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September 05, 2007

Iraq…Two Steps Forward, One Very Big Step Back

Here’s a little salad to chew on before tonight’s debate, which is of course just an appetizer for tonight’s main course of the Fred!:

Iraq's Interior Ministry is "dysfunctional," filled with sectarianism and corruption, according to an independent assessment of the Iraqi security forces to be published tomorrow. The report said that Iraq's national police force, controlled by that ministry, is "operationally ineffective" and should be disbanded and reorganized.

The report, by a congressionally-named commission of retired senior military officers, cites progress in the operation and training of the Iraqi army. But it estimates that "they will not be ready to independently fulfill their security role within the next 12 to 18 months" without a substantial U.S. military presence. Logistical self-sufficiency, which it describes as key to independent Iraqi operations, is at least two years away, the report says.

Eh, not good. Though as with everything in Iraq, the situation varies from place to place. The story is very different in Fallujah, not too long ago, one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

The last battalion of Iraqi soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, withdrew from the Anbar Province city of Fallujah, Sept. 1, leaving the city’s security and stability in the hands of the local police and government.

Brig. Gen. Ali al-Hashemi, the brigade’s commander, said the time had come when Iraqi Police alone could handle law enforcement in the city.

I am guessing this will come up tonight in New Hampshire.

Of course, it could also be a shot at Gen Petraeus who was in charge of training the Iraqi Army and Police in 2004 ahead of his testimony before Congress next week.


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posted by DrewM. at 08:08 PM

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