The Iraqi and American authorities had been trying several ways in dealing with the local insurgents including offering amnesty for those who drop their arms, offering more reconstruction funds for the hot spots and opening the doors for the sons of those areas to join the Iraqi security forces.
But al-Sabah published a report this morning about an alleged big change in the American strategies towards the local insurgents:
Instead of talking to the leaders of the militant groups in the western regions of Iraq, US forces now are trying to arrange for disarming the insurgents through talking to tribal sheikhs and community leaders.
It seems the new strategy includes providing the sheikhs with huge amounts of money to be distributed to great numbers of insurgents to persuade them to stop the violence since they say that they had to resort to violence because they were in need for money. A source with close ties to the insurgents told al-Sabah.
The source revealed that American forces are receiving good feedback which encouraged them to increase their support to the mediators to get more insurgents under the umbrella of this program, and mentioned that the US forces have so far distributed approximately 20 million $ out of 250 allocated by the US authorities for this program.
One might say that paying the insurgents to stop the violence means submitting to the pressure of the terrorists and that doing this is useless because they will keep asking for more every time they run out of it. And that makes sense.
But let's look at it from another angle (again assuming the report is accurate) according to the report the insurgents (at least many of them) are paid mercenaries fighting for money and when thinking about the possible sources for this money I can only think of Syria and Iran.
So who's capable of investing more in Iraq, the US or the fading regimes in Iran and Syria?
I think that if it's possible to buy the loyalty of local insurgents with money then we should consider this as an option. so we won't have to keep paying them for a pretty long time.
Remarks: Omar's assumption that "neither the Mullahs nor Asad will be in power few years from now" is important. I believe he is right, in fact I'm guessing they won't be in power even a year or two from now.
Whence this optimism? Well, for one thing, nothing the US and Israel are doing now makes sense unless Jerusalem and Washington are operating under the same assumption. The liberation and reconstruction of Iraq are, quite frankly, doomed to failure unless the neighboring regimes, which are doing their utmost to bring the project to ruin, will themselves fall first. The Israel/Palestine "Road Map" is a tragic and disastrous exercise in self-deception for America and Israel unless the regimes backing Hamas and Hezbollah are to be brought down. The entire premise of the Bush Doctrine will be for naught unless the dominoes continue to fall in Tehran and Damascus. I believe they will.
Based on everything I've been reading, I think it is very likely that the US and its allies will be at war with Iran - and probably Syria too - by the end of March. What happens after the balloon goes up is anybody's guess.