View Full Version : Iraq Years Away From Defending Itself

Gayle in MD
09-06-2007, 12:27 PM
WASHINGTON Iraq's security forces will be unable to take control of the country in the next 18 months, and Baghdad's national police force is so rife with corruption it should be scrapped entirely, according to a new independent assessment.

The study, led by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, is a sweeping and detailed look at Iraq's security forces that will factor heavily into Congress' upcoming debate on the war. Republicans see success by the Iraqi forces as critical to bringing U.S. troops home, while an increasing number of Democrats say the U.S. should stop training and equipping such units altogether.

The 20-member panel of mostly retired senior military and police officers concludes that Iraq's military, in particular its army, shows the most promise of becoming a viable, independent security force with time. But the group predicts an adequate logistics system to support these ground forces is at least another two years away.

The report also offers a scathing assessment of Iraq's Interior Ministry and recommends scrapping Iraq's national police force, which it describes as dysfunctional and infiltrated by militias.

Overall, Iraqi security forces "have the potential to help reduce sectarian violence, but ultimately the ISF will reflect the society from which they are drawn," according to the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. "Political reconciliation is the key to ending sectarian violence in Iraq."

The United States has spent $19.2 billion on developing Iraq's forces, and plans to spend $5.5 billion more next year. According to Jones' study, the Iraqi military comprises more than 152,000 service members operating under the Defense Ministry, while the Interior Ministry oversees some 194,000 civilian security personnel, including police and border control.

The review is one of several studies that Congress commissioned in May, when it agreed to fund the war for several more months but demanded that the Bush administration and outside groups assess U.S. progress in the four-year war.

Jones, a former commander of U.S. troops in Europe and former Marine Corps commandant, is scheduled to testify before Congress on Thursday. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other officials have already been briefed on the study, officials said last week.

A senior Pentagon official said Wednesday that the military does not believe the Iraqi national police should be disbanded but acknowledges that getting the Iraqi army up to speed will take a while.

"We've always recognized that this was a long-term project," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Wednesday. "Getting the Iraqi army on its feet and capable of defending the borders of the country independently is not an overnight project." He added: "It is our belief that this will come to fruition. It's going to take some time to happen."

Several lawmakers _ many of whom face tough elections next year _ said they would be unswayed by the Jones report and other independent assessments. Congress would fare better by finding a bipartisan solution that would bring troops home, they say.

"No matter what these reports suggest or what Congress infers from them, it is clear that it is time to develop a post-surge strategy," wrote 13 lawmakers, including three Republicans, on Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

But other lawmakers were expected to take keen interest in Jones' report, which is a rare, detailed look at individual pieces of Iraq's emerging security force. The report was requested by Sen. John Warner, R-Va., the No. 2 Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who said he wanted an assessment independent of the Pentagon's findings.

According to the study, the panel agreed with U.S. and Iraqi officials that the Iraqi army is capable of taking over an increasing amount of day-to-day combat responsibilities but that the military and police force would still be unable to take control and operate independently in such a short time frame.

"They are gaining size and strength, and will increasingly be capable of assuming greater responsibility for Iraq's security," the report states, adding that special forces in particular are "highly capable and extremely effective."

The report is much more pessimistic about Baghdad's police units. It describes these units as fragile, ill-equipped and infiltrated by militia forces. And they are led by the Interior Ministry, which is "a ministry in name only" that is "widely regarded as being dysfunctional and sectarian, and suffers from ineffective leadership."

Accordingly, the study recommends disbanding the national police and starting over.

"Its ability to be effective is crippled by significant challenges, including public distrust, sectarianism (both real and perceived), and a lack of clarity about its identity _ specifically whether it is a military or a police force," the report states.

A group of liberal Democrats said Wednesday the U.S. should stop supporting these forces entirely and withdraw U.S. troops.

