2003 September 14 Sunday
Reason For Optimism About Iraqi Pipeline Protection

Jim Hoagland reports that by replicating the economic incentives that Saddam Hussein employed to ensure security the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) may succeed in protecting the pipelines in Iraq.

For one thing, the tribes were given regular payments if the pipelines in their territories encountered no problems. Sabotage or other security problems in a tribe's area brought an immediate cutoff of those payments from Baghdad.

The protection funds ceased with the invasion -- and sabotage suddenly erupted. Now payments to the tribes are being restored by CPA officials, who are silently testing the theory that Sunni sheiks looking for a renewal of their customary meal ticket may have been negligent about, if not responsible for, damage to the national pipeline system.

The real challenge in Iraq is far more of an intelligence and social problem than it is a conventional military problem. The Iraqis have far more eyes to use to watch what is going on there and if they can be co-opted to look for and report on what the opposition is doing and who the opponents are that will accomplish far more than an increase in the number of fighting troops could accomplish.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 September 14 11:33 PM  Mideast Iraq

Steve Sailer said at September 16, 2003 2:10 PM:

So, now we're resuming Saddam's pipeline protection payoffs to the tribal sheiks who slaughtered lots of Shi'ites during the 1991 uprising? (See the Jul-Aug Atlantic Monthly for gory details.) Don't you get the sinking feeling that we're just rediscovering the logic behind a lot of Saddam's methods for running Iraq? Where will this end? With Bush appointing all his relatives to run Iraq's secret police? With al-Bushi himself standing on a balcony in Iraq shooting rifles into the air?

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