Larry Kotlikoff’s plan to stabilize Iraq

by on April 11, 2007 at 5:08 pm in Political Science | Permalink

Here goes:

The Iraqi government should institute a draft of all Iraqi men between the
ages of 18 and 35.  This is the demographic most responsible for the violence. 
The removal of these 3 million men from the cities and countryside to army
barracks would likely bring an immediate end to Iraq’s horrific nightmare.  Any
men older than 35 suspected of involvement in terrorist or insurgent acts would
also be enlisted…The role of the enlarged Iraqi army would not involve bearing arms or
training in the use of arms. Rather the role would be to reconstruct the
country.

Were the United States to pay 3 million Iraqi soldiers $10,000 yearly, the
bill would be $30 billion.  This is a small amount relative to the savings it
would accrue from leaving the country.  It would also make service in the Iraqi
army highly desirable…

It is called a draft, but I think of it as an allowance to go play in the sand, a’la Coase.  Here is more.

1 Aaron Fix April 11, 2007 at 5:24 pm

I have to question whether violent insurgents would actually lay down their weapons to do be on the USA’s payroll.

2 adrian April 11, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Starship troopers stuff. While we’re at it let’s rearrange the whole country top down, it’ll be fun. We’ll have our Iman class, our warrior class, our farming class etc. I’ve played a lot of civilization & age of empires, and am currently enjoying Medieval Total War II. Their societies are so much easier & clearer than muddy old reality, it could work. In age of empires you can build wonders, maybe we could set a heap’a these guys to work on that statue of Bush Perley so desired?

3 Ricketson April 11, 2007 at 6:48 pm

This is basically the Civilian Conservation Corps, right?

If it works in Iraq, we’d have a good plan for rebuilding the entire world.

4 Kaj Sotala April 11, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Let’s take the demographic most responsible for the violence, and then, give them military training?

5 cure April 11, 2007 at 11:19 pm

I hate to be the libertarian bugaboo, but oughtn’t we show some concern for the 99% of the Iraqi population who are not blowing things up, and who therefore still ought to retain their natural right to be free from a draft?

6 Kent April 12, 2007 at 12:31 am

…Why not consider it? Seriously, what’s worked so far? Sure, there’s some idealism here, but why not consider it? Allow young Iraqis to feel like they’re a part of something, pay them well, and give ’em something to defend Iraq from its enemies, foreign and domestic.

“Our violence” is nothing like the mess that our government and its decisions have brought to Iraq. Come on now. Iraq is a disaster! Whether we’re for or against this war, WE (Americans, the U.S.A.) are responsible for the subsequent chaos. We intentionally brought it about. And, if our country’s reputation is already shitty, what’ll it be like if we just leave now or continue covering with bandages? I’m sorry, but to imply that a draft is ridiculous on its face because we have the luxury of living in a place where it’s not needed is silly.

Kent

7 haha April 12, 2007 at 1:16 am

yeah give them guns!

8 dsVasques April 12, 2007 at 9:07 am

People are getting more creative every day. Paid concentration camps. That’s new!

9 spencer April 12, 2007 at 9:51 am

Just another economist promising a “free lunch” not that different from all
the free lunch policies that got us into the mess we now see.

10 Ned April 12, 2007 at 11:09 am

Fundamentally, not a bad idea, but I would use this New Model Army not to rebuild the country but to attack their ancient enemy, Iran. Equip them lavishly, pay them well (which should take care of the desertion problem – no service, no pay) and then point them in the direction of Tehran. Offer a bounty for the head of every Iranian they take – this would be a Vernichtungskrieg, a war of total annihilation. No attention would be paid to human rights or civilian casualties. The US could help out by carpet bombing Iranian cities and key installations. This would unite the various Iraqi factions and boost the popularity of the government. And from what I’ve seen of Iraqis, they would probably enjoy being paid to kill Iranians.

11 Kaj Sotala April 12, 2007 at 11:16 am

vm, whoops. My bad, read it lazily. In that case it might very well work, though then I’ll question if “drafting them to the army” is the correct term to use…

12 adrian April 12, 2007 at 3:21 pm

nelsonal – give the tower another shot eh? Has the makings of a South Park episode.

13 Paul R. Dorasil April 13, 2007 at 12:54 am

While this is an interesting idea, it does not seem practical. Drafting insurgents would give them a much greater opportunity to fundamentally undermine stability in Iraq through internal sabotage with or without the authorized use of firearms.

14 hoojk December 2, 2007 at 10:50 pm

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