Are you kidding?
Didn't we try this?
'Gated communities' planned for Baghdad
New U.S. strategy calls for creating zones of safety in the Iraqi capital, then working outward.
By Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writer
January 11, 2007
WASHINGTON — The military's new strategy for Iraq envisions creating "gated communities" in Baghdad — sealing off discrete areas and forcibly removing insurgents, then stationing American units in the neighborhood to keep the peace and working to create jobs for residents.
The U.S. so far has found it impossible to secure the sprawling city. But by focusing an increased number of troops in selected neighborhoods, the military hopes it can create islands of security segregated from the chaos beyond.
The gated communities plan has been tried — with mixed success — in other wars. In Vietnam, the enclaves were called "strategic hamlets" and were a spectacular failure. But counterinsurgency experts say such zones can work if, after the barriers are established, the military follows up with neighborhood sweeps designed to flush out insurgents and militia fighters.
The strategy, described in broad terms by current and former Defense Department officials, is an attempt to re-create the success military units have had in smaller Iraqi cities, most notably Tall Afar.
For the last two years, the military has been focused primarily on training Iraqi security forces. But under the new plan, the primary mission of American combat forces in Baghdad will be to protect Iraqis living in the city.
"In counterinsurgency, by now we have all figured out, the population is the prize," said a Defense official who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the program are not final.
Critics of the troop increase President Bush announced Wednesday have said the sheer size of Baghdad, with nearly 6 million people, makes it impossible to replicate the Tall Afar strategy. But counterinsurgency experts say the gated communities concept — a name taken from the walled-off suburban developments in America — is a way to concentrate troops on smaller sections of the capital.
"You do it neighborhood by neighborhood," said the Defense official. "Think of L.A. Let's say we take West Hollywood and gate it off. Or Anaheim. Or central Los Angeles. You control that area first and work out from there."
A Baghdad neighborhood could be sealed off by using a highway or a river as a barrier, or by creating roadblocks and checkpoints between neighborhoods, counterinsurgency experts said.
This is amazing.
They keep citing the British in Malaya, but the chinese were a minority and the MRLA had little support outside their own community.
Also, the British had many more soldiers than the MRLA. Even then the war took 12 years.
posted by Steve @ 6:56:00 PM