A National Force in Name Only
Iraqi Army Unable To Take Over Within A Year, Report Says
Breakup of National Police Is Urged
Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, September 6, 2007; Page A01
Iraq's army, despite measurable progress, will be unable to take over internal security from U.S. forces in the next 12 to 18 months and "cannot yet meaningfully contribute to denying terrorists safe haven," according to a report on the Iraqi security forces published today.
The report, prepared by a commission of retired senior U.S. military officers, describes the 25,000-member Iraqi national police force and the Interior Ministry, which controls it, as riddled with sectarianism and corruption. The ministry, it says, is "dysfunctional" and is "a ministry in name only." The commission recommended that the national police force be disbanded.
It's questionable whether a nation made up of warlords and militias can ever have a true National Police. The current version is shot full of sectarian groups, each with their private agenda and most often targeting rivals--when they show up.
Both the army and the police have no-show rates between 25-50% on any given day. We have thus far spent $55,000 for training and arming every no-show.
Yet the administration and the military constantly speak of progress.