Bad Omen
Americans in Iraq

The Cost of Terror

The Belmont Club:

Who knew that Tigerhawk wrote his undergraduate thesis in counterinsurgency? Back in 1983 he foresaw that the indiscriminate application of terror -- such al-Qaeda has been engaged in would swing the intelligence advantage to the side which was discriminating in its application of coercion.


The Iraqi insurgency in all its elements is complicated, but I have long thought that the portion of it known as "al Qaeda in Iraq" -- the Sunni jihadis who promoted and implemented beheadings and the killing of children and mass casualty car bomb attacks -- was particularly vulnerable to traditional counterinsurgency tactics. Al Qaeda's methods of punishing noncooperation struck me as capricious; car bombs kill even more indiscriminately than American air strikes, so a noncombatant is at risk of dying from them whether or not he cooperates with al Qaeda.

Iraqis are experiencing and comprehending the true nature of both sides. Collectively, they'll choose wisely.


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