I don't get this.
The Independant says US troops have "punished" civilian farmers for not informing on terrorists.
This is an activity the US occupying forces learned from the Israeli army. Well, it's one thing for frustrated Israeli troops to experiment with this technique. But why the hell would any tactician observe the Israeli experience and conclude that it works?
JRobb recently discussed whether a major conventional power has ever won a Low Intensity Conflict. The only acknowledged example seems to be Britain in Malaysia which used a "hearts and minds" policy. And promised independence as a reward to co-operative civilians.
I suspect the Americans think they had a hearts and minds policy. ("We were nice enough, right? Look at all the things we did for them!") Think it failed. And have now impatiently decided to get tough.
I want to believe this ... the "cockup" theory.
Because I don't want to believe the alternative, the "conspiracy", theory. That the Americans don't want to win peace in Iraq yet. They want more chaos. Maybe to excuse war against Syria or Iran or to force changes in Saudi Arabia.