Monday, May 01, 2006

Zarqawi Top Priority

According to a recent article from the Defense News website, capturing Zarqawi is the top priority, more so than bin Laden. Should this really be the priority?
How much difference would it make even if Zarqawi was apprehended? It would just allow for the next person in line to step up and take over Zarqawi’s position. The problem is not Zarqawi, but the coalition’s presence in Iraq, as well as, more generally, West’s policies. At least this is the problem as seen through the eyes of the followers of bin Laden and Zarqawi. So it would seem that the capture of Zarqawi may be a morale boost for the coalition troops and will surely generate some intense media coverage in the US...but realistically, it will do little to stop the current “civil war” (the only reason I put it in quotations is because there is speculation whether what’s going on in Iraq between the sects, is all-out civil war or not), or to stop the insurgence in Iraq.
I think we would do better to use the resources and special troops that we are dedicating to capture of Zarqawi, for training the Iraqi military and police so that they can start taking care of business themselves. Even according to US’ own military personnel, the emphasis on Zarqawi may have been overplayed. As this article points out, the role of Zarqawi may have been exaggerated in order for the Bush administration to make a better tie-in between the war in Iraq and the terrorist organization responsible for 9/11. So, again the question is, should we really be going after this guy as hard as we have been?

Should Foreign Companies Be In Charge of US Homeland Security?

Tonight, as I was sitting at home watching the local Lexington news, an interesting story came up. I am sure that to most people, as it was to me, it is news that foreign owned companies are taking care of our homeland security. One of them, an India-backed company named AKAL Security, is running security contracts for more than a billion dollars in the US. AKAL Security is the largest provider of security officers for court houses around the US. The same company guards some of the most vital sites here in Kentucky, such as the Bluegrass Army Depot in Richmond.

Some of the local security companies are complaining that they didn’t even have a chance to get the contracts, also citing that this takes jobs away from the US. But is this really a legitimate complaint or concern? I mean, if AKAL is the best security company, regardless of their origin, wouldn’t everyone rather have them guarding our most vulnerable sites, rather than a local company which may not have nearly as much experience nor resources.

Secondly, sure contracting security out to AKAL will take away some jobs, but most of the security employees are still from Kentucky...they are not IMPORTED from India. So, this claim is for the most part unrealistic. As far as I am concerned, if AKAL is one of the best security companies out there, then by all means they have my vote to guard the sites that are vital to our national security. However, that’s just my opinion and I would like to hear what others have to say on the matter