David Plotz has six new ideas for bringing real security to Iraq. I won’t bother listing them here; go read them if you like. His main point seems to be that we needed to “flood the zone” with a lot of troops and cops and generally been much more ruthless than we have been in order to have established “law and order” from the get-go. While there is some appeal to this argument–establishing basic security is the first order of business for any government and, indeed, its raison detre–the tactics Plotz suggests would have been a huge PR disaster for the US. The casualties are troops are inflicting just defending themselves from crazed nuts with AK-47s are enough of a problem. Going in to bust heads like Buford Pusser would have been simply idiotic.

BTW, this Axis of Weevil thing must be rubbing off. One doesn’t often combine “get-go,” “raison detre” and “Buford Pusser” in the same paragraph.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Scott Harris says:

    HA! Buford Pusser Indeed! With the world’s expectations of us so low, the least we could do is live down to them a little. Go Pusser!