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Preemptive Manhunt: A New Partisanship

Preemptive Manhunt: A New Partisanship positions 13:1 © 2005 by Duke University Press positions 13:1 Spring 2005 designate the kind of military policy commensurate to the task of ending the Iraqi insurgency and other terrorist threats. Hersh quotes “an American who has advised the civilian authority in Baghdad” as saying, “The only way we can win is to go unconventional. We’re going to have to play their game. Guerrilla versus guerrilla. Terrorism versus terrorism. We’ve got to scare the Iraqis into submission.”3 Preemptive manhunting would seem to refer to an unconventional, guerrilla, or partisan style of warfare deployed by regular combatants in the allied coalition. Hersh compares this new policy of targeted assassination to the Vietnam War’s Phoenix Program, through which at least twenty thousand “targets” under suspicion of being Vietcong collaborators were liquidated. But the Phoenix Program was not preemptive in nature (although it may actually have been so in many cases). What seems new now is the Bush administration’s use of special forces to engage in preemptive strikes against guerrilla operations months after the conventional war was declared over.4 There is an important precedent, however: the notorious and highly effective Israeli Mist’aravin commando units, which specialize in the assassination or capture http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Preemptive Manhunt: A New Partisanship

positions asia critique , Volume 13 (1) – Mar 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-13-1-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

positions 13:1 © 2005 by Duke University Press positions 13:1 Spring 2005 designate the kind of military policy commensurate to the task of ending the Iraqi insurgency and other terrorist threats. Hersh quotes “an American who has advised the civilian authority in Baghdad” as saying, “The only way we can win is to go unconventional. We’re going to have to play their game. Guerrilla versus guerrilla. Terrorism versus terrorism. We’ve got to scare the Iraqis into submission.”3 Preemptive manhunting would seem to refer to an unconventional, guerrilla, or partisan style of warfare deployed by regular combatants in the allied coalition. Hersh compares this new policy of targeted assassination to the Vietnam War’s Phoenix Program, through which at least twenty thousand “targets” under suspicion of being Vietcong collaborators were liquidated. But the Phoenix Program was not preemptive in nature (although it may actually have been so in many cases). What seems new now is the Bush administration’s use of special forces to engage in preemptive strikes against guerrilla operations months after the conventional war was declared over.4 There is an important precedent, however: the notorious and highly effective Israeli Mist’aravin commando units, which specialize in the assassination or capture

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2005

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