Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Wrong Move by Britain

Britain has demanded the surrender of the killers of 6 UK soldiers from civilian authorities in Majar al-Kabir, Iraq. This strikes me as entirely counterproductive. What will Britain do if the civilian authorities refuse? Demand the surrender of the civilian authorities from the civilian authorities? And if they move to arrest a defiant civil authority they will have two enemies in place of one. They should have gone for the killers themselves.

The Belmont Club earlier contrasted the aggressive US policy of hunting down terrorist cells with the British approach of winning "hearts and minds" -- with Tommies in cases standing guard in coexistence with armed militiamen. The press has praised the British approach, which is one reason to suspect it. Anyone who does the math will realize that the Americans are capturing or killing many tens of key Ba'ath cadres for every soldier they lose. The downside of this ferocity has been analyzed by Phil Carter, but the Americans have intelligence files and key enemy leadership in custody. What the British have is dead soldiers and empty hands.