Friday, December 22, 2006
Real improvements that would improve situation
High level strategies are political footballs. What really would improve the situation in Iraq is far more fundamental. It means attacking the faceless bureaucracy. One of the major complaints is the slow processing of people being held in limbo. If the processing of such people could be sped up and access to the status of people held in custody could be accessible far more easily than now, it would instill far more confidence in the security and occupation forces. Laws need to be improved so that thugs who are caught aren't released the following day which is happening all too often now. The Iraqi security forces need internal affairs sections to perform continual oversight and improvement. Corruption and infiltration is too common in the Iraqi security forces, and it's going to take continual vigilance to gradually weed these elements out. Although attacks to kill or injure are a serious problem, kidnappings actually affect far more people. The military's specialty isn't in handling kidnappings. The police needs resources to concentrate on strategies to address kidnappings to handle the bulk of the security problem. As for the deaths and violence, there are enough people knocking their heads together to solve this problem, and it will eventually decrease. What must be considered is gradually increasing the priority of decreasing property damage. Many sources of information for raids turn out to misdirection on innocent people and unnecessary property damage only compounds the decrease in confidence of the security forces from such raids. Half of the battle for security is public relations. You could do everything else right, but if people don't have confidence in you, they will not think or treat you as part of the security solution. Increased efforts to communicate with the people is necessary. Easier access to information about suspects in custody is one major way to do this. Education of how the security forces work and its limitations and real acceptance and answer of input and questions from the people would bring people's expectations in line with what the security forces can realistically do. These and so many other improvements to break down the bureaucracy barrier are needed to move towards real improvement in security even if the death and violence by Sadr's militias and Al Quaida and its Sunni allies of convenience continue.