Thursday, April 28, 2005

"It's exactly like Rudy Giuliani fighting crime, except the criminals have automatic weapons and 155-rounds"

Here are a few tidbits from a lengthy discussion at The First Blog, that of Dr. Jerry Pournelle, the esteemed rocket scientist, political theorist, old-school conservate (No Imperialist Neocons Need Apply) and scarily prescient SF author:
The benefits of Iraqis' taking the lead security role go beyond lifting the burden from Americans and removing the political irritant of foreign troops. General Patreaus says of the Iraqi police and army units, "They have an ability to interrogate people very, very rapidly. They speak Arabic. They speak the dialect. They know the neighborhoods. If we did it, we would still be working with the translator and asking, 'Is that Mohammad with an "a" or Mohammed with an "e"?' The Iraqis will have already gotten the intelligence and be back in the pickup truck heading to the next target."
There are now 100 operational Iraqi combat battalions, with an average of 750 men each. In March, 6,000 former soldiers and new recruits completed basic training.

Reading the entire passage is well worth your time, if you have any interest in world affairs and our place within them.

I am reminded of what a British Airman said, once upon a time:
"Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them." - T. E. Lawrence

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