Thursday, October 13, 2005

Merely training a militia?

Kevin Drum highlights an article by Tom Lasseter of Knight Ridder on the role of sectarian sentiment in the Iraqi army. It's a frightening portend for the future of Iraq.
American commanders often refer to the 1st Brigade as a template for the future of Iraq's military.... Increasingly, however, they look and operate less like an Iraqi national army unit and more like a Shiite militia.

.... Asked if he worried about possible fighting between his men and the Sunnis at Umm al Qura, the brigade's command sergeant major, Hassan Kadhum, smiled.

"Your country had to have a civil war," he said. "It will be the same here. Everything in this world has its price. In Iraq the price for peace will be blood."
As Kevin points out, this is only one example, but it is a worrisome one. If it is an indication of a larger problem, it should not be a complete surprise. Rumors and worries that we were merely training the Iraqis to fight one another have been bouncing around since before the war.

- Murphy

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