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Thread: More killing. Less good deeds

  1. #141
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    For Wilf: what is the difference in what you propose and IDF strategy on Gaza?
    Huh? Not sure I understand. Why have operations against Hamas any relevance to this at all?

    But since you ask:

    The aim of the Operation in Gaza was to set forth the Israeli Government's policy of a zero tolerance to armed action against the State of Israel. The basic message to Hamas - and Hezbollah - was that armed action will merely reap more armed action against you. It was to emphasise and demonstrate the failure of a "rocket policy." - and it was never meant to be the last Operation. - 99.9% reduction of rockets from Lebanon since 2006, and 95% reduction from Gaza since Cast Lead.
    Sadly, this is most probably temporary and everyone knows there will be more Operations, until the populations of Gaza, The West Bank, and the Southern Lebanon, want to live in peace, in their own states, and recognise Israel's right to exist. Having said that, the West Bank is looking pretty good right now.

    Now that may have all been cloaked in some very odd language, for obvious reasons, but hey! This is politics.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  2. #142
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Huh? Not sure I understand. Why have operations against Hamas any relevance to this at all?
    My mistake Wilf.
    I was not talking about Castel Lead operation but the blocus and disruption of Gaza social services.
    Especially (sorry I do not remember the year, I believe it was 2004), the one that targeted government offices and had for objective to destroy physically all material capacities. This did harm Hamas capacities but did also harm the legitimacy. Especially as Hamas was an elected body. (Not saying I support Hamas).
    And that the link with the threat: we have to do what we preach. If we want rule of law: we have to follow law.
    If we want to build trust: then we have to provide better services.
    In war among the people or people centric COIN, the statement 10-2=20 does apply for civilians. The faillure of Iraq at its early stage came from there, nowhere else. Civilian will go for what is the most profitable for them and also will follow the rational: I take what I know and trust (even if it is hard dictatorship) rather try another flavour of a "too well known"/"unknow potential" failure.

  3. #143
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    My mistake Wilf.
    I was not talking about Castel Lead operation but the blocus and disruption of Gaza social services.
    Maybe surprisingly, I am pretty uncomfortable with preventing adequate food supplies into Gaza. I have issues with it, and those are political, not moral.
    Especially (sorry I do not remember the year, I believe it was 2004), the one that targeted government offices and had for objective to destroy physically all material capacities. This did harm Hamas capacities but did also harm the legitimacy. Especially as Hamas was an elected body. (Not saying I support Hamas).
    Hamas being elected is utterly irrelevant. Hitler got elected. - and regardless - Many bad folks get elected. Election is not a legitimisation of policy. You fight wars against policy. Hamas?Hezbollah wants to destroy Israel - so why not destroy them first? - Destroy them as an instrument = humiliate them, as to their strategic irrelevance.
    Civilian will go for what is the most profitable for them and also will follow the rational: I take what I know and trust (even if it is hard dictatorship) rather try another flavour of a "too well known"/"unknow potential" failure.
    In the case of Gaza (and Lebanon) it is convincing the "civilians" that only "voting for peace" , and recognising Israel, will allow them to prosper. Worked for Jordan. Worked for Egypt. Worked for Qatar.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  4. #144
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default some details

    First we don't identify what the "essential" services really are, because culturally we're terrible listeners. Second, there is something more to be a good government than providing good services.
    First of all, we have to stop merging social services and governance. People appointed to social services are appointed for political reasons: yes. They have political agenda: yes. I face that every single day. The worst in that story is that it is the same with neutral bodies as the UN (or even worst) and the international NGOs. Even ICRC and MSF do have political agenda. (I know what I am talking about I did work with MSF).

