Tuesday :: Oct 17, 2006

They'll Never "Stand Up", Will They?

by Steve

They’re off to a good start. It is difficult, no question about it, but we’ve now got over 300,000 Iraqis trained and equipped as part of their security forces. They’ve had three national elections with higher turnout than we have here in the United States. If you look at the general overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.
--Five Deferment Dick Cheney, today, on the Rush Limbaugh show

We supposedly are focused on training and preparing 300,000 Iraqi security forces to stand up so that we can stand down. We have handed over parts of the country to them, only to see that the Iraqis can’t stand on their own. And yet we can’t, nor should we, put more troops into the country to make up for what the Iraqis can’t seemingly do for themselves. Case in point:

U.S. forces were back patrolling the streets of the predominantly Shiite town of Balad on Tuesday after a shocking five days of sectarian violence in which nearly 100 died. Iraq's 4th Army, rated one of the nation's best trained, had been unable to stem sectarian violence since taking full control of Salahuddin province a month ago.
Forty mortar rounds had poured into the city overnight and into the morning, killing at least four more people and bringing the death toll in the Sunni-Shiite warfare to at least 95.
Minority Sunnis, who absorbed most of the brutality in Balad, were fleeing across the Tigris River in small boats, Balad police commander Brig. Nebil al-Beldawi said. On the outskirts of the city two fuel trucks were attacked and burned.
The U.S. military symbolically handed control of parts of Salahuddin province to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division on April 15. That region included Balad and Duluiyah, as well as surrounding villages. Full control of the province was officially handed to the 4th Army on Sept. 18.

Yet after US forces were redirected to Baghdad last month to lead the Bush Administration’s effort to secure the capital first, it took less than a month for Iraq’s army to fail in holding Balad itself.

The Bush Administration’s “security-only” approach is failing, and without an expedited focus on a regional political solution with incentives for the militias to participate, the “stand up/stand down” policy is a total failure. And if New York GOP representative Peter King thinks things in Baghdad are about as good as they are in Manhattan, then perhaps King isn’t worried about “them” following us over here.

Steve :: 4:35 PM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!