WEEK 35: A follow up to last week’s concern that the information efforts were an inch wide and a mile deep. Managed to find a common thread to tie the narrative. If Al Qaeda was good at the information fight in 2007, ISIS is better for all of the same reasons now as ten years ago plus whatever they learned from being heavy handed in 2006-7.
I tire of hearing how Al Qaeda is soooooo information savvy. Al Qaeda is good at using the information realm to support their cause, but they have it easy. Al Qaeda doesn’t have to follow the rules or laws. They keep it simple.
Al Qaeda has two actions and four messages. Their first action is a gun placed to back of an Iraqi’s head with the message, “Support us or die.” Guess what happens when the Iraqi doesn’t support Al Qaeda.
The second action is any spectacular attack. The message to the Iraqis is the government and security forces cannot stop us. The message to the US is the situation is out of control and the message to other like minded extremists is to come to Iraq and kill infidels.
Conversely, we have to inform the Iraqis of a multitude of efforts to ultimately influence the Iraqis to support their government, their security forces, our operations etc. Thus, I am trying to prioritize our information efforts. The Division’s information priorities for informing the Baghdad populace of Fardh al Qanoon related activities are listed in random alpha-numeric priority.
– Joint Security Stations
– Traffic Control Points
– Baghdad Security Belt
– Safe Markets (when applicable)
– Safe Neighborhoods (when applicable)
– Safe Sex (Just Kidding – pay attention)
– Escalation of Force (drive safely)
– Curfew compliance
– House searches
The information priorities for identifying the threat are also not in order.
– TIPS cards
– Wanted Posters
– Reward Posters
– Rewards Program
– Captured Posters (if we can ever break through the draconian policy constraints)
– Counter Improvised Explosive Device
– Counter al Qaeda in Iraq
– Counter Islamic State of Iraq (author’s note: precursor to ISIL and ISI)
– Counter Militia
– Counter Jaysh Al Mahdi (JAM)
– Counter JAM vs. Rouge JAM
– Counter JAM vs. Special Groups JAM
– Counter Iranian Influence
– Counter Service (at a New Jersey diner. I wish.)
We’ll also promote the capabilities and reforms of the Iraqi Security Forces.
– Iraqi Police
– Iraqi Army
– National Police
– National Police Re-Blue
– National Police Re-name especially the new Peace Brigade (nee Wolf Brigade)
– Replacing the Facility Protection Services with newly trained non-sectarian personnel.
Not to be outdone or forgotten, promoting government improvements and initiatives are listed.
– Economic Progress
– State owned enterprises
– Water line repairs
– Sewer line repairs
– Electricity upgrades
– Agricultural Unions
– Dairy Farms
– Sadr City Trash Pick Up
– Sadr City Hospital Improvements
– Doura Market
– Abu Nuwas Street opening
– Abu Nidal memorial (NOT! I will give a prize for anyone besides Sergeant First Class Jim Monroe who knows who Abu Nidal is or was.)
– Palestine Street Re-opening
– Haifa Street Renewal
Finally, the Division will convince the Iraqi populace and traditional leaders to support all levels of government and participate in the political process. This can be summarized in one word: Reconciliation.
I apologize if I got carried away. I watch too much of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show”. However, our focus should be clear as I saved the best for last.
As stated way back in week one, the violence in Iraq is more a political problem than a sectarian issue. I recommend pouring on as much of your efforts as possible into the first legitimate thirty-nine efforts to make the fortieth and ultimate effort become a reality.