Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Iraqi Weapons Buyback Program
As the clamor over guns in the hands of the wrong people surfaces again here in the States as a result of the terrible and unfortunate events at Virginia Tech – I was reminded of a program that may have some utility in Iraq. In poor/ crime ridden intercity locations here in the states the Police offer gun buyback programs to collect guns from individuals.
Is it conceivable to conduct some sort of weapons buyback program in Iraq – buy back weapons, ammo, explosives, fuses, blasting devices? Think of it – offer $50 dollars for the turn in of an AK47 – offer $1.00 pound for explosives, .01 per bullet – you would be encouraging some enterprising individuals to actually go out and find materials that are currently being used against coalition and Iraqi security forces. IED buried by your neighbor gets reported and turned in for profit instead of left to do its terrible deed. You could offer higher amounts for particularly problematic devices.
OK - naysayers will provide that some will cheat the system and bring in only inoperative weapons, stolen materials, etc… but to my way of thinking, the treat of reporting and opportunist behavior will negatively affect insurgents that would now have to dedicate resources to secure cashes, monitor IEDs, etc…. Imagine that keeping explosives in your house becomes a financial incentive for someone else that results in all sorts of complications. Anyone stumbling across a pile of munitions has discovered the equivalent of gold. The collection mechanism may be a little complicated – the preference would be to be directed to the materials and destroy them in place (to include the location containing them) Harboring or storing materials that are bound to be reported is a no win situation if it means your dwelling sustains collateral damage … quick honey get the mortar rounds out of the house… lets put them in the field, call them in and collect some real cash.
Perhaps the concept and explanation are very crude, but would it work? Would seem relatively inexpensive, drives market forces to raise the cost of the materials for insurgents, provides a real incentive for opportunist to sniff out cashes and storage points. The results may warrant an attempt at least – petty cash in the hands of our soldiers patrolling – handed out when materials are located and collected? May bear some consideration....