The Supply of the Trade: Antiquities Seizure on West Bank - Antiquities discovered in Samaria Police spokesman Israeli police and members of the archaeological department of the Civil Administration raided a home i...
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I want you to know that President Obama and our Administration are laser-focused on protecting the cultural heritage of countries all around the world. That is why we’re funding a landmark effort with the American Schools of Oriental Research to document the condition of cultural heritage sites in Syria. And we’re providing additional support to extend this effort into Iraq. We’re also doubling down on our support for Iraqi conservation experts and providing them with critical training on emergency documentation and disaster preparedness and response at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage.Through the National Science Foundation, we’re partnering with the American Association for the Advancement of Science on a project that uses geospatial technologies to track the destruction of the historical sites in Syria. They just released a big study that proves the destruction of these sites publicly. And this is yet another wakeup call, and those who deny the evidence or choose excuses over action are playing with fire as a consequence.Our heritage is literally in peril in this moment, and we believe it is imperative that we act now.
“Our forces in Iraq are there to advise and assist Iraqis,” a defense official tells U.S. News on the condition of anonymity. “We have no commanders there who are responsible for sectors on the ground.”A spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force, or CJTF, overseeing the operation confirmed the limitations on how it can help stem the Islamic State group’s destructive acts.“The CJTF is taking these reports very seriously. Daesh actions such as this underscore the necessity to defeat Daesh. The CJTF and our partners on the ground are committed to ending the atrocities committed by Daesh,” the spokesman says, responding to questions by email from a U.S. military base in Kuwait.“Stopping smuggling, money laundering and other criminal activities committed by Daesh are also part of the broader coalition effort, but it is not under the auspices of CJTF.”
In Iraq, two air strikes near Al Huwijah destroyed six excavators and hit a tactical unit. Near Fallujah, four strikes hit two tactical units, a fighting position and destroyed three vehicles. Other strikes near Haditha, Kirkuk and Mosul also struck tactical units, fighting positions, excavators, vehicles and other targets.
Protect Key Personnel and Facilities 1-47. When required, military forces may extend protection and support to key civilian personnel to ensure their continued contribution to the overall operation. In the interest of transparency, military forces specifically request and carefully negotiate this protection. Similarly, the long-term success of any intervention often relies on the ability of external actors to protect and maintain critical infrastructure until the HN can resume that responsibility. Protection of key facilities may be either an immediate or long-term requirement. The list of essential tasks may include an initial response and transformation, described as follows:l An initial response in which military forces—n Protect government-sponsored civilian reconstruction and stabilization personnel. n Protect contractor and civilian reconstruction and stabilization personnel and resources. n Provide emergency logistic support, as required. n Protect and secure places of religious worship and cultural sites. n Protect and secure critical infrastructure, natural resources, civil registries, and property ownership documents. n Protect and secure strategically important institutions (such as government buildings; medical treatment facilities and public health infrastructure; the central bank, national treasury, and integral commercial banks; museums; and religious sites). n Protect and secure military depots, equipment, ammunition dumps, and means of communications. n Identify, secure, protect, and coordinate disposition for stockpiles of munitions and CBRN materiel and precursors, facilities, and adversaries with technical expertise. l A transformation in which military forces build HN capacity to protect— n Civilian reconstruction and stabilization personnel. n Public infrastructure and institutions. n Military infrastructure.
During any transitional period, in the likely event that the antiquities ministry is unable to operate effectively without backup provided by a central authority, the military should take one or more of the following steps, after consultation with the antiquities ministry:It's too late for Nimrud, and probably for Hatra as well. One can only hope that now that Iraq's government is publicly begging for this kind of military action, our feckless leaders will lift their fingers enough to see that such tiny but crucial actions be undertaken.
i. Preclude road access to selected sites by sowing the road with tire-puncturing tacks.
ii. If feasible, make a show of force at strategically selected sites, confiscating, disabling, or destroying a few of the vehicles used by potential looters as a deterrent to future potential looters.
vi. Create monitoring systems to identify sites under assault or threat of assault by looters.