Okay, my post title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but this is probably a good move:
In Anbar Province, the large desert region in the western part of the country that borders Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, the government has apparently reached an agreement with several of the Sunni tribes to form a “Desert Protection Force.” The DPF will be recruited from tribal militias, who have an intimate knowledge of the desert, and the traditional — as in thousands of years — smuggling routes into the adjacent regions. Although it can be viewed as a bribe to the tribal leaders to keep their people in line, the initiative may yield important benefits in the future, since it links local tribal fortunes to the success of the new government.
I’ve previously suggested that “deputizing” some groups might not be out of line, for the two-fold purpose of removing a potential enemy and empowering those with the best chance at success. Obviously, this strategy is filled with risk. But the rewards of success could be great and if applied carefully, these sort of agreements could do a lot to help establish and maintain long-term security.
I’m curious to see how this is going to be analyzed in the Legacy Media.