So here’s what’s going to happen.
The Bushiviks will repent of their decision to disband the Iraqi Army. No foreign troops are going to be made available, outside of the odd Polish motor pool and Lithuanian pastry cooks. Iraq becomes the only possible source for troops to replace American troops. Using previous Iraqi soldiers addresses two problems at once: employing a potentially surly mass of unemployed soldiers and moving quickly to replace American troops. (Note: this scenario presumes some facts held to be entirely obvious, one being that Karl Rove would gladly nail his pecker to a tree if it meant that GeeDubya could have a victory parade for homecoming troops before The Day of Reckoning…).
These troops offer enormous advantages: they are already weapons-trained, adjusted to military structure and culture, instantly available and potentially grateful.
Troops require officers. Iraqi officers. Of course, the top echelons will be purged of Saddamites. That’s a given. But more junior officers, field officers, who’s only failing is a coerced membership in the B’aath Party, can be readily forgiven. And shall be. We also know that they represent a social class of the Saddamite regime: they are largely Sunni, largely interconnected by family, and predominately secular in outlook. That’s the good news and the bad news.
“Go ye forth” we will say, “and hunt down the jihadist evildoers and suiciders. Seize them, slay them, we don’t much give a shit, as long as you count them. Do this, and we shall gaze benignly upon you, and give you 295 a month, American.”
And they shall. They will ferret out the jihadists in their midst. They already think of the Al Queda type of Sh’ite maniac as an enemy. No problem. Let ‘er rip! Of course, we will end up taking their word for it, since we know jack shit about Iraq. I have every confidence they will succeed, people can be marvelously creative in situations like this, where opportunity abounds and the Americans are writing the checks.
In all likelihood, there will be some difficulties, some rough spots to make smooth. Expect a request for more and heavier weapons, and a beefed-up enlistment. After all, dat ol’ debbil Iran is just over the rise. Iraq will need self-defense, won’t it, George? Can’t have the ayatollahs overrunning this nascent democracy, can we, George? Gotta have a force sufficient to successfully resist Iran’s army. Unless you’d like to come back, George. Wanna come back, George? Sign here.
So now the American’s retire in honor, medals passed all around, victory declared. Declared again, certain churlish persons will note. The freshly minted Iraqi government is nestled securely in the protective bosom of the New! Improved! Iraqi Army. Naturally, that government will listen closely to the advice and guidance of the military, as unarmed men are prone to consider the opinions of soldiers.
The situation is volatile, one must expect uprisings, discontent. There may be emergencies, very likely indeed. Temporary suspensions of civil rule may be, reluctantly, imposed. For the duration of the emergency, you understand. Still a “democracy”, you understand. A complete success at “nation-building”, just having some birthing pains.
End result: a “Federal” Iraq consisting of discontented and disaffected Kurds and discontented and disaffected Shia held firmly in union by a Sunni-dominated military elite. A plebiscite affirming the utter loyalty of upwards of 95% of the populace may be expected shortly thereafter.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.