    So let’s not try to build ministries capacities and the rest. This is useless and a big waste of money, energy and good people. Ministries are crap… Let them be crap. Time will tell.
    The war is divided into survive, rebuild, normality for civilians. That is the way it is. NOWHERE will you find freedom of speech, democracy and what so ever among post war population.
    The survive part: it is the NGO as ICRC, MSF, CARE… that do take care of it. It is the usual open conflict humanitarian assistance.
    The rebuild part is where we fail every time as we want to jump from year 0 to XXI century with in few months. Let’s stop fooling our selves we can do it just like that. State building is not a science, it is barely a new born art based on not so well mastered soft sciences.

    M-A's point: NGO's (and military), by building wells, schools, medical clinics, actually undermines the governments we intend to support/extend unless there is a downstreaming process for them to rapidly take it over and make it work.
    The main problem is coordination actually. That is the implementing/tactical challenge. But the other problem is a strategic/vision/policy one. Even through full spectrum stabilisation operation we have the tendency to over use Rostrow development theory and also to forget Rostrow development theory basic.

    The overuse of Rostrow development theory is that we merge political development and economical development. To be clear, liberal economy and regulated trade does not necessary goes with full participative democracy.
    I’m not a kindergarden dictator fan! My point is that we want countries as Afghanistan to do the economical and political Jump/taker off at the same time. As far as I know that did not work that way and never did. You first have economical take off leading to strong developed economy then you have democracy being put in place. Look Iran. That is exactly what the regime is facing: total disruption between population expectation due to a not so bad economy and the Mullahs in power.

    Where we forget Rostrow is that if he is wrong in melting politics and economy (at least, the vision of linear development is also false), he is right on the take off point. Samir Amin Theory of centre and periphery (with Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi) is the base of oil drop practices.
    They pointed out that first you need a centre that takes off and will tract peripheries. The main problem for the centre is to find a way to take off without passing through the mercantile phase which consists in accumulation of richness through pillage of neighbouring countries. What Rwanda did and is doing right now. In fact aid is a substitute for that phase. Basically, money is not a weapon, is a protective mean to reach a level of development without having to spoil another country to rebuild the one you just invaded.

    The problem we do face in misplacing money and not coordinating its use is to give too much on governance and too little in development. Also, as we want to have a large cover of all needs, we tend to spend even less that little everywhere.
    We should spend more on humanitarian/development with a strong coordination controlled through money/”donor like UN agencies role” rather trying to vaporise a little everywhere.

    But this does not change the fact that this cannot come without security. I am not a big fan of security first but security is both a pre requirement and a limit. But security, a political tool, just as development, needs to be use wisely with high moral references so we avoid doing stupid things that will impact the development/humanitarian efforts. (Having high humanitarian moral standards does not forbid you to be political, far from it).

    And concerning elections, probably starting by the central state is not the solution. May be we should go for local elections first, building proximity democracy before nation wild democracy. It is easier to teach the game to small scale communities about issues they feel concern about rather than looking to large scale stuff that no one cares about and is by definition corrupted or unlegitimate in the first times.

  5. #145
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default Good post M-A...

    ...and I appreciate the references.

    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    First of all, we have to stop merging social services and governance.
    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    The war is divided into survive, rebuild, normality for civilians.
    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    The main problem is coordination actually. That is the implementing/tactical challenge. But the other problem is a strategic/vision/policy one. Even through full spectrum stabilisation operation we have the tendency to over use Rostow development theory and also to forget Rostrow development theory basic.
    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    Where we forget Rostow is that if he is wrong in melting politics and economy (at least, the vision of linear development is also false), he is right on the take off point. Samir Amin Theory of centre and periphery (with Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi) is the base of oil drop practices.
    They pointed out that first you need a centre that takes off and will tract peripheries. The main problem for the centre is to find a way to take off without passing through the mercantile phase which consists in accumulation of richness through pillage of neighbouring countries. What Rwanda did and is doing right now. In fact aid is a substitute for that phase. Basically, money is not a weapon, is a protective mean to reach a level of development without having to spoil another country to rebuild the one you just invaded.
    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    But this does not change the fact that this cannot come without security. I am not a big fan of security first but security is both a pre requirement and a limit. But security, a political tool, just as development, needs to be use wisely with high moral references so we avoid doing stupid things that will impact the development/humanitarian efforts. (Having high humanitarian moral standards does not forbid you to be political, far from it).
    Sapere Aude

