Sunday, May 20, 2007

No Touch of Harry in Iraq?

It’s been reported that Prince Harry will not be going to Iraq. I can appreciate the reasons for that, particularly the risk the presence of such a high value target will create for his immediate comrades. But I think the British army is missing an opportunity.

There’s a time honored tactic used by the British monarchy to deal with just this sort of problem, going back at least to the battle of Shrewsbury: scatter a number of doubles about the battlefield in copies of the royal armor. In 1403 that was plate harness and coat armor bearing Quarterly France Ancient and England rather than a Scimitar light tank with “Windsor Rules!” painted on the turret, but the principle is the same. A dozen doubles could be pre-deployed in widely scattered locations, and then revealed and concealed to give the illusion of rapid movement about the theatre of operations. For added entertainment value, his theoretical itinerary from A to B to C and back to A could be leaked, with doubles making appearances at the destination points only to confirm the illusion and bait traps. The intervening roads would be populated only by ordinary traffic, frustrated insurgents, and over-flying hellfire-armed drones and helicopter gunships.

They seek him here, they seek him there
Jihadis seek him everywhere
Is he in Basra or in Baghdad?
That damned elusive Windsor lad

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