Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Iraqi security forces unprepared to take over

Another day, another Iraq report.

This one is a Congress-commissioned study on the readiness of Iraqi forces, led by retired Marine Gen. James Jones, former Supreme Commander in Europe and former Commandant of the Marine Corps -- both under Bush, so let's not hear criticisms of him as a "Clinton general" or anything like that.

The conclusion: Four years after our invasion, Iraqi security forces remain unready to take over the country's security, and won't be able to any time soon. Structural progress within the military itself has been confounded by political corruption.

Overall, Jones found that Iraqi military forces, particularly the Army, show "clear evidence of developing the baseline infrastructures that lead to the successful formation of a national defense capability." But Baghdad's police force and Ministry of Interior are plagued by "dysfunction."

"In any event, the ISF will be unable to fulfill their essential security responsibilities independently over the next 12-18 months," the report states.

That bears out what U.S. troops have experienced throughout our time in Iraq, up to and including the surge: American troops can clear an area of insurgents, but Iraqi units are incapable of holding the cleared terrain.

That, in turn, bodes badly for the upcoming progress report on Iraq, because it's an example of political problems stymying military efforts.

The actual Iraqi military gets reasonable marks, though it, too, is plagued by corruption and sectarian rifts. But the report is stinging in its criticism of the police force, which makes up the bulk of Iraqi security forces.

It describes the Iraqi police as fragile, ill-equipped and infiltrated by militia forces. And it is led by the Ministry of Interior, which is "a ministry in name only" that is "widely regarded as being dysfunctional and sectarian, and suffers from ineffective leadership."

In other words, not much has changed in the last nine months. Which does not meet any definition of "progress" that I'm aware of.

Jones testifies before Congress tomorrow. Maybe he'll flesh things out a little then.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting the headlines the liberal press is choosing to run about this "study." It's also interesting what most of them are choosing to leave out of their articles. Here's the rest of what Jones' study says.....


"Jones said he personally would not support setting a deadline for troop withdrawals, as many as Democrats want.

"I think deadlines can work against us," Jones said. "I think a deadline of this magnitude would be against our national interest." (EXACTLY what Bush, our Commander-In-Chief has been saying all along)

AND...

"The study found that the Iraqi military, in particular its Army, shows the most promise of becoming a viable, independent security force with time. It predicted that an adequate logistics system to support these ground forces is at least two years away.

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

Translation: the administration's contention that this will take more time...and NOW is not the time to quit when we are making some progress.... is proven in this study.

""We've always recognized that this was a long-term project," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said."

So, bottom line this study will have something in it for everyone....as most studies do. However, the main thing it proves is that there ARE some successess and now is NOT the time to pull out and quit.

JP5

9/06/2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Translation: the administration's contention that this will take more time...and NOW is not the time to quit when we are making some progress.... is proven in this study.

The question is, how much time are we talking about? It's been four years already, and the Iraqi military -- which is the strongest case -- is still at least two years away from simply having the basic infrastructure necessary to operate. Never mind the political dysfunction being mentioned above.

And the report concludes that the Iraqi police are essentially hopeless.

One can always say "we need more time." But when "more time" means "at least two more years for the military, and God knows when for the police", that's a time frame that gets very close to unacceptable. Evidence of progress will have to be substantial to support a committment of that length.

9/06/2007 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But we can change the things that aren't working. We know, now, what works. Even some Dem leaders are starting to come around to the idea that we cannot....nor should not....leave now.

JP5

9/07/2007 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Even some Dem leaders are starting to come around to the idea that we cannot....nor should not....leave now."

Sure, now now or any time before Iraq becomes useless in terms of geostrategic positioning and oil reserves. The US is building a self-sustaining fortress in Iraq called the embassy, and "hardening" military bases into permanent fixtures. Anyone who believes we'll be out of that country before the next ten years or longer is kidding themself. This theatrical performance put on by "Reps" and "Dems" on the homefront is just keeping the masses distracted. It's the same old story rehashed over and over again as the decades pass.
- Caracarn

9/10/2007 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant "not now or any time..."

9/10/2007 1:31 PM  

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