  6. #146
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    Default Roads, Security & Good Deeds

    This article (Afghanistan: A White Elephant Called the Ring Road), rolls up a lot of issues about security, roads, and advertised good deeds.

    http://www.indepthnews.net/news/news...3:29:19&key2=1

    In it, Matt Nasuti, PRT City Management Adviser, argues that the Ring Road is a mess: Poorly conceived, poorly built, and unsecurable. A boon to the Taliban. Too expensive and unnecessary to Afghans at this point in their development.

    Moreover, what we learned about the Appalachian Road building projects- a road goes two ways. Built to spur Appalachian internal development, instead, they were the highway for disinvestment: goods flooding in from outside, people flooding out... unintended consequences.

    Here, according to the article, the road has been a boon to the Taliban (graft, security fees, free movement of insurgents, fixing our forces to defend it, etc..., and threatens to inundate the local economies with influx of cheap foreign goods.

    Sure would be good to think these things through---ahead of time.

    I always shudder when I see Loius Berger attached to the planning and implementation of anything.

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    Default New SSI Guide- Reconstruction

    New SSI release:

    GUIDE TO REBUILDING PUBLIC SECTOR SERVICES
    IN STABILITY OPERATIONS:
    A ROLE FOR THE MILITARY

    Best work I have seen to date on the subject.

    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute...mary.cfm?q=945

    Most pubs on this subject, including one released this week by the Institute for Peace, are full of slogans and inter-agency politics.

    The SSI Guide is a practical, how-to-guide that burrows deeply and effectively in the restoration of public services for military/post-conflict purposes. Great work.

    It's not about good deeds, but about making things work again in close cooperation with local national, provincial and municipal staff and systems.


    Steve

    Steve

  8. #148
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
    This article (Afghanistan: A White Elephant Called the Ring Road), rolls up a lot of issues about security, roads, and advertised good deeds.

    http://www.indepthnews.net/news/news...3:29:19&key2=1

    In it, Matt Nasuti, PRT City Management Adviser, argues that the Ring Road is a mess: Poorly conceived, poorly built, and unsecurable. A boon to the Taliban. Too expensive and unnecessary to Afghans at this point in their development.

    Moreover, what we learned about the Appalachian Road building projects- a road goes two ways. Built to spur Appalachian internal development, instead, they were the highway for disinvestment: goods flooding in from outside, people flooding out... unintended consequences.

    Here, according to the article, the road has been a boon to the Taliban (graft, security fees, free movement of insurgents, fixing our forces to defend it, etc..., and threatens to inundate the local economies with influx of cheap foreign goods.

    Sure would be good to think these things through---ahead of time.

    I always shudder when I see Loius Berger attached to the planning and implementation of anything.

    STP, we talked about that on another thread and that is why I said linking the System togather should be one of the LAST things you do with an unstable system.

  9. #149
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Default Change of directions, but here goes. . .

    I followed and thought about this thread a lot this summer, and I kept coming back to a fundamental problem with "hearts and minds" - not the pejorative use of the term, but what Uboat earlier described as convincing the population (1) our victory - and thus them helping us - is in their best interests, and (2) we are going to win. This sentiment, first articulated as I heard it by David Kilcullen, is underwritten essentially by rational man theory. People choose from different sets of choices on the basis of what will maximize their utility (serve their interests). Straightforward enough, and it underpins most of classical microeconomics.

