Friday, November 24, 2006

Sliding closer to chaos

An apparently recurring CENTCOM slide was published by the New York Times. I noted that we should pay attention to these categories.



In mid-October, CENTCOM ascribed the following values:

"Key Reads"

1. Political/religious leaders increase public hostile rhetoric GREEN
2. Political/religious leaders lose moderating influence over constituents ORANGE
3. Provocative sectarian attacks/assassinations YELLOW
4. Unorganized spontaneous mass civil conflict GREEN

There are ten additional indicators.

1. Militias expand security role ORANGE
2. Governance ORANGE
3. Police ineffectual ORANGE
4. Army ineffectual YELLOW
5. Neighbors enable violence YELLOW
6. Sectarian tensions/violence displace population ORANGE
7. Sectarian conflicts between/within ISF forces YELLOW
8. ISF refuse to take orders from central government, mass desertion YELLOW
9. Kurdish accelerate moves toward secession/annexing Kirkuk YELLOW
10. Low level violence motivated by sectarian differences CRITICAL/RED

If I had photoshop, I could update this. My work PC does not permit that though. Here's how it looks today (with notes).

"Key Reads"

1. Political/religious leaders increase public hostile rhetoric GREEN (STATIC. They still call for calm.)
2. Political/religious leaders lose moderating influence over constituents CRITICAL/RED (DECLINE. Kidnappings last week and attacks in Sadr city, with retaliation today, indicate that moderating influence may be lost.)
3. Provocative sectarian attacks/assassinations ORANGE (DECLINE. Two massive attacks in as many weeks)
4. Unorganized spontaneous mass civil conflict YELLOW (DECLINE. Attacks today despite curfew. Some very spectacular: namely Sunnis burned alive in front of crowds.)

There are ten additional indicators.

1. Militias expand security role ORANGE (STATIC.)
2. Governance ORANGE (STATIC. Critical level may approach if Sadr leaves governing coalition)
3. Police ineffectual CRITICAL/RED (DECLINE. Curfew not effective enough)
4. Army ineffectual ORANGE (DECLINE. Curfew not effective enough)
5. Neighbors enable violence ORANGE (DECLINE. Shiite neighborhoods launched mortar attacks last night and today. Vocal protests.)
6. Sectarian tensions/violence displace population ORANGE (STATIC. But, UN reports 1000s displaced per day, according to some reports.)
7. Sectarian conflicts between/within ISF forces YELLOW (STATIC.)
8. ISF refuse to take orders from central government, mass desertion YELLOW (STATIC.)
9. Kurdish accelerate moves toward secession/annexing Kirkuk YELLOW (STATIC.)
10. Low level violence motivated by sectarian differences CRITICAL/RED (STATIC. Already at worst level in scale. Actually intensifying.

4 Comments:

Blogger mikevotes said...

I find it very interesting that there's no "Faction leader's commitment to the government" in this list.

I understand it's designed to measure/grade a civil war, but in this circumstance specific to Iraq, the commitment to government seems to me to be a key indicator as to a political willingness.

Maybe more briefly, it would seem that if Sadr or the Sunnis withdraw from the government, they are giving up altogether on any sort of a political settlement of grievances.

I guess it's because it's a very difficult metric. How do you measure it?

Mike

4:26 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

At this point, only a miracle will pull Iraq back from a very terrible Sectarian conflict. I realized yesterday that what is likely to transpire in Iraq will be one of the worst conflicts in recent history, meaning the past 25 years... It has the potential to rate even more terrible than that, if if draws in regional powers. I think that more terrible degree is actually more probable than not.

I don't like this slide. But, it is important and informative to use the material we have from the Pentagon in our own analysis. I really don't like this slide. It's too "Power Point" for me and it will miss important information ... Like all things Power Point, it will miss information, overly stress certain information etc.

I guess the only thing this slide is good for is keeping track of how bad it is getting, relativistically.

4:39 PM  
Blogger mikevotes said...

I've been trying to parallel this conflict. We're getting closer to the roving mobs of Rwanda although because of the weaponry defense is a little better, so probably not the complete breakdown.

I'm thinking more like Congo or maybe Algeria, multisided civil war with none of the outside countries aiding their side to win, but all of them aiding them not to lose.

I don't think we'll see the large movements of Bosnia so long as the US is there because troop concentrations will be impossible.

I'm thinking likely extremely broad small unit/local militia.

Mike

10:16 PM  
Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

This is the end my friend.

The Hebrew Neo-conmen of Washington are bleeding our (once great) Republic to death...

How long will we tolerate our nation’s time-honored Christian values being mocked and ridiculed by pro-Israel racist thugs who view us as inferior goyim ?

To them, our kids are just gentile cannon-fodder: good enough to die on the battlefields of Iraq and Arabia for the sake of Greater Israel, while their spies plunder our country and sell our most strategic secrets to our enemies!

6:51 AM  

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