A Surge in DC?

Courtesy of Catholicgauze, good news about replication of the Baghdad “walls” strategy in our nation’s capital:

Geographic Travels with Catholicgauze!: Geography of Denial of Movement
All this is an effort to finally bring order to some of the worst parts of the nation’s capital. The plan has some recent precedents supporting it. Walls in Baghdad have managed to keep fighting neighboring ethnic groups separate. The walls, especially those keeping back Sadr’s Mahdi Army, have been credited in lowering the level of violence. The Israeli government is building barriers between Israel-proper and the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The West Bank Wall is praised by some for preventing infiltration by suicide bombers.

The way denial of movement works is 1) it is harder for an outsider to enter another neighborhood and cause trouble (people usually do not wage violence near their homes) 2) law enforcement has greater ground knowledge of what is going on (it is much easier to control a smaller area than a larger area) and 3) increased police presences acts as a signal showing who is in control.

This is a good idea. The question then becomes which of the major candidates supports it? Obama’s record is a weak on urban COIN, so the question is: does Barack Obama support a ‘Surge’ in Washington?

I guess no.

Update: Fabius Maximus has more on this good news.

8 thoughts on “A Surge in DC?”

  1. Catholicgauze,

    Thanks for the link!

    Steve French,

    Could you rephrase your first comment?

    As to your second, while of course most violence is intraracial, the same is true in Iraq as well. Simply because the groups fighting are not races but militant wings (Iraq) or gangs (DC) does not make it something other than intergroup conflict.

  2. Thank you for the link to Catholicgauze! It is always interesting to see a defense of these kind of measures.

    Also — wonderful website design! Fits the style and content very well!

  3. Fabius,

    Thanks for the kind words!

    Though I imagine Catholicgauze would prefer to call his post an analysis, rather than a defense. A defense might argue that there already is a sweeping de facto policy of no-go areas in the nation’s capital (against women, against tourists, etc.), while this policy seeks to replace that with one whose costs will be less taxing and more equitable.

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