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The other day I did a post called Role Model, after Ahmed Moor pointed out that American troops are learning to "cut the grass" in Afghanistan just the way the Israelis cut the grass in the occupied territories. Well, a smart reader pointed out that this has been going on for a long time. Remember the piece by Dexter Filkins early in the Iraq war about the American army learning its rules of engagement from the IDF– 2003, "Tough New Tactics…"

The practice of destroying buildings where Iraqi insurgents are suspected of
planning or mounting attacks has been used for decades by Israeli soldiers in
Gaza and the West Bank. The Israeli Army has also imprisoned the relatives of
suspected terrorists, in the hopes of pressing the suspects to surrender.

The Israeli military has also cordoned off villages and towns thought to be
hotbeds of guerrilla activity, in an effort to control the flow of people
moving in and out.

American officials say they are not purposefully mimicking Israeli tactics, but
they acknowledge that they have studied closely the Israeli experience in urban
fighting. Ahead of the war, Israeli defense experts briefed American commanders on their experience in guerrilla and urban warfare.

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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