Sadr Shenanigans (Updated)
Everybody's favorite asshole Muqtada al-Sadr appears to be acting up again in Iraq. (Here and Here). The media is reporting "tens of thousands" of protestors. Actually, I saw that phrase repeated quite a bit this weekend. I wonder if it has its origins in a Sadr press release. Anybody with actual boots on the ground care to comment on the numbers?
Anyway, he appears to be demanding the same old stuff. Withdrawal of US troops. Release of his guys. What I think it all boils down to is that he wants a seat a the big kids table. The new Iraqi government is being formed largely because of deals brokered by rival Ali al-Sistani. A Kurd was just appointed president of Iraq. Can you say marginalized?
And I think the coalition is doing the right things to keep Sadr marginalized. Reconstruction in Sadr City. Amnesty deals. The only problem is that Sadr knows what's happening an will probably escalate his activities in order to maintain influence.
So if we go back to effects based operations, what "effects" do we want to mass on Sadr? We sure don't want to get sucked back into street fighting in Sadr City? Perhaps our biggest IO weapon would be ignoring him and keep doing what we're doing.
Is "ignore" an valid doctrinal task?
Note on crowd sizes: Remember the Million Man March and the controversy surrounding the numbers? Numbers are important to protestors everywhere. Any IMINT types have any comments on estimating crowd size?
Update: MAJ K has some stuff to say about the numbers in the Sadr demostration. He's also tells some trolls where to stick it.