diet coke for breakfast

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Posted by Jake
America Must Let Iraq Rebuild Itself

From Ilad Alawi, current rotating president of the Iraqi Governing Council:

First, it is vital to call up the Iraqi Army and the national police force, at least up to mid-officer level. The coalition's early decision to abolish the army and police was well intended, but it unfortunately resulted in a security vacuum that let criminals, die-hards of the former regime and international terrorists flourish. And the coalition's plan to build a 20,000-member lightly armed force mostly responsible for security and border control would make poor use of a valuable resource: the 300,000 Iraqi soldiers who simply went home with their weapons in the face of the American-led invasion.

Most of these soldiers are Iraqi patriots who chose not to fight for Saddam Hussein. Americans should not confuse the Iraqi Army with the hated Republican Guard, which Saddam Hussein created precisely because he distrusted the legitimate military. In one simple process, the coalition authority can support the governing council to call the army back to its barracks for retraining and, ultimately, for redeployment. Most soldiers and their officers will proudly return to their units and contribute to their country's future.

We didn't do this in the first place because we were concerned that the existing military would be to associated with the ancien regime to be accepted. Maybe we were wrong. I have been reading about the ex-soldiers protesting lack of jobs. With a reasonable vetting processing to get out the bad apples and a whole lot of retraining, we could kill two birds with one stone. It would certainly speed the withdrawl process (and this).


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