    Now, as far as sociologists or anthropologists are concerned, I have no idea what the current state of theory is in that realm, but a lot of economics has moved beyond rational man theory, or at least moved into explaining why it fails. Behavioral economics, one of the more recent developments in economics, is in large part devoted to explaining the disparity (albeit still mathematically) between the choices actors make and the choices they SHOULD make. I'm sure MarcT could better explain heuristics and anomalies but these disparities pervade every level of human decision-making, whether it is a person spending his money wisely or the Joint Chiefs assessing U.S. strategy. Obviously, not all choices made by actors are going to actually maximize their utility.

    Moreover, our calculations of preferred outcome, especially when viewing this across cultures, are often wrong. Heuristics - experienced based learning - really plays into this. At a micro level, one can see plenty of instances of people refusing the prescribed treatments for the "accidental guerrilla" syndrome, in terms of winning hearts and minds, whether for religious reasons, pashtunwali, or something even less tangible.

    Even if we correctly gauge the outcome the people will support, we may make the wrong choice on how to get there. Many commentators have suggested that it was not the staunch commitment of the Bush administration to continuing the mission in Iraq that drove Sunni reversal; but the 2006 elections and the realization that the U.S. may not long stay in Iraq, and that if that withdrawal occurred, the Sunnis were going to be crushed by the Shiite blocs. This unintentional hint of a pending change swayed the perception of interest and optimal outcome.

    Of course, "hearts and minds" and rational man theory doesn't have to hold true for everyone, but the implication is that it does have to apply to a majority to work. And I've heard more than a couple economists chuckle about COIN theory banking on what is an in-part discarded model of how people act. . .

    Matt
    "Give a good leader very little and he will succeed. Give a mediocrity a great deal and he will fail." - General George C. Marshall

  10. #150
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattC86 View Post
    Of course, "hearts and minds" and rational man theory doesn't have to hold true for everyone, but the implication is that it does have to apply to a majority to work. And I've heard more than a couple economists chuckle about COIN theory banking on what is an in-part discarded model of how people act. . .
    A model that never really passed the common sense test at that...

    All of us constantly make choices that are not 'in our interest.' Just look at federal elections...

    Serious comment. Both parts.

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    The purpose of a well-devised planning process is to identify and consider the major consequences (including unintentional ones).

    When we end up being the great decider with little input, our decisions, not surprisingly, tend to miss the mark, or spawn significant unconsidered unintended consequences. That's how you get all the waste.

    Actually, at MND-North in 2008, the Div Eng (and the whole div staff) had, in effect, stood up the last Diyala govt, and brought with them a lot of built-in knowledge from multiple tours. This cut down on a lot of waste, and led them to ask the right questions, including of local folks.

    But it often put them in conflict with the brigade battlespace owner who was trying to build, build, build.

    The new SSI guide really gets to the point of how to do it by using the early Basrah example where the military did, in fact, do a pretty good job.

    Some really good lessons to learn.

    Steve
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-13-2009 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Security first, it's the law....

    Steve as you know, the Kurdish issue is very complicated. Just today on the national news, one of our general officers said the Kurds remain the primary destablizing factor within Iraq.

    My counterpoint to yours is that perhaps our focus on the Kurds is coming back to bite us in the tail?

    We worked with the Kurds during the initial invasion, but like many other cases where we employed unconventional warfare it has come back to haunt us later (Afghanistan being another example)

    Posted by Surferbeetle,
    Kurdistan appears to be a region in which development and conflict has coexisted for some time.
    I disagree, please show the dates that development started and "serious" conflict stopped. We provided security against Saddam's forces since the no fly zone was established (might as well call it a separate economic zone), and the internal conflict was manageable since the late 90's. The development in Kurdistan was no miracle on our part, security came first, then the people reached out and accepted help from outside donors (very simplistic view, but as opposed to the folks on the other side of the Green Line who suffered for many years under punishing economic sanctions, fought us when we arrived, and gradually evolved into fighting one another. You can't compare Kurdistan to Mosul or Baghdad for example).

