Don't click or your IP will be banned


Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band Forum
You are not logged in

< Last Thread   Next Thread >Ascending sortDescending sorting  
Author: Subject: Infiltration of Iraqi Police Could Delay Handover of Control for Years

Universal Peach





Posts: 6009
(6064 all sites)
Registered: 1/19/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 05:45 AM
One of the biggest reasons, we are told that the United States has to stay in Iraq is to train the Iraqi security forces and to help disband the various militias, and that hopefully they will be done in 12 to 18 months. This article brings out a question that I, and I'm sure many Americans have about these "security forces", and one that ratherly gets asked and that question is " Where does the true loyalties of these security forces lie?". Apparently, from this article loyalties are at best 'mixed" and in some cases definitely on the side of the militias.

In Baghdad, a Force Under the Militias' Sway
Infiltration of Iraqi Police Could Delay Handover of Control for Years, U.S. Trainers Suggest

By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

BAGHDAD -- The signs of the militias are everywhere at the Sholeh police station.

Posters celebrating Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Mahdi Army militia, dot the building's walls. The police chief sometimes remarks that Shiite militias should wipe out all Sunnis. Visitors to this violent neighborhood in the Iraqi capital whisper that nearly all the police officers have split loyalties.

And then one rainy night this month, the Sholeh police set up an ambush and killed Army Cpl. Kenny F. Stanton Jr., a 20-year-old budding journalist, his unit said. At the time, Stanton and other members of the unit had been trailing a group of Sholeh police escorting known Mahdi Army members.

"How can we expect ordinary Iraqis to trust the police when we don't even trust them not to kill our own men?" asked Capt. Alexander Shaw, head of the police transition team of the 372nd Military Police Battalion, a Washington-based unit charged with overseeing training of all Iraqi police in western Baghdad. " To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure we're ever going to have police here that are free of the militia influence."

The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., predicted last week that Iraqi security forces would be able to take control of the country in 12 to 18 months. But several days spent with American units training the Iraqi police illustrated why those soldiers on the ground believe it may take decades longer than Casey's assessment.

Seventy percent of the Iraqi police force has been infiltrated by militias, primarily the Mahdi Army, according to Shaw and other military police trainers. Police officers are too terrified to patrol enormous swaths of the capital. And while there are some good cops, many have been assassinated or are considering quitting the force.

"None of the Iraqi police are working to make their country better," said Brig. Gen. Salah al-Ani, chief of police for the western half of Baghdad. " They're working for the militias or to put money in their pocket."

U.S. military reports on the Iraqi police often read like a who's who of the two main militias in Iraq: the Mahdi Army, also known as Jaish al-Mahdi or JAM, and the Badr Organization, also known as the Badr Brigade or Badr Corps.

One document on the Karrada district police chief says: "I strongly believe that he is a member of Badr Corps and tends to turn a blind eye to JAM activity." Another explains that the station commander in the al-Amil neighborhood "is afraid to report suspected militia members in his organization due to fear of reprisals."

American soldiers said that although they gather evidence of police ties to the militias and present it to Iraqi officials, no one has ever been criminally charged or even lost their jobs.

Among the worst of the suspected Mahdi Army members is Lt. Col. Musa Khadim Lazim Asadi, station commander of the Ghazaliyah patrol police. "He has stated to us that he does not believe the Mahdi Militia is a bad organization," a military report said. "He had a picture of Sadr in his vehicle until we said something about it."

"He is a cancer to the station and the people of Ghazaliyah," the report concluded.

On a recent visit to the blue-and-white facility, located in one of the most violent parts of the city, even other police officers in the building complained that Asadi and his subordinates are corrupt and tied to the militias. "They steal vehicles and kill people," said 1st Lt. Sarmad Sabar Dawood, assistant commander for the local police, which is independent of the patrol police. "In fact, we are investigating Colonel Musa and the patrol police for criminal behavior."

But when U.S. military officials visited Asadi on a recent afternoon, he not only denied that his men were involved in the militias or crime but refused to acknowledge that there had been any killings in the area at all. Although scores of tortured bodies are often found in the neighborhood, Asadi said the murders all took place somewhere else.

At his response, 1st Lt. Cadetta Bridges shook her head in disbelief. "This guy is a crook and a liar," said Bridges, 31, of Upper Marlboro. "They're all crooks and liars."


Shaw, 32, of Alexandria, turned the conversation to the confusing division of Iraqi police forces into three autonomous parts: patrol police, regular police who investigate cases, and traffic police. The U.S. military has proposed reorganizing the force so that there is one commander in each neighborhood responsible for all the police. So far, Shaw said, Iraqi officials have not been receptive.

The problems with the tripartite division were evident in Sholeh. Sitting in Asadi's second-floor office, Shaw asked him if he worked with the regular police on the ground floor.

"Of course not," Asadi replied brusquely. "Why do we need to coordinate with them?"

Visibly exasperated, Shaw and Bridges quickly left and headed for a police station in Mansour, a relatively safe neighborhood in central Baghdad, to meet with a police major they described as one of the better cops they'd encountered.

