10 years, 1 month ago
Earth moving equipment constructing sand berms around Haditha in order to prevent the influx of foreign fighters into the city.
On January 13th I wrote a short article entitled Sand Berms Around Haditha, linking to a story published by AFP. Except for one particularly clever reader, this story got almost no attention. Perhaps it should have. With all of the noise and fury of the Baghdad security plan, the small things can get buried, but sometimes it is the small things that can teach us the big lessons if we’re not to hurried to pay attention.
This little story fascinated me from the beginning. Consider what is occurring here. Heavy equipment – enough of it to construct an earthen berm around a city – has been moved half way around the world into a desert in Western Iraq. This equipment needs trained operators, and each piece has hundreds of grease fittings that require attention every day. The engine and hydraulics need continual maintenance, and this maintenance itself requires a trained staff to pull it off. The fuel and repacement parts must be available, and the security must be provided for those trained staff to effect equipment repair and maintenance. Why would the United States Marines even consider something like this?
In Concerning the Failure of Counterinsurgency in Iraq, I pointed out that:
The battlefield, both for military actions and so-called “nonkinetic