Iraq Symposium

In response to Glenn’s request

(Some definitions below are drawn from ANSI/PMI 99-001-2004, the Project Management Book of Knowledge, 3rd Edition; or from The Deming Process Workbench: An Application at MCI.)

  1. Create a separate cabinet-level department for overseeing the transition from recently-defeated enemy nation to independently functioning polity or polities, as opposed to making this a DoD responsibility.
  2. Include a sunset provision so we�re not stuck with it forever, as we seem likely to be with, for example, both the DoEs and DHS.
  3. Perform SWOT (strength/weakness/opportunity/threat) analyses.
  4. Assign appropriate risk-response strategies to identified threats (�negative risks�):
    • Avoid � change plan to eliminate threat; isolate objective from risk�s impact; or relax objective in jeopardy.
    • Transfer � shift negative impact of threat, along with ownership of response, to third party (I note that this should be the long-term strategy for managing negative risks in all cases).
    • Mitigate � reduction in probability and/or impact to acceptable threshold (this involves direct action by the new agency; see �Tactics� below).
    • Accept � either passive: no action; or active: establish contingency reserve (time, money, resources).
  5. Assign appropriate risk-response strategies to identified opportunities (�positive risks�):
    • Exploit – eliminate uncertainty by making the opportunity definitely happen.
    • Share – allocate ownership to third party who is best able to capture opportunity for benefit of overall effort.
    • Enhance – increase probability or positive impact; identify and maximize key drivers of opportunity, as by proactively targeting and reinforcing trigger conditions.

The following items assume both that specific risks have been identified and that active strategies (mitigation, exploitation, enhancement) are preferred for addressing any remaining items after more passive strategies (avoidance, transfer, acceptance, sharing) have narrowed the list down.

  1. Define mutually-agreed-upon, measurable exit criteria for the departure of US forces from Iraq or specific provinces therein (several items in the Rumsfeld memo are instances of this).
  2. In parallel, define entrance criteria for employment of US forces against other nations in the area. Publicize these criteria through Congressional resolutions authorizing the use of force if they are met.
  3. Address Iraqi economic stresses with sizeable reconstruction efforts, employing local residents wherever possible and training them for managerial functions as well as entry-level work. Pay in dollars and encourage dollarization for long-term protection against inflation. Create an oil trust fund to give the entire population an incentive to cooperate as one nation.
  4. Encourage a truly federalized system within Iraq in which government functions are carried out at the lowest possible level.
  5. The first two items above are part of the development of a �war process,� which should take into account the belligerence, hostility, and ongoing threatening activities of Iraq�s neighbors, including the memetic engineering of Saudi-subsidized Wahhabism and Iranian-subsidized radical Shi�ism.
  6. Announce that the Iranian nuclear program would be acceptable if Iran were to hold truly free elections and accomplish an orderly transfer of executive power away from the radicals (�there are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men� — R.A.H.). Make it clear that continued radical leadership imperils the existence of the program and the lives of everyone who works in it.
  7. Announce that the US will support a democratic Lebanon, up to and including military assistance, in its efforts to avoid Syrian domination.
  8. Acquire operational control over the Pakistani nuclear arsenal (rumor has it that we already control the launch codes).
  9. Give the Saudis deadlines for transition to a constitutional monarchy with free elections and a halt to their promotion of Wahhabism in American mosques. Enforce these deadlines with a blockade, if necessary.
  10. Consider targeting individual Saudi clerics.
  11. Initiate an aggressive nanotechnological development program for the development of materials (eg cheap photovoltaics) and mechanisms (molecular assemblers) to entirely eliminate American dependency on hydrocarbon extraction elsewhere in the world.
  12. Develop the capability to apply discriminate military force anywhere in the world on very short notice, from bases in the US, with the swiftness of ICBMs but without the WMD (see 61 Years Ago Today).

That�ll do to go on �

Discuss this post at the Chicago Boyz Forum.