When Shaw asked what the police in Mansour were doing to reduce the violence, the major said: "There is nothing the police can do. The only solution is to create a government that will take away the militias. Then everything will be fine."

The major, who asked to be identified as Abu Ahmed because he feared for his safety if his full name was published, sat in a closet-size room that he hardly ever leaves. Orange-and-brown sheets covered a tiny bed next to his desk.

"I can't go home or I'll be killed," said Abu Ahmed, who sees his children only when police officers can bring them to the station. He sighed as he looked at photographs of two recently assassinated officers. "And it's getting worse. So much worse."

"I think I must quit soon," he said quietly.

Arabi Araf Ali, a police officer in the southern neighborhood of Dora, said police do little more than pick dead bodies up off the street. In the station's parking lot nearby, a colleague washed off a police truck that had just been used to retrieve the corpses of five Shiite men slaughtered that morning. Brain matter littered the ground.

"Some parts of Dora are so dangerous," Ali added, "that we cannot even pick up the bodies there without Americans. We are just too afraid."

The Iraqi police are not the only ones who feel unsafe. The American soldiers and civilians who train the Iraqis are constantly on guard against the possibility that the police might turn against them. Even in the police headquarters for all of western Baghdad, one of the safest police buildings in the capital, the training team will not remove their body armor or helmets. An armed soldier is assigned to protect each trainer.

"I wouldn't let half of them feed my dog," 1st Lt. Floyd D. Estes Jr., a former head of the police transition team, said of the Iraqi police. "I just don't trust them."

Jon Moore, the deputy team chief, said: "We don't know who the hell we're teaching: Are they police or are they militia?"

The trainers agree that Ani, the new police chief for western Baghdad, is an honest cop who is trying to get the police force in order. But Ani acknowledged in a meeting with U.S. officials that he does not plan to root out and fire militia members.

"I don't have that power," he said. "There are people higher than me that control that."

Among Ani's bosses are the police chief for all of Baghdad, who has been linked to the Mahdi Army, and the minister of the interior, who is a member of Sadr's political bloc.

"I think he's trying to do the right thing," said Lt. Col Aaron Dean, the battalion commander, as he walked to his Humvee after the meeting with Ani. "But I know they're all under certain influences. If you take a big stand against the militias, they're going to come after you."

The difficulty of eliminating corruption and militias from the Iraqi police forces can be exasperating for the American soldiers who risk their lives day after day to train them. "We can keep getting in our Humvees every day, but nothing is going to work unless the politicians do their job and move against the militias," Moore said.

Sitting in the battalion's war room with four other members of his team, Moore estimated it would take 30 to 40 years before the Iraqi police could function properly, perhaps longer if the militia infiltration and corruption continue to increase. His colleagues nodded.

"It's very, very slow-moving," Estes said.

"No," said Sgt. 1st Class William T. King Jr., another member of the team. "It's moving in reverse."




 
E-Mail User
Replies:

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 16174
(16174 all sites)
Registered: 10/6/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 05:52 AM
So, is this stay the course or mission accomplished? Ive lost track.

 

____________________
Missing- 245 spines. If found, please send one to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and the rest to the Capitol building care of the Democratic Party.

 

Universal Peach



Karma:
Posts: 6009
(6064 all sites)
Registered: 1/19/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 06:16 AM
quote:
So, is this stay the course or mission accomplished? Ive lost track.



Squatch,

Don't Worry. Just "Back Off" Brighter minds than you or me are figuring this all out. At least that's what Donald Rumsfeld would have you believe.

 
E-Mail User

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 9082
(9082 all sites)
Registered: 2/25/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 08:44 AM
quote:
One of the biggest reasons, we are told that the United States has to stay in Iraq is to train the Iraqi security forces and to help disband the various militias, and that hopefully they will be done in 12 to 18 months. This article brings out a question that I, and I'm sure many Americans have about these "security forces", and one that ratherly gets asked and that question is " Where does the true loyalties of these security forces lie?". Apparently, from this article loyalties are at best 'mixed" and in some cases definitely on the side of the militias.


Just read this earlier this morning. Pretty disheartening to hear our men and women say they (Iraqi police force) are all crooks and liars.

quote:
Mahdi Militia


Perhaps I am being too much of a simpleton again, but why is this allowed to exist and why is Al Sadr still allive? Is this guy not part of the problem? Back in 2004, a friend of mine fought against these guys and said they were wiping the ground with them, but were forced into a cease fire, something which he believes was election year nonsense. NOw another friend, 33 years old ,who actually enlisted in the Army a year ago and is stationed in Fort Riley KS, is now scheduled to go to Sadr City inteh beginning of next year. It looks like he will be up against the same foe that should have wiped out a long time ago. Its retarded.

Well, its officially a circus, throw a tent over it.


