Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Arms for peace? Proven recipe for disaster

Now the American forces in Iraq have started a program to arm Sunni insurgents to fight the mainly sunni-backed Al Qaeda movement in Iraq, according to

New York Times.

Well, I couldn't help - as many others - seeing the ghost of the good ol' colonial days rise from the ashes. The strategy of arming Bad Guys we don't like to fight Bad Guys we absolutely don't like is a time-tested and ancient method of fighting insurgencies. But I still need to think of an example where this short term fire-fighting hasn't led to long term agony. Two examples:

* Nationalist Chinese: Before and during WW2, the allied supported Chi'ang Kai-Check's forces, battling the Japanese a bit and the Communists a lot. The aid involved advisers, arms and actual units. It wasn't a question of love, I think, but seen as a better evil. Today the US 8th Fleet has to be ready to ploy the waters of the Taiwan Strait, which separates the nationalists and the communists together with their huge arsenals.

* Dirty war in South America: In Argentine during the 70's there was a hefty social warfare. The Alianza Anticomunista Argentina was formed at the far right wing to perform the dirty deeds of the government. But the organisation was empowered by this and continued to make trouble, making it difficult for succeeding governments to reform.



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