How Can JAM Disband?
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), himself an Army veteran, wants to know how to demobilize Moqtada Sadr’s Mahdi Army, also known as the Jaish al-Mahdi or JAM. If Prime Minister Maliki ordered the disarmament of JAM, Petraeus said, it would “undoubtedly result in violence.” The only way to do it is “gradually over time, with force in background… and providing alternatives” for employment.
Reed wasn’t exactly satisfied at the sanguine view that powerful men with guns who run entire neighborhoods would really just rather be trash collectors and bureaucrats. “It sounds like less an employment problem than an existential one,” the senator said.