The State of Iraqi Troops

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

Last week, President Bush explained how the Iraqi troops were getting better trained, which meant good news for U.S. troops’ withdrawal (because as Iraqi troops stand up, our troops will stand down).  As I pointed out before, what Bush said was a lie.

And now he is being flatly contradicted . . . by the Iraqis:

The training of Iraqi security forces has suffered a big "setback" in the last six months, with the army and other forces being increasingly used to settle scores and make other political gains, Iraqi Vice President Ghazi al-Yawer said Monday.

Al-Yawer disputed contentions by U.S. officials, including President Bush, that the training of security forces was gathering speed, resulting in more professional troops.


But al-Yawer said recent allegations that Interior Ministry security forces — dominated by Shiites — have tortured Sunni detainees were evidence that many forces are increasingly politicized and sectarian. Some of the recently trained Iraqi forces focus on settling scores and other political goals rather than maintaining security, he said.

In addition, some Iraqi military commanders have been dismissed for political reasons, rather than judged on merit, he said.

He said the army — also dominated by Shiites — is conducting raids against villages and towns in Sunni and mixed areas of Iraq, rather than targeting specific insurgents — a tactic he said reminded many Sunnis of Saddam Hussein-era raids.

"Saddam used to raid villages," using security forces, he said. "This is not the way to do it."

Meet the new boss — same as the old boss.