Model Law for Anti-Insurgency in Iraq (Ethics of PMW/4GW Fusion Takedown)

This (DoS) sounds like Richard Thieme’s suggestion…,” by Stuart Berman, tdaxp, 18 May 2005,

To my post on the hybrid nature of family (“pre modern”) ideological (“4GW”) networks in Iraq, and my suggestion that the most influential single males in a family network be indefinitely held or humiliated to break the insurgency, Stuart Berman writes

So what are the ethical considerations with DoS [Isolation attacks on individual family members]. How do you target the ‘right’ people if you are in essence destroying their reputations?

I’m not sure about ethics, but Stuart’s comment made me think of the importance of doing this legally. Failing to have a legal structure leads to moral isolation of Coalition and Iraqi forces, which would be a significant insurgent victory. But how would a law that enables the destruction of reputations of potentially innocent single males, just because someone in their family is a known insurgent.

It might look something like this

A Person is Guilty of Conspiracy to Insurgency If

  • The person does not have dependent children, and
  • the person is a male at least 16 years old, and
  • the person is of the same House as an active insurgent, and
  • the person should have known of the active insurgent’s activities

Every clause is important. In order,

  • The first clause enables the targeted denial of service attack, distinguishing this from a broader anti-family attack. Anti-family attacks work well in traditional insurgency (Pre-Modern War), but backfire in either 4GW or PMW/4GW hybrids. The law is silent on whether biological children not dependent on the accused should count — that is open to interpretation.
  • The second clause further narrows the scope. Especially in traditional societies, women and children do not possess independent agency. A crime of a woman or a child is presumed to be caused by her male guardian.
  • The third clause is a flexible way of applying the law to kin relations, either of the same house, tribe, or clan, as appropriate. “House” should correspond to how the accused sees themselves in a kinship network. Additionally, by making “House” a criteria of the law it allows flexible interpretation, as appropriate.
  • The fourth clause likewise is open to interpretation. During a very active insurgency, there may be an absolute presumption that the accused should have known — similar to how some American states have an absolute presumption that a child born to a married woman is the rightful child of her husband, regardless of biological evidence. For a very low level Ulster-style situation, “should have known” can be interested much more strictly.

The persons targeted for denial-of-service attack do not have to be found guilty of anything more than this, though that is a post for another time…

One thought on “Model Law for Anti-Insurgency in Iraq (Ethics of PMW/4GW Fusion Takedown)”

  1. How about the reverse? If a man with young kids is caught red handed in some insurgency preparation do you then take down his reputation despite the rules? (Regardless of whether he is punished in other ways.)

  2. Stuart: Great question.

    My short answer is that the “Conspiracy to Insurgency” would be a secondary charge to “Insurgency.”

    Long-form answer: That's the subject of a great, upcoming blog post. 🙂

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