Monday, August 22, 2005


The NYTs is reporting a general serving in Iraq has written an essay criticizing any military policy that does not give equal treatment to reconstruction and democratization. The essay's author, Maj. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of the Army's First Cavalry Division, writes in his piece coauthored with Maj. Patrick R. Michaelis that:
"A gun on every street corner, although visually appealing, provides only a short-term solution" and "does not equate to long-term security grounded in a democratic process."
I'm sorry, but the only response I have to this is duh. The U.S. has been in Iraq over two an a half years now, and if this policy advice is just beginning to rise into respectable circles within the policy elite, then we are doomed. As I've said before, the U.S. has the disproportionate responsibility of ensuring Iraq's public infrastructure is rebuilt and its people are put back to work. Right now, the U.S. has done virtually everything backwards by privatizing Iraq's economy to ensure the money made in Iraq flows back to the States. Worse, no preferential hiring requirements for Iraqis were pursued, so low-wage labor from around the Middle East was used rather than domestic labor. If you don't give people a stake in their own country, then you can't expect anything less than an insurgency plagued failed state.

And that's what we have right now.