    During my time in Iraq I noted that Kurdish construction and engineering companies regularly pushed out into the Mosul area. My trips to Kurdistan revealed a vibrant business community, good infrastructure, a capable security force, rule of law, and visible participation in daily life by both sexes.
    That would be great if it was for the greater good of the Iraqi people, but let's face facts, anytime the Kurds pushed out beyond the green line it was not to the benefit of the Arabs, Turkoman, or Shi'a on the other side. They were displaced, forced out of jobs, etc., as the Kurds established their own overt or shadow government backed by the power of the Peshmerga. Americans who can't see past the nose on their face supported this, because the world is black and white to some of our officers. Kurds good guys, everyone else bad guys. That attitude is coming back to bite us.

    The Kurds appear to have a concerned diaspora, Turkey appeared to be a major of supplier of goods to the region, and it is my understanding the Iran is another major supplier of goods.
    This is part of the problem, not the solution. Turkey, and other countries to a lesser extent, are very concerned about Kurdish ambitions, since their vision for Kurdistan extends well beyond the borders of Iraq.

    From a CA-centric standpoint Kurdistan might be seen as a model for the successes associated with spending more effort on advising a Government as opposed to ‘building’ one.
    The Kurds are savvy, and they know their economic development is a powerful tool to expand their influence in the region, but the Arabs would tell you that we allowed the Kurds to get too strong thereby creating a dangerous imbalance in the region, so maybe there are other lessons to take from our experiences in Kurdistan?

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    Bill:

    Sounds like you got the same briefing I did before being seconded to the UN DIBS Team.

    The numbers and history, as explained by Gareth Stansfield, are not any clearer for Kurdish hegemony in Kirkuk, etc..., than for Turkmen, and others. But there are important stories of sadness and oppression on many sides. It's complicated.

    History shows that every 20 years or so, the Kurds build up pressure toward a serious offensive---always working toward autonomy.

    As Bill says, it is not driven by an interest in other minorities.

    Iraq's recent history is painted in the colors of the Kurdish autonomy movement---and not just re: Sadaam. Strategic patience, that great skill the US lacks, is always in play in these areas.

    Also, as Bill notes, Turkey and Iran, especially, have significant interests in Kurdish plans and activities.

    Steve

  14. #154
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default No its not simple at all...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Steve as you know, the Kurdish issue is very complicated. Just today on the national news, one of our general officers said the Kurds remain the primary destablizing factor within Iraq.
    Bill, you are correct with respect to its complexity. Where I worked, the area was inhabited by Arabs (Sunni & Shia), Kurds (Sunni & Shia), Assyrian Christians, Chaledian Christians, Yazidi’s, (there was talk of Jews as well), and Turkish businessmen and women continually circled the battlefield. Arabization and intermarriage further complicated things and I have not even touched upon the official, grey, and black economies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    My counterpoint to yours is that perhaps our focus on the Kurds is coming back to bite us in the tail?
    I would say that it’s too early to say. The Kurdistan region is deeply interlinked with Arabs, Turks, Iranians and others. Simultaneously the impact of energy politics is having an increasing role upon their fate. I have read recently that the Kurds will receive 17% of all oil sale proceeds piped to Turkey from the Kurdistan region while Baghdad will receive the rest. Turkey as you know is working very diligently to become a cultural (EU Accession), water (GAP- Southeastern Anatolia Project), and energy (Nabucco, Southstream, BTC, IGAT-9, among others) nexus. Turkey’s combined actions with respect to it’s large southern Kurdish population, the PKK, and Abdullah Öcalan (his receiving a life sentence was very interesting) might be seen as one, but not the only, barometer of Kurdistan's fate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    I disagree, please show the dates that development started and "serious" conflict stopped.
    The PBS show Frontline has posted a chronology of the Kurds and it details some of the Kurdish Factionalism and other conflicts which I alluded to in my previous post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    We provided security against Saddam's forces since the no fly zone was established (might as well call it a separate economic zone), and the internal conflict was manageable since the late 90's. The development in Kurdistan was no miracle on our part, security came first, then the people reached out and accepted help from outside donors (very simplistic view, but as opposed to the folks on the other side of the Green Line who suffered for many years under punishing economic sanctions, fought us when we arrived, and gradually evolved into fighting one another. You can't compare Kurdistan to Mosul or Baghdad for example).
    During my Army days in Italy some of my friends who served in Operation Provide Comfort brought back some interesting stories regarding the simultaneous interplay of security and humanitarian assistance. GEN Zinni’s book Battle Ready (written with Tom Clancy) provides a deeper view of things.

