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Robb: "The Window of Controlled Chaos Slams Shut" (Using sect militias)

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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:18 PM
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Robb: "The Window of Controlled Chaos Slams Shut" (Using sect militias)
http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/20...

(The thesis is that the US planned to use the religious militias to keep order and a fig leaf of democracy while the US bugged out. The militias succeeded until recently, but the US didn't take the opportunity)

^^^^^^^^^^^
Unfortunately, the US didn't take advantage of the opportunity to withdraw during 2005. Decision makers mistook the controlled chaos enabled by the use of militias for progress towards their maximal goals in the country. That illusion officially ended with the attack on the Samara shrine (a form of social system disruption, likely a coup de grace by Zarqawi). After that event, the fragile structure of the system flew out of control as Shiite militias began to ethnically cleanse Sunnis.

The US is now caught between the militias and the guerrillas and the situation will deteriorate quickly.

Here's a likely scenario for how this will play out: deeper entrenchment within US bases (to limit casualties) and pledges of neutrality (Rumsfeld) will prove hollow. Ongoing ethnic slaughter will force US intervention to curtail the militias. Inevitably, this will increase tensions with the militias and quickly spin out of control. Military and police units sent to confront the militias will melt down (again), due to conflicting loyalties. Several large battles with militias will drive up US casualties sharply. Supply lines to US bases from Kuwait will be cut. Protesters will march on US bases to demand a withdrawal. Oil production via the south will be cut (again), bringing Iraqi oil exports to a halt. Meanwhile, the government will continue its ineffectual debate within the green zone, as irrelevant to the reality on the ground in the country as ever. Unable to function in the mounting chaos and facing a collapse in public support for the war, the US military will be forced to withdraw in haste. It will be ugly.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, there was news that the US intervened by attacking a gathering point for the Dawa party in Baghdad. An Imam was killed along with 16 others. There was also a raid on an Interior Ministry prison (Badr). The scenario begins...
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:34 PM
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1. Good thesis except...
I don't buy "planned to use the religious militias to keep order and a fig leaf of democracy while the US bugged out" - it is the bugged out part I don't sign up for. We never intended nor do we now intend to bug out. See the PNAC docs. Iraq is intended as the military staging ground for more Iraq-like adventures in Syria and Iran.

So the militias were used to maintain order for as long as that worked. And then? And then, as these asshats are making it up as they go along, and then they will do whatever they can figure out to do to keep the adventure going. From the looks of things today the current plan is to kill a lot of shiite militia units in Baghdad. How that makes any sense is a great question. Why not just let the country sort itself out into its three constituent components?

"Unable to function in the mounting chaos and facing a collapse in public support for the war, the US military will be forced to withdraw in haste."

That is one scenario. Suppose that 2006 comes and goes and despite massive polling irregularities the Bush Cabal remains firmly in control of all three branches of government. They have two more years, assuming that the military situation has not deteriorated to the extent that they cannot protect the bases, and no particular political pressure that can be applied to them from here in the US. I think the other scenario is an attempt to finish the PNAC middle east project using the bases in Iraq - which are really not vulnerable to insurgent attack - as staging areas for assaults on Iran and Syria.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-27-06 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That was partly my gloss.
I think the problem is that it's tough to say what "they" planned. I'm sure some are never planning on leaving, and some aren't planning on anything past next week. Like the decision to go to war itself, where it happened because it was the one move that there was a consensus for inside the admin.

But somebody, clearly, is building to stay. The permanent bases are not for a force meant to pacify/defend the Iraqis but to stay the fuck away from them within safe perimeters in the middle of relatively nowhere. Only in a regime with free money and no oversight could they be built, along with the Baghdad embassy cum fortress, without anyone asking why.
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