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US Military


Project: US Military

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January 8, 2005

       Newsweek reports that the Pentagon is considering a new approach to dealing with the insurgency in Iraq, which they call the “El Salvador Option.” During the 1980s, the US funded and supported El Salvadorian paramilitary units which were implicated in numerous assassinations and kidnappings including the murder of four American nuns in 1980. Now the Pentagon is debating whether the same tactics should be used in Iraq. “What everyone agrees is that we can't just go on as we are,” one unnamed senior military officer tells Newsweek. “We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing.” Another military source interviewed by the magazine contends that Iraqis who sympathize with the insurgents need to be targeted. “The Sunni population is paying no price for the support it is giving to the terrorists,” the source says. “From their point of view, it is cost-free. We have to change that equation.” One proposal would “send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria,” Newsweek explains. Among the proposal's supporters is Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. [Newsweek, 1/8/2005]
People and organizations involved: Ayad Allawi

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