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By Ahmed Alaskary & Mohammed Baraka
November 26, 2006

Key elements to improving security

With regards to the security situation in Iraq, mistakes made post-war are largely to blame for the current crisis. By far the most important of these was the failure to round up all the top tiers of the Baathist regime, who quickly morphed into various elements of the insurgency, and whose defeat is critical to any success in Iraq. There are other factors which impede attainment of security in Iraq, such as:

1. Local Policing
The police were established under the Coalition Provisional Authority according to a western model of recruiting from local areas to serve in local districts, so that they would have the advantage of local knowledge. However, Iraq is a country built upon tribal lines, reports of police not responding to local violence is a consequence of the police fearing retaliation by local militant tribes, not just against the individual policeman, but their tribe and family.

In order to combat this problem, the police need to be distributed randomly across the country, so that no police officer would serve in their local areas. This will ensure that they are able to carry out their duties without the fear of retaliation against their families and tribes. In addition, it ensures that battalions are randomly made up of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Saddam Hussein understood Iraq’s cultural structure and used this policy; its re-implementation is a necessary step towards combating security in Iraq.

2. UN Resolution 1546
The resolution gives ultimate control of security, including the Iraqi security forces, to the multinational forces. The effect of this on the ground is: ultimately the Iraqi Prime Minister cannot move troops around different parts of Iraq; the quota on the number of troops and police Iraq has is set by the Pentagon and not the Iraqi government.

A senior advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister has told the IPO that one of the reasons why the current Baghdad security plan has failed has been because part of the plan required a security disc around Baghdad to prevent the flow of insurgents into the capital, which is split up into different sections manned either by Iraqi or US forces. However, there were physical gaps in this disc between sections, which allowed the flow of insurgents through them. The Iraqi PM pressed the multinational forces repeatedly to address this oversight for over 2 weeks, only to be stalled by arduous coalition bureaucracy. He ordered Iraqi troops to expand and cover unmanned areas outside of their allocated sectors, only for the loyal Iraqi troops who carried out the order to be arrested by the multinational forces that were covering an adjacent sector. 

This incident and others like it has made Iraqi troops reluctant to carry out their government's orders. This resolution is due for renewal next month. It must be changed so that the democratically elected government of Iraq is given full control over all Iraqi security forces. In the meantime, it is unreasonable to demand that the Iraqi government takes more responsibility for the security of its country when the resolution and its implementation have the government’s hands and feet tied.

 

© 2007 Iraqi Prospect Organisation
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