given to Iraqi security forces and military, some of whom have refused to
fight in the last few days. So they're planning to stiffen them up by
introducing former Ba'athist commanders.
'return of sovereignty' to be underpinned by some very old friends indeed.
This from yesterday's Pentagon/CPA press briefing.
"how are the Iraqi security forces doing? Well, the fact of the matter is
that some of them did very well and some of them did not...And in the
south, a number of units, both in the police force and also in the ICDC
[Iraqi Civil Defense Corps], did not stand up to the intimidators of the
forces of Sadr's militia and that was a great disappointment to us...With
regard to the new Iraqi army, I think we can look for better performance in
the future once we get a well-established Iraqi chain of command. The truth
of the matter is that until we get well-formed Iraqi chains of command, all
the way in the police service from the minister of interior to the lowest
patrolman on the beat in whatever city it may be, and the same for the
army, from private to minister of defense, that it's going to be tough to
get them to perform at the level we want. The good news is, we're working
on those chains of command, and I'm confident that with work on our part
and work on their part, we'll have better performance. .... It's also very
clear that we've got to get more senior Iraqis involved, former military
types involved in the security forces. And in the next couple of days
you'll see a large number of senior officers being appointed to key
positions in the Ministry of Defense and in Iraqi joint staff and in Iraqi
Incidentally, this would seem to be in contravention of CPA Order No. 1
(the 'De-Baathification Order'), but interestingly there is a convenient
get-out clause in the order creating the new Iraqi Army (CPA/ORD/7 August
2003/22, Section 6, 5: 'No person involved in Ba'ath Party activity within
the leadership tiers described in CP A/ORD/16 May 2003/01 shall be eligible
*except with specific permission of the CPA.*' - my emphasis).