    As a result of working with the electrical engineers I found on both sides of the Green Line, during OIF1 (summer and onwards), I was able to regularly compare and contrast electrical grids and associated infrastructure (keep in mind that my background is civil not electrical). As described to me, the UNDP’s longterm electrical engineering work was (partially?, fully?) funded as a result of the UN resolutions I previously cited. The contrast on each side of the Green Line, as you note, was a stark one.

    From the UN Information Service: Report Shows "Meaningful" Impact of UN Projects in Iraq

    David Shearer, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Iraq, said: "I am very pleased and reassured by these results. They show that the Iraqi people have benefited from our efforts and donor funds have been well invested, despite a very dangerous operating environment for our staff." More than 85 UN and NGO workers have been killed in Iraq since 2003.

    The Stocktaking Review was initiated by several international donors and carried out by the Norwegian aid effectiveness firm Scanteam. It assessed a selection of UN projects funded through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), the largest Multi-Donor Trust Fund the UN operates. The IRFFI has channelled $1.3 billion from 25 contributing nations into UN agency Iraq-wide projects since 2004. It closes to new contributions on 30 June 2009. The European Commission, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and Spain are its largest donors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    That would be great if it was for the greater good of the Iraqi people, but let's face facts, anytime the Kurds pushed out beyond the green line it was not to the benefit of the Arabs, Turkoman, or Shi'a on the other side. They were displaced, forced out of jobs, etc., as the Kurds established their own overt or shadow government backed by the power of the Peshmerga. Americans who can't see past the nose on their face supported this, because the world is black and white to some of our officers. Kurds good guys, everyone else bad guys. That attitude is coming back to bite us.
    Before we went in many of us, and I suspect that includes you as well, were aware that the Kurds are no choirboys. Walking the ground confirmed my views, but then we are no choirboys either. I found it very interesting that despite their strong Marxist and Socialist backgrounds/histories they are accomplished Capitalists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    The Kurds are savvy, and they know their economic development is a powerful tool to expand their influence in the region, but the Arabs would tell you that we allowed the Kurds to get too strong thereby creating a dangerous imbalance in the region, so maybe there are other lessons to take from our experiences in Kurdistan?
    Negotiation and Deal Making School was in session every day, taught by Kurds (Sunni & Shia), Arabs (Sunni & Shia), Assyrian Christians, Chaledian Christians, Yazidi’s, and Turkish businessmen and women who continually circled the battlefield while I was there. I was not, and am not, so arrogant as to think that I have the language or cultural skills to exit the proverbial bazaar with my life much less with my life, the clothes on my back, and all of my money...this of course puts a damper upon even entering the bazaar. Like you however, I find it to be a very interesting place, I follow it in the news, and I am continually trying to learn more...
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 10-13-2009 at 05:44 AM. Reason: Clarity and links...
    Sapere Aude

  15. #155
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default UNDP link...

    Bill, IMHO and experience oil spot theory allows for development, not just humanitarian assistance, during a conflict. Here are a couple of clear open source examples of development undertaken during conflict conditions ala the three block war concept.

    Backgrounder #31. The Fight for Mosul by Eric Hamilton.

