Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Iraq Strategy Nutshell Moment

...But soldiers with a U.S. military police unit that has provided police training and patrols in Sadr City for most of the past 10 months said the Mahdi Army disrupts their efforts every day. Most of the Iraqi police they train are either affiliated with the militia or intimidated by it, the soldiers said. At worst, they said, militia infiltration in the police might be behind attacks on Americans, even though Iraqi officials offered assurances that the Mahdi Army was lying low.

"I don't really think there is an end or a beginning. I think it's all intermingled," Staff Sgt. Toby Hansen, 30, said about the Mahdi Army's relationship to the police trained by his unit. "Eventually, when we leave, they're going to police their own city. They're going to do it their way."...

Higher-level strategic thinking requires that you view your cohorts and/or enemies as rational agents with possibly independent objectives, while you also imagine various alternative scenarios that could play out and develop ways of acting/reacting based upon those hypothetical scenarios.

"I think they've got the concept down. The trick is going to be to get them to continue after we leave," said 1st Lt. Mike Mixon, 32, the platoon's leader. "I'm just trying to make them see that they can all live with each other without killing each other."

Lower-grade strategic thinking involves only that you treat your cohorts and/or enemies as children.


troutsky said...

Why should real life be any more complicated than the comic books or the old Western movies?

MT said...

Hey--when the shit starts to fly, the guy you want in charge is Rodney King.