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?