Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Clear, Control, Hold
Spencer Akerman made a great catch today. This is off of the Pentagon's web page:
This new plan involves three basic parts:clear, control and retain.The first objective within each of the security districts in the Iraqi capital is to clear out extremist elements neighborhood by neighborhood in an effort to protect the population.And after an area is cleared, we're moving to what we call the control operation.

Together with our Iraqi counterparts, we'll maintain a full-time presence on the streets, and we'll do this by building and maintaining joint security stations [what soldiers affectionately call "Alamo's"] throughout the city.This effort to re- establish the joint security stations is well under way.The number of stations in each district will be determined by the commanders on the ground who control that area.

An area moves into the retain phase when the Iraqi security forces are fully responsible for the day-to-day security mission. At this point, coalition forces begin to move out of the neighborhood and into locations where they can respond to requests for assistance as needed.

During these three phrases, efforts will be ongoing to stimulate local economies by creating employment opportunities, initiating reconstruction projects and improving the infrastructure.These efforts will be spearheaded by neighborhood advisory councils, district advisory councils and the government of Iraq.
Maybe I'm stupid or something, but isn't this what the U.S. has been doing for years? The "new" tactics look suspicious like the old tactics: American move into an area, clear it, then leave Iraqi's in control of that area and respond on an emergency basis.

The fundamental premise that is flawed is that the Iraqi "military" exists. There are militia's who garner training and weapons via the national government and then ostensible "serve", but there is no loyalty to the Iraqi national government. That's why this strategy will fail except fail with a larger number of American targets.

As I mentioned earlier today, to "hold" requires such a choke-off of an area to the open society as to be worthless. Commerce will be impossible and further exacerbate hatred towards Americans. And when under Iraqi control, the area will revert in a new version of whack-a-mole. So we really are doing the same ole' same ole' in Iraq.