Bribing the Enemy

I’m sure I’ve seen references to this before, but this was the first time I’ve seen it in on a website I’m willing to call reliable. Not that CNN is the peaches and cream of news outlets, but I feel like I can trust at least most of the factual statements they make :wink:

What am I referring to? This article, Surge or Splurge?.

According to this article, part of the reason the Surge is working so well is because the government is paying relatively huge sums of money to former “insurgents” and other militants for temporary peace and policing.

Does anyone have any other information or cites to corroborate this? And, if this is indeed true, do you think that this is a winning strategy for the crisis in Iraq?

Absolutely. its an undeniable fact that a huge part of success attributed to “the surge” has in fact been acheived the bribing Sunni terrorists to stop attacking us and attack Al Qiada insteed, both with money and by offering amnesty. The Sunni terrorists haven’t laid down thier arms or renounced violence


A real good deal for someone, just not sure its us.

Got a feeling we’re just about to neutralize a major Al Queda operative, maybe the #3 guy…

The real question is, who miscalculated this situation in such a way that it was thought that fighting these people was easier than buying them off. Hell, I think we could have easily controlled Sadaam if we gave him $12 billion a month.

Hasn’t the Pentagon heard about Paypal? Sure they charge a fee, but if we could save a few hundred lives, it might be worth looking into.

How will our bribes be affected if the value of the dollar continues to drop? Do we have ships big enough to carry that much money?

Will our gold reserves be moved to the new embassy in Iraq? Is it really Fort Knox East?

Ten months and counting…

It’s certainly true. The great victory the Leader is trumpeting is the same great victory Sardinian business owners achieve when they pay off the month’s protection money. USA, USA.

It’s an old tactic. Bribe one enemy to fight another, hire mercenaries, divide your enemies, get a “friend” to open the gates in exchange for a hundred ounces of gold.

Rates sure have gone up since the twelve pieces of silver days, huh?

I am very much against the war, but I’m not sure what, in the context of a war, is necessarily wrong with paying a one-time enemy to fight along side you. If it’s an effective way to get them to stop fighting us, while at the same time fighting other enemies, then maybe it’s a good thing.

That’s a maybe. I am far from a military expert. I can just see that it might be an alternative method of ‘winning’ a war to killing every last enemy.

In the years when Henry Kissinger was Sec. of State, it always seemed to me that his peace negotiations were merely a matter of throwing around truckloads of money. It worked very well, and the warring parties didn’t run out of money until the next guy was Sec. of State.

A lot of these insurgent groups have/had power because the United States presence in Iraq was doing nothing whatsoever to make life safer for ordinary Iraqis.

Prior to Petraeus a lot of our focus was on keeping our units bottled up in well-fortified areas and sending them out periodically on “missions.”

The problem is, that makes it seem like we’re not really interested in what is happening to the ordinary Iraqis (and maybe Bush and the military brass wasn’t worried about that), when you just come out of your fortresses to kill some insurgents and then roll back into them–leaving the Iraqis in the street unprotected.

This is why Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi militia became so powerful. The Mahdi militia was basically operating as a state within a state. They were providing the security we weren’t providing. Many of the people who were effectively under Sadr’s rule didn’t like his harsh Islamic law and the many death penalties his “legal system” handed out. But, their choice was between him and us. He was providing them with street-level protection and we weren’t really trying to protect them at all.

Now that we have been aggressively policing the population instead of just trying to chase insurgents all over the country side, Sadr is broken. Just recently he announced that he has failed to establish an Islamic state in Iraq. This is a guy who, in 2006, was arguably the most powerful warlord in Iraq, one who came very close to establishing his own state.

Where this brings paying the former insurgent groups off is, while they are fighting al-Qaeda we are providing more security presence to the Iraqis than ever before. So assuming at some point al-Qaeda in Iraq is truly gone and broken, when these militia groups come back, the Iraqis (ideally) won’t turn to them for protection because they will no longer need protection.

This may lead to some of these insurgent groups attempting to take arms against the state even more–but again, if Iraqis view them as the reason for the security problem they will turn on them. Without the support of a local population it is almost impossible for an insurgency to sustain itself.

Look at really effective terrorist/insurgent/revolutionary (whatever term fits) groups, the IRA, ETA, the Mahdi militia (prior to recently), they were effective because they had a large population they could hide in and that was willing to protect them.

Now, look at the Ku Klux Klan. At one point it was very effective, it had strong support throughout the Southern states from southerners and their governments. Local police departments wouldn’t seriously try to investigate their crimes–if they did, juries wouldn’t convict their members.

The KKK is more or less broken as an organization now because pretty much any jury of southerners would probably convict them. They no longer have the support of the population and cannot survive.

This is like many of the militia/survivalist movements in the United States, they’ve never gotten much traction because they only have the support of a very small fringe–without any support from the population at large they are easily monitored, caught, and kept under wraps.

For an interesting perspective, read this book:

America has been alternatively bribing and fighting troublesome middle easterners (or north africans) since there was an America. See: Barbary corsairs. Indeed, the very historical foundations of American naval power relate to the corsair menace - and the debate over whether it was better to bribe or fight (or some mix of both) is one going back hundreds of years.

This just in, from our “What the Fuck Is the Matter with You People!” desk…

Sunni militia strike could derail US strategy against al-Qaida


Another and even simpler old tactic, of course, is known as “Paying the Dane-geld.”

But you never get rid of the Dane.

And the one universal, absolutely undeniable, lesson from history is that the REAL problems begin, not when you START paying the Danes (or Huns, or Tartars, or Numidians. etc.). But when you STOP paying them.

Considering how much we’re paying them, would it be strategically/economically feasible to simply continue the practice and reduce our own (presumably more expensive) security presence?