"How can we be sure we are not putting guns into the hands of a future enemy and empowering them for generations to come?" said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Other Democrats say party leaders have set their sights on the $147 billion Bush requested for the war as a means of forcing a drawdown of U.S. forces. The money was requested by Bush to pay for combat in budget year 2008, which begins Oct. 1.

Rep. James Moran, D-Va., a member of the House panel that oversees the military budget, said an option being considered is a bill that funds the troops, but in three- or four-month installments, and directs the money pay only to bring them home.

The approach would guarantee another showdown with Bush on the war before year's end, putting Republicans squarely in the middle of the debate. With Democrats lacking the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto, they need GOP votes to force legislation ending the war.

GOP leaders say they are waiting to hear from Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq. But they said they aren't so sure they'll lose members to the Democrats' anti-war push.

"The success our troops have had put some oxygen back in the room, both for the party and the American public," said Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., the No. 3 House Republican.

09-06-2007, 09:39 PM
Well the way I see it,is we are never going to have an Iraq,with all that oil,and able to govern its self. So we will have to do it for them,while the people get fed BS. about progress,on a slower than expected with drawl, and Iraqi factions take sensitivity classes.

Gayle in MD
09-08-2007, 08:48 AM
Two hundred and fifty thousand to five hundred and fifty thousand barrels of oil a day are being stolen, by those factions, who are killing our troops. Just one more example of how the gross incompetence, displayed by Bush and his administration, have caused untold numbers of deaths and casualties to our own people.

Now, their arming Sunnis, who were killing our troops, and are still killing them in many parts of the country.

Observing this administration's policies, and the results, we may just as well have bin Laden running this country. After he changes the mission, over and over, and continues to abuse our troops, until he gets out of the White House, the Democrat, who is elected president, will be blamed for all the mess he leaves behind.

Next week we will have the opportunity, yet again, to listen to yet another Rumsfeld, tell us all the reasons why his plan is working. The "Report", as was the intelligence that led us into this war, will be created by the White House, from a President who functions from a State Of Denial. The uninformed righties, will then quote the fantasy report, and point to is as "Proof" that the "Surge" is working, after the White House, and their Bushies, bastardize the info.

BTW, have you read any of the illogical methods they are using to account for the violence? Unbelievable.

Gayle in Md.

09-08-2007, 12:02 PM
I heard those methods on MPR. If those fly as viable, then Bill Clinton was administering medical aid to Monica in removing a possible obstruction in her throat. Makes about as much logic in the end. Atrocious! Where's it going to end, and how deep does the doo-doo have to get? Only a zombie will believe these summations. sid

Btw, how many times has 18 months been stated and then restated again for these Iraqis? Anyone counted? sv

Gayle in MD
09-11-2007, 07:49 AM
By my count, and Frank Rich's account, btw, we are on our 9th rationale for continuing the slaughter in Iraq.

Petraeaus is the new Rumsfeld. His lies yesterday, such as, "No one would dare forcast the trend we are seeing in al Anbar province. What a crock! He told of the trend in his own testimony before Congress during his confirmation hearings! It began long before his "Surge" was even in place. Now, Bush is using al Anbar Privince as the sole purpose for stying in Iraq. Patreaus lied, not once, but over and over. Here we have yet another loyal Bushy, in love with his own war plan. How much reality are we going to get from this guy? None. Bush is siming to let our kids die, until his last days in the White House, and Cheney is pushing for war in IRan, before then.

Isreal had determined that Iraq, was not threat long ago. They wanted Saddam in place, as a barrier to Iran. The dirty little secret is that when this administration began to have their secret talks with Isreal about occupying Iraq, Isreal, didn't like it one bit. Bush and Cheney bought them off, promising that once they got a foothold, they'd take care of getting Iran, too. Fat chance. They didn't even finish in Afghanistan, but rushed into Iraq, for the easy oil, with their lies.

They've made the biggest mess in American history. Just nine more Democrats in the Congress, could have saved a lot of lives.

Gayle in Md.