be dealt with (no different than the Real IRA, etc.) - there will always be someone who says no. Yes, this would take a tremendous law enforcement/policing effort; however, if it showed any promise or progress with the Iraqi people, it is a way in which to show them that their government is trying make it safe for them without killing or capturing 1/3 of the population. I am also of the impression that if we could actually create a Weapons Secure Area, that PVOs might be more inclined to re-join the effort in Iraq as well. Trust that I understand how difficult it is and all the reasons not to; however, if it could be worked out in Northern Ireland and in the DPR Congo, then there is some hope. We should not just say no because we immediately recognize that it will be too hard.

Question - when did carrying an AK-47 on your person or property become such a sacred totem to Iraqis - before, during, or after Saddam?

02-09-2007, 07:18 AM
I'm thinking having the AK-47 is a replacement for Saddam's suppression of all sides. Without Saddam to exterminate all but his own thugs, there is an actual need to deter the unorganized thugs from various crimes.

I do not "get" this thread, as it advocates EXACTLY what Coalition Forces have been trying to do since OIF I.

02-09-2007, 11:28 AM
While admitedly I have only ever spent time in Al Anbar, I don't remember DDR EVER being policy, and would suggest that folks in USAID, the UN, or DoS that have experience with it would argue the same. Seizing RPGs or raiding houses for PE-4 is NOT the same as declaring an area a Weapons Secure Area, and thus allowing NO ONE to carry a weapon. If my memory is correct, in Anbar we allowed every male to have an AK-47 and 30 rounds of ammunition. What I am suggesting is that the same individuals would not be allowed to carry this weapon on their person OR in their vehicle. It also implies a different police presence, as well as a change in US force posture. We have NEVER tried to implement DDR in Iraq to my knowledge. I apologize for not articulating my DDR thoughts more clearly.

02-09-2007, 12:25 PM
I think we can chalk this up to the "everyone has a different war" principle. In Sulah'din province it was my understanding that noone could openly carry weapons on their person or in their car. They were allowed to have one AK-47 and one loaded magazine in their house, as far as I know.

By "no one" do you mean CF soldiers as well?

02-09-2007, 10:12 PM
While a novice at DDR, the way I understand it, after the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, the Brits changed their force posture to one more akin to a police force, and thus had their weapons slung and aimed at the ground. In Rwanda, I believe the same is true for LtGen Romeo Dallaire, and in fact, I believe he had some personnel with no weapons at all. Admitedly, there are some huge risks in doing this, and not all areas of Iraq are anywhere near this stage yet.

I think most in the military perceive the "D" for disarmament as the hardest step, whereas most non-military folks would say that the remaining DR or demobilization and reintegration is where you need the real magic to make it work.

02-12-2007, 04:09 PM
-he leaves his AK at the house thus the rule of 1 is broken and I presume repeatedly, the issue being I see no consequences, rather, what are the consequnces for violating the rule of 1 ? The Iraqi Constitutional mandate for 1 gun allowed per home is not going to be changed, but confiscation of extra weapons and questioning of some male over the offense must make it about impossible to enforce the rule of 1. How much does an Iraqi have to pay to buy an AK ? The buy-back programs in our inner cities is quite a joke and such a program there would be grounds for a lucrative fleece-the-Americans racket. I wish I had some answers or suggestions.

02-12-2007, 07:52 PM
I agree that buy-back programs are pointless; however, there has to be something of the Iraqis value more than weapons, and thus would be willing to trade. While I agree that the Iraqi Consititution provides hurdles for DDR efforts, there are plenty provisions in it that will most likely not stand the test of time, thus there is hope for change. For example, I doubt the provision demanding 20%+ female representation will last.

02-13-2007, 07:21 AM
In the mind of an Iraqi male, his AK keeps his wife from being raped and he and his children from being murdered.

So, how much could you pay an Iraqi male in order to rape his wife, and murder him and his children?

Because that is the question you are asking.

02-13-2007, 10:52 AM
I was not of the impression that was the case in EVERY province in Iraq. It may be the case in Baghdad, Ninewah, Anbar, etc. Again, a WORSE scenario of murder and rape occurred in the DPR Congo, and DDR worked.

02-13-2007, 12:28 PM
I was not of the impression that was the case in EVERY province in Iraq. It may be the case in Baghdad, Ninewah, Anbar, etc. Again, a WORSE scenario of murder and rape occurred in the DPR Congo, and DDR worked.

It's not the scenario; it's the belief. I can see that we are talking past each other on this. Diminish the belief that the AK in the closet is the only thing keeping the "wolves at bay" and you can then get the AK out of the closet.

I think a saner approach would be to incorporate the AK, the owner, and the armed "neighborhood watch/militia" into a political solution.

I find it ironic that world opinion sees destroying the militias and forced disarmament as "good", but forced relocation is this evil thing called "ethnic cleansing." My objections to forced relocation are melting away as this thing ratchets up.

02-13-2007, 12:43 PM
People with multiple weapons in the home can't be shot on the spot and other than being briefly detained and questioned, there doesn't seem to be much happening to them. It appears the IDF tactic of bulldozing homes is against ROE so what if there were other consequences? I might be reaching here and crazy, but what about confiscation of valued goods for breaking this law? How about confiscating say the adult's beds? Their electronic gear if they have any? Chairs? Anything that is going to make them uncomfortable and pay a price. Touch nothing of the kid's stuff or any food, but make the adults suffer a loss for violating this rule. Why not take all the clothes the adults have, leaving them with what they are wearing? When multiple weapons and clips are found, take all the clips but one and 1 AK, smash up the AKs, bend the barrels and leave them on the spot where the confiscated bed used to stand, where that comfortable chair used to sit. Then post a sign outside the home that reads: "rule of 1 violated: punishment - loss of 1 bed, 1 chair and a DVD player - said goods to be sold and the proceeds donated to the Iraqi National Soccer team". The trick would be to come back in a few weeks and search the home again and if there is only 1 AK present, pay them for the goods confiscated. Conversely, when a home is randomly searched and only 1 AK is found, I don't see why platoon leaders couldn't have the discretion to pay a small token cash reward for being good citizens and obeying the law of 1. Make a PR event of this - after a bunch of stuff is confiscated, sell it and give the money to a soccer team or an orphanage. Muslims are big on helping orphans. After X number of Iraqis have been given a little cash reward for being good citizens, make a big announcement about it: "Allah Uakhbar - on this day, 51 Iraqi families were given each X number of dollars for keeping only 1 weapon in the home". I might be crazy and reaching here, but ask me if I give a da**.

I'm a civilian sitting safe in a nice stateside environment but I carry a .357 in my car. I think it would be difficult to expect good Iraqis in many areas to leave their homes unarmed. It's easy to sit safely here and spout big ideas when the reality on the ground over there is much different but the mold has to be broken in some ways and in some places. The jihadis/insurgents have your patterns and behaviors down pat, to the T.