Thursday, July 14, 2005
A Concept for Security in Iraq
I have set down a few ideas about what I believe should happen in major cities in Iraq at the order of the Iraqi government. These ideas are not complete, but they do stem from reporting on repetitive insurgent activities. The main intent of these restrictions is to reduce the possibility of bomb attacks and insurgent attacks on key facilities, and to reduce the number of people exposed to attack. The idea would be to gradually let up on the restrictions as insurgent activity lessened, or the reverse if needed. The basic thrust is that of Martial Law, but relaxed a few degrees.
The Iraqi government ought to institute a curfew that is strictly enforced. Anyone seen after curfew should be subject to arrest, or if armed, shot on sight. No autos should be allowed to be driven on the streets during curfew. This should make planting IEDs and setting autos in place to explode on command more difficult. Certain areas should be off limits to anyone not authorized to be there on pain of being shot.
Any auto driver should have full credentials with him, including picture ID license, registration of the auto, with should be coupled to the car manufacturer's number, and bill of sale for the auto. A home address and telephone number should be available for checking the validity of the permit. If stopped, his credentials will be checked, and if they are not correct, the auto will be searched and impounded, and he will be sent to jail. No exceptions. Any weapons or explosives found will result in arrest and trial of the driver. Checkpoints should be set up where there is a minimum of foot and vehicle traffic nearby.
Both permanent and random checkpoints should be instituted throughout the area or city, as well as stops by police for suspicion anywhere. This might help stop auto bombers before they ride into the city. Certain areas should be closed to auto traffic completely, except by permit.
Major cities should be declared Weapons Free Zones. Full searches of buildings and homes for hidden weapons should be undertaken on a random basis, with the punishment for having a weapon in one's possession at a minimum of 10 years in prison, to a maximum of execution if the weapons cache is more than some minimum number, or ammo of a large amount. If found, an RPG, explosives, hand grenades, mortars or mortar rounds or a heavy machinegun should result in execution. Anyone carrying a weapon that is not identifiable as a police or armed forces member should be shot on sight.
Police Stations should be set back from the roads and surrounded by non-moveable concrete barriers except for entrance traps. Gatherings of more than some number of policemen in the Station at a time should be prevented if possible. All persons wanting to enter the Station must be searched for explosives and weapons at the barrier gate, and then given a proper pass. Fortified watchtowers and day/night surveillance monitors should be manned continuously to alert the men of an attack.
All busses and trucks entering the city must be searched for weapons and explosives. All busses and trucks in the city are subject to stop and search. Public transport and service vehicles will be searched daily by their maintenance personnel, and may be stopped and searched by police as well. It might be feasible to blockade many roads entering the city to force vehicle traffic into convenient channels where inspections will occur.
All mosques and schools, and other potential gathering places will be searched daily for weapons, explosives and potential insurgents. The mosque or other authorities will be held responsible for any such items that are found, and they will be arrested, tried and sentenced. For a major infraction, the penalty is death.
Gatherings away from a mosque of more than five people, excepting children, should be forbidden, unless they have been issued a permit to meet by the local police good for that meeting only. Waiting in line for a bus is permitted. Attendance at schools is permitted. Working in a building is permitted. Visiting a museum where more than five people are present is permitted. Shopping in stores and attending movies is permitted. Job applicants, such as for the police force must be first searched and then sent to a secure area to await processing, and not be allowed to wait in long lines on the street. Other permits will be granted as the situation warrants.
Once the car bomber has been seriously hindered, the major threat will be from individual suicide bombers. Perhaps the traditional robe dress of Iraqis must be forbidden, in favor of high visibility of the person's body, so that explosives or unusual bulges in their clothes could be used to detect them. This should be true for women too. Get rid of burkas and veils! Many bomb-sniffing dogs should be imported and used to screen people randomly at places such as theaters, restaurants, and stores, and around parked autos everywhere.
Auto and foot patrols should be instituted using bomb-resistant vehicles and armor for personnel. Foot patrols should be carried out with a minimum of five men to start with, and preferably seven or eight men, fully armed with automatic rifles. This can be reduced later to two men in well-ordered areas. No city street should be without a patrol presence for longer than an hour, and preferably a half hour. Surveillance of most streets by TV cameras should be considered.