U.S. officers: Iraq's police force should be disbanded

But they also say the U.S. should turn over security duties to them. I are confused.

From WaPo:


More on corruption in the Iraqi government. Apparently, no matter how bad you think it is, it’s worse.

How are we supposed to turn over any responsibility to such a government? OTOH, how are we supposed to carry water for them indefinitely?

Disband the Iraqi national police force? And then what – rebuild it from the ground up?! We already tried that with the Iraqi army. Didn’t work out too well.

Perhaps I’m confusing the police force with the army, but the linked article is none too clear on the distinction.

I could have sworn that someone, maybe RTFirefly, started a thread on this subject within the last 2 weeks. But a search turned up nothing. Still, I’m positive we had a thread on disbanding the police force and starting over.

At any rate, yes, you probably are confusing the police with the army. The army seems to be doing reasonably well, although it’s not building up capability fast enough. The police force seems to be corrupt and inept, to the core.

Indeed, BG, you really must stop bringing all these tiresome things to our attention. The yearly Monarch butterfly migration is expected soon, and we shall all be quite absorbed.

Let us also remember that the Iraqi police force is not ours to disband, so although we (whoever “we” is) may think it should be, that’s mostly irrelevant. I’m guessing that the Iraqi government will want to make that decision. Unless, of course, one wants to advocate another regime change type of action by the US. I sure don’t.

Nor is Maliki ours to unseat. Nevertheless . . .

Correct- Nor is Maliki ours to unseat. What’s your point? Two wrongs don’t make a right.

The point is that, right or wrong, those making the decisions, or influencing the decisionmakers, in Washington appear to have decided that further meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs is urgently necessary, “democracy” or no; therefore, the content of said meddling is our business as American citizens and fair material for debate. (Which does not, of course, mean that the legitimacy of said meddling is not likewise debatable.)

OK. My position is that we shouldn’t meddle in their internal affairs. Do you want to debate that?

Oh, no, we shouldn’t . . . but the horse is out of the barn, isn’t it?

If that sort of distinction mattered to us, we wouldn’t be in Iraq. We are the tyrants; they the conquered. If we decide the police force goes, it’ll go.

Yes, of course it is. But so what? If you don’t think we should meddle further, why mention that-- unless you think we SHOULD meddle. That is, afterall, what the phrase about the horse means-- that one can’t stop something that is already done. But there is no reason we can’t stop meddling if we simply choose not to.

Not as long as we are there. We affect everything in Iraq simply by being there.

To “stop meddling,” we would pretty much have to pull our troops out and let the Iraqis settle their own differences their own bloody way. Which won’t happen on this president’s watch. Which leaves our generals there faced with a practical problem: How are they supposed to keep order when they can’t even rely on the Iraqi police as currently constituted?

So, you think we should meddle (as long as we have troops there)? Can you outline precisely how you think we should meddle on these two fronts: the police and the government?

Should we “threaten” to withdraw our forces if they don’t do our bidding?

John, you keep inviting BG to overstate his case, and, when he won’t, you do it for him. Not quite cricket.

No. I keep asking him to state his case, and he keeps shifting it. I’m only helping him see the consequences of what he is suggesting. But thanks for the input.

And yet no hint of gratitude on his part! Some people, huh?

Yehyehyehyehyehyeh! And Ogdammit, don’t bluff! :slight_smile:

Just watched an interview on PBS’s News Hour with two of the key guys who wrote the report. They actually sounded rather upbeat about the army, although things are not happening fast enough. Their concern is with the national police force, but they think the local police is doing much better (that force is 10x the size of the national police force, btw). They also recommend not setting a timetable for withdrawl, although they do want to see our forces moved more into activities like securing the border and stopping Iran and Syria from meddling in Iraq-- they claimed both are actively engaged in destablizing the government there.

BTW, they seem to be saying that it did work pretty well for the military. Not perfect, but pretty well-- especially the Special Forces units.

But disbanding the old army meant that overnight the country filled up with disgruntled, unemployed men with military training and experience – who then found multiple new political factions (and ordinary crime gangs, I have no doubt) only too eager to give them work – vastly exacerbating, by several orders of magnitude, the insurgency/crime problem the new army has to deal with.

Admittedly, disbanding the existing police force would not create such a problem on quite the same scale . . . but, then, building up a new force from scratch would take time, the one thing neither we nor the Iraqis can afford.

South Africa, when Apartheid ended, disbanded the old (all-white) police forces – which might have seemed necessary and proper at the time, but it led to an incredible national crime problem the newly trained multiracial police forces are only just now beginning to get under control. And they didn’t have to deal with political rebels!