Monday, September 29, 2014

A Perfect Endless Loop, It Seems....

Via Shakesville, who points us to the original article at CNN:  

The United States is spending millions of dollars to destroy U.S. equipment in Iraq and Syria — gear the U.S. gave the Iraqi military that was later captured by ISIS forces.
The U.S has hit 41 Humvees since attacks began in August, according to data from United States Central Command.
The U.S. is sending $30,000-bombs to eliminate these armored vehicles, which cost about a quarter of a million dollars each depending what it is equipped with, according to Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The U.S. Defense Department confirmed the targets to CNN. "In some cases, we have seen instances of ISIL capturing and employing U.S.-made equipment," said a spokesperson. "When we've seen these terrorists employing this equipment, we've sought to eliminate that threat."
Once the U.S. destroys the equipment, it might have to re-supply the Iraqi military.
"If we want them [the Iraqi military] to be able to secure their own borders in the long run, we're going to have to re-equip them," said Harrison. "So we'll be buying another Humvee and sending it back to the Iraqi military.''

I'm not good enough with my Apple software and Blogger to draw this, but what I'd like to depict below would be a circular loop, with 4 circles distributed at the noon, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions.  And all connected by clockwise-pointing arrows.

Imagine the circle just described:

NOON:  U.S. supplies "good" guys

3 PM:  "Bad" guys intervene, attack "good" guys, capture U.S. provided military equipment and supplies

6 PM:  Chaos ensues, lots of human misery, "good" and "bad" guys and the way ahead all quite ambiguous, but we must do something!

9 PM:  U.S. blows up "bad" guys and their captured military equipment and supplies

NOON:  U.S. resupplies "good" guys

How many times in our Middle East adventures have we seen this same sort of scenario play out?  In the meanwhile, whenever we shoot, we create more people who hate the U.S. than existed before we shot, exacerbating the problem downstream in the future.

I keep thinking that the only solution to break this endless loop is to tell the "bad" guys,

"You know, we were gonna send $xxx worth of drones, Tomahawk missiles, and bombs to try to wipe you off the face of the earth.  Instead, we are sending that same amount of humanitarian aid in the form of food, shelter, medical supplies, and well-digging equipment to aid the ordinary people whose lives are screwed by near-constant war."

This may not work, but let's just try it this once, OK?

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