President Bush went around claiming that we’d step down as Iraqi forces became ready to step up. The obvious question that line of thinking poses is: What if they’re never ready to step up?
WASHINGTON – Iraq’s security forces have made “uneven progress” and will be unable to take over security on their own in the next 12 to 18 months, according to an independent assessment.
The study, conducted by a 20-member panel led by retired Gen. James Jones, found the Iraqi Army shows promise of becoming a viable, independent security force with time. But the group offers a scathing assessment of Baghdad’s Ministry of Interior and recommends scrapping Iraq’s national police force, which it describes as dysfunctional and infiltrated by militias.
The group was specifically tasked with determining whether Iraq’s security forces could provide greater security to the country’s 18 provinces within the next 12 to 18 months.
According to the report, 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.”
It seems to me we’ve heard that story before on many occasions. Someone’s always saying the next 6 to 12 months is critical and will provide the turn-around and then in 6 to 12 months they just say it again. We’ve supposedly crossed that critical point at least a dozen times now.
Of course, the above is just the military. The police issue is even worse:
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 Ministry of Interior, 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.
Four years, countless dead, and trillions spent and we’re no closer to the model of Democracy we heard so much about from Bush than we were when we first started this stupid war. Worse is the fact that bin Laden is still free, the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and Iran has grown in power thanks to the idiocy that is the Bush administration. The cherry on top? Democrats continue to be too spineless to bring this travesty an end.