    Here is a link regarding the ENRP program in the Kurdistan region from a UNDP Energy and Environment webpage

    UNDP’s largest undertaking in the country, the Electricity Network Rehabilitation Programme (ENRP) received some $850 million since 1997 under the Oil-for-Food Programme. Through ENRP, UNDP rebuilt and maintained power service in the governorates of Erbil, Dahuk, and Sulaymaniyah, serving 3.6 million people, making that region the only part of the country that had reliable power service throughout the war and up to the present.After the war in 2003, UNDP enlarged the programme to respond to additional needs across the country. Specific initiatives include: emergency assistance for the electricity sector; rehabilitation of the national dispatch centre; rehabilitation of Iraqi power plants; preparatory work for capacity building and distribution planning.
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 10-13-2009 at 06:20 AM.
    Sapere Aude

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    Beetle:

    I'm good with the Kurd representations. People forget that the historical map of Kurdistan really begins with the road to Kermanshah (Iran), and that a lot of the anti-Kurd actions against the Kurds by Sadaam were because of Iranian relations. Like Afghanistan, it is a big complex world once you get up into any of those hills.

    Go back to Sassanian Empire times and Baghdad to Jalalabad were all one big happy empire (sort of).

    I was always very interested in the Yazedis, and some of the micro-sects, some so small and isolated in their villages that they could literally not communicate with the next town. The Jews were, in fact a big presence in the major towns of Basrah, Baghdad and Kirkuk. Most left in 1950 for Isreal, but still have reparations claims swirling around.

    But the ref to Mosul. There were two Mosuls in my world: the one before Sunnis/AQI were pushed out of Baghdad, and the one after. Mosul is the shock absorber for Baghdad stability (such as it is), and is hard to understand the scope of damage in 2008.

    Steve

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Let'a add some rocket science

    I disagree, please show the dates that development started and "serious" conflict stopped. We provided security against Saddam's forces since the no fly zone was established (might as well call it a separate economic zone), and the internal conflict was manageable since the late 90's. The development in Kurdistan was no miracle on our part, security came first, then the people reached out and accepted help from outside donors (very simplistic view, but as opposed to the folks on the other side of the Green Line who suffered for many years under punishing economic sanctions, fought us when we arrived, and gradually evolved into fighting one another. You can't compare Kurdistan to Mosul or Baghdad for example).
    First: security comes first! It is just the simple truth. No security: no development.
    Also, in the same country, you will have two different phase for development/humanitarian actions: Continum and contigum.
    Continum phase: in some areas, for many reasons, most of the time not under our control, the situation evolves in the good sens. From disaster you go to humanitarian, recovery then development. And you do not know why but it goes fine.
    Contigum: it is the fact that if in place A things goes in the good sens, in place B, in the very same country, things either stay the same (disaster/humanitarian or cannot go further than recovery). This has been experienced by every one every where. It is just that some places are centre and others are peripheries.
    But do not mistake the fact that centres can be: trackting economical centres and will generate development. OR can be centres of violence: trackting the place from disaster to fubar.
    Then peripheries will:
    - in a econimical center:
    either follow at lower speed the economical development OR either separate and insecurity will increase. (the choice is not ours). In both cases, security will remain the first issue as you need to protect the center.
    - in a violence center:
    periphery can either follow and become insecure OR separate and become more secure. In both cases security comes first. But in the second issue, it is quite important to contain the effects of violence centre and support recovery/development. The aim is to turn the periphery into an economic centre.
    I know, easy to say, much complexe to implement. I face the problem daily.

    The main problem is that much efforts are actually focussed on violence centers or peripheries in the attempt to lower insecurity through social/economical projects. This works (sometimes) but the over focus on security is harming the whole effort.
    While in economical centres and periphery, actors tend to hurry to shift to evelopment and creat a gap that may creat insecurity.
    This mainly comes from the fact that non military actors are driven by the ratio: moral benefits/physical risk.
    And also, the process of contigum may forward and backward.