 

Universal Peach



Karma:
Posts: 6655
(6654 all sites)
Registered: 8/11/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 09:40 AM
Just more excuses for the long-term presence which was the real reason behind the invasion all along. How else can we sustain the permanent bases brought to us by this administrations good friends at Haliburton? Smoke and mirrors, my friends, smoke and mirrors....
 

Universal Peach



Karma:
Posts: 6009
(6064 all sites)
Registered: 1/19/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 10:00 AM
More and more people are starting to realize why this war can never be won. Truth is, the United States should have followed the principals found in "Powell Doctrine" and the plans that the Central Command had come up with in their twelve year study of Iraq and what to do in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein. Both of which we're "gutted" by Rumsfeld and the civilian neoconservative leadership at the Pentagon. One of the two things would have happen:

One, the United States would have never gone to war in the first place

or

Two, if the United States had gone to war, it would have done it by following the "Powell Doctrine" and the United States would have has a strong, doable, post-war plan for Iraq in effect.

btw. since I've mention the "Powell Doctrine" perhaps it would be useful to know exactly what it calls for:

The questions posed by the Powell Doctrine, which should be answered affirmatively before military action, are:

Is a vital national security interest threatened?

Do we have a clear attainable objective?

Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?

Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?

Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?

Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?

Is the action supported by the American people?

Do we have genuine broad international support?

Wow, a "maybe", a "yes", and the rest a bunch of "no's".

What's amazing when reading this "Doctrine", is how much the author himself, Colin Powell strayed away from it, when he made the Bush's Administration argument for the war to the United Nations. I wonder if former Secretary Powell, thought that the President would listen more to him, than to Rumsfeld, Cheney, and neoconservative crowd? I also wonder if former Secretary Powell, might nowadays thinks it might have been better if he would have been less a "loyal soldier" and more of a "statesman", in regards to situation in Iraq?

[Edited on 10/31/2006 by cleaneduphippy]

 
E-Mail User

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 9082
(9082 all sites)
Registered: 2/25/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 10:51 AM
Fred, there is a book, drawing a blank on the name of it right now, written by a retired Marine officer who was in the room when the Joint Cheifs presented their plan for battle in Vietnam to Johnson. Your points about the Powell doctrine reminded me of it. They were berated and dismissed by Johnson. I often wonder why they didn't all resign based on his reaction, and also wonder why, as you do, why Powell was not less loyal to the administration.
 

A Peach Supreme



Karma:
Posts: 2779
(2781 all sites)
Registered: 1/20/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 12:08 PM
You know, it's hard to know what to believe. On one hand we have people who question the loyalties of the Iraqi military/police and their willingness to take responsiblity for what needs to be done. On the other hand, you have people like my best friend who has spent two tours over there in a training capacity. He trains Iraqi military and police. His observations are quit different from those who would have you believe that the Iraqis don't care. They are risking their lives to be in the position that they are in right now. He has befriended many Iraqis since being over there. Unfortunately, two of them recently died. Had they not been loyal to their own people and their attempts to take over for the Americans, then they would not have been singled out and killed. I don't know the person who wrote the article, but I would rather trust my friend whom I have known for 20 years. I don't think he would be yanking my chain just to make a political point.




Mike

 

____________________

 

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 9082
(9082 all sites)
Registered: 2/25/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 10/31/2006 at 12:15 PM
quote:
You know, it's hard to know what to believe. On one hand we have people who question the loyalties of the Iraqi military/police and their willingness to take responsiblity for what needs to be done. On the other hand, you have people like my best friend who has spent two tours over there in a training capacity. He trains Iraqi military and police. His observations are quit different from those who would have you believe that the Iraqis don't care. They are risking their lives to be in the position that they are in right now. He has befriended many Iraqis since being over there. Unfortunately, two of them recently died. Had they not been loyal to their own people and their attempts to take over for the Americans, then they would not have been singled out and killed. I don't know the person who wrote the article, but I would rather trust my friend whom I have known for 20 years. I don't think he would be yanking my chain just to make a political point.



I hear ya Mike, although it does seem to be a problem. I have had the same conversations with my friends who were over there and they painted a different story that what i read everyday. In fact, one even told me, don't believe everything you read....well duuuuuh!!

 
 


Powered by XForum 1.81.1 by Trollix Software

Privacy | Terms of Service | Report Infringement | Personal Data Management | Contact Us
The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND name, The ALLMAN BROTHERS name, likenesses, logos, mushroom design and peach truck are all registered trademarks of THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. whose rights are specifically reserved. Any artwork, visual, or audio representations used on this web site CONTAINING ANY REGISTERED TRADEMARKS are under license from The ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. A REVOCABLE, GRATIS LICENSE IS GRANTED TO ALL REGISTERED PEACH CORP MEMBERS FOR The DOWNLOADING OF ONE COPY FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. ANY DISTRIBUTION OR REPRODUCTION OF THE TRADEMARKS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE PROHIBITED AND ARE SPECIFICALLY RESERVED BY THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO.,INC.
site by Hittin' the Web Group with www.experiencewasabi3d.com