    In clear: when it starts to go fine, we are too quick to pull out humanitarian NGO and not capable to replace them. The appreciation of recovery success in not this 6 month project worked fine let's go to development. It takes more time. And you can even duplicate the continum/contigum paradox/evaluation scale into economic centres and peripheries to have contigums of development and recovery. It is just a question of scale (country, state, county, village/town).

    And no need to go back too much in the past. One of the Rostow critics is that even people with a stone age technology do have internal sociological, culturaland technological evolution. What we observe now (2009) in some remote islands is not how humanity use to be at stone adge.

  18. #158
    Council Member
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    Default Aggressively Doing Nothing

    Let's see. Kill more? Less Good deeds? Are there other significant alternatives?

    How about rock solid common sense (or is that "balls"?).

    Some of the KRG story is gradually trickling out in a manner that is beginning to rise above battlefield reporting to a more considered level---if not quite history.

    A Middle East Report article provides a broad description of some of the goings on on the KRG fault line last year, including the standoffs at Mosul Dam, Bashiqa and Khanaqin. Below is part of the Khanaqin section:

    “This is disputed area,” said Fuad Hussein, chief of staff to the KRG’s president, Masoud Barzani, remembering the events. “I am from Khanaqin. I have seen the Iraqi army killing Kurds as a child. I have seen the Iraqi army destroying everything. The Iraqi army, the old one, was an army against our people. And you send an army that speaks the same slogans?”

    According to Gen. Mun‘im Hashim Fahd, the commander of the army unit that ringed Khanaqin that day, he had no orders to uproot the peshmerga. His mission, rather, was to chase insurgents along the shores of Lake Hamrin to the west. There had been deadly bombings attributed to the insurgency in Diyala over the summer. “I had clear orders from the Ministry of Defense not to go into Khanaqin city,” said the bullet-headed general. “I asked, ‘Can I visit the mayor?’ They said, ‘No, it will only cause problems.’”

    Instead of talking, both sides hunkered down. Politicians in the KRG’s seat of Erbil sounded the alarm of “ethnic cleansing” and vowed open war to prevent it. The Kurds mobilized the rocket-launching trucks and tanks they had looted from Saddam’s army. Baghdad began to route its own heaviest artillery toward Khanaqin, and Iraq waited, a cannonball away from civil war on another front.

    Caught in the middle was Gen. Mark Hertling, then leader of the US forces in the north. As the governments in Baghdad and Erbil hurled threats at each other, the American issued a rather novel threat of his own: If the Kurds and the Iraqi army did not stand down, the US would do nothing. “If there were indicators that there would be a clash between pesh and Iraqi army, I would pull back all my advisers. I would tell all my other forces to return to their [bases]. I wasn’t going to take sides on this, and [they] would be responsible for any bloodshed,” Hertling said he told all concerned. Hertling credited cool-headed commanders on the ground for averting physical clashes. Eventually, a deal was struck allowing Kurdish police to remain in control of Khanaqin, with the peshmerga withdrawing north of the city, where they still sit, glowering southward, just like in the old days."

    http://www.merip.org/mero/mero100109.html

    When I served in 3ID in Germany in the 70's, there was an on-going tussle over whether the Rocky the Marne Bulldog statue's balls were or were not offensive---should they be displayed as anatomically correct, or stored away as an anachronism?

    Another guy in 64th Armor then was 2LT Mark Hertling. Based on the above story, he either carried Rocky's balls with him or, as MG Hertling, MND-N Commander, brought the Iron of 1AD to bear. Sometimes, it takes a lot of courage, as he did last year during the Khanaqin showdown to aggressively "do nothing" when it can avoid what otherwise would have been the beginning of Tom Rick's "Unraveling." Instead, as the report shows, a begrudging "way forward" is emerging that is neither based on killing nor good deeds.

    This from now-up-for-LTG Hertling, who was one of the big time "action figures," and decisive leaders in Northern Iraq during 2007/2008.

    Add serious diplomacy to the military toolkit.

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