Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Column: America's Future Ally

I've finally come around to writing a new column, and this one is a summary of what I've been thinking about this summer: nothing looks certain around the Middle East, and dangerous trends can be spotted. Iraq is the only place where these dangerous trends are in reverse. Iraq will make it.


Blogger bg said...


FANTASTIC PIECE!! (thumbsup)

God Bless Iraq/is!! :)


2:46 PM, September 05, 2007

Blogger bg said...


Maliki Proposes Dissolving Government


[“I told Sayyed Sistani about my plans for
forming a new government of technocrats,”

that's really not news..

however, that he met with Sistani is news..

[“We have now two options: to fill the vacant portfolios
or to form a new government,”
the Iraqi Prime Minister

The Prime Minister, who arrived on Wednesday in the Shiite sacred city of Najaf, said “Ayatollah al-Sistani focused during the meeting on rendering the political process in the country a success and on regaining security and providing citizens with services.”

“Ayatollah al-Sistani called for confronting sectarianism advocates as Muslims of all sects are bothers without any discrimination,” Maliki noted.]

[“I am considering that holy shrines and sacred cities be peaceful places and disarmed of weapons and under the protection of the Iraqi army,” Maliki said, without elaborating.]


2:48 PM, September 05, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was a very interesting article. It does, however, seem to neglect a number of the more problematic parts of Iraq-- what about, for example, the Shi'a infiltration of the Iraqi Police and the problems in and around Basra?

Having said that, I really do hope it turns out as your article suggests!

5:02 AM, September 06, 2007

Blogger bg said...


here you go anon @ 5:02 AM

there are two entities: NP & REG.

Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle


[Ministry of Interior's National Police (NP) continues to receive negative reporting while it is reformed. All of the NP division and brigade commanders and over half of the battalion commanders have been relieved over the last year. There are 1,500 files under review for dismissal and potential charges. Thirty "very senior" officials have been removed. The situation is so bad that the Iraqi Minister of Interior is considering the reduction in size of the NP due to lack of available competent and trusted leadership. Elsewhere in the Ministry of Interior, the regular Iraqi Police have been authorized to expand by 30,000, from roughly 135,000 to 165,000; 12,000 of those personnel will be added to Baghdad over the next 6 months; 6,000 have been vetted and are in training for Diyala; and 7,000 have been vetted and have been hired for Anbar. Reporting of the deployment of a "new security force" continues as Kurdish Regional Guards are fielded to protect infrastructure.]

hope that helped..


3:48 PM, September 06, 2007

Blogger bg said...


found some more info re: Army / Police..

i'm listening to the late edition of the PBS Jim Lehrer Show.. and can't believe what i'm hearing (he's so bias against the BA).. but the guests are mostly up-beat about the Iraq Army & Police force anyways!! :+:


Panel Finds Progress, Problems with Iraqi Security


[GEN. JAMES JONES: Well, I think what went wrong is that the construct is wrong. It's 85 percent Shia. It is associated with some pretty bad things that have happened in the near past. It is sectarian, and it is not trusted by certainly the other ethnicities in the country.

I think the chief is absolutely right that this is not the entire Iraqi police, which, if you add up all of the capabilities or entities under the Ministry of the Interior, you have almost 320,000 Iraqis in some sort of policing function. So we're talking about the narrow band, but it's a narrow band that's at the top of the pyramid, and it is causing difficulties. And I believe it should be disbanded and re-tasked.]

[GEN. JAMES JONES: Well, we found, at the top of the pyramid, the Ministry of Interior is generally functioning in the way that we would normally like to see ministry function. Compared to the Ministry of the Interior, it's relatively free of sectarian bias, not completely, but it's certainly more positive. They have a strategic vision for where they're going.

The Iraqi army is being paid. There's a personnel system. Young Iraqis are flocking by the thousands to join this new army. They have 10 divisions; nine of them are within the acceptable zone of operational capability. They're going to grow by another three divisions by next year. So there's momentum here, and they've acquitted themselves well in their portion of the surge, in Baghdad.

And we see that, having talked to all of our mentors and our embedded trainers, a consensus building that the Iraqi army is increasingly able to handle the internal problems -- to respond well against the internal security threats of Iraq.

Now, the external threats are going to take a little bit longer, because that's the traditional mission of an army, to defend the territories of the nation. But we're pleased by what we saw, and we're encouraged, and we think they're on a good glide slope.]

[CHARLES RAMSEY: Yes, I do. It was a unanimous report, which is unusual, I'm told, for commission reports, that we did agree on all the points within that. And certainly from what we were able to observe, even though we were focused on the police, that the Iraqi army is further along than the police, and it's primarily due to the fact that the Ministry of Defense is further along than the Ministry of Interior.]

[Now, the police are further behind than the Iraqi army. I think, once the problems in the Ministry of Interior are addressed, that the police will make very rapid progress in all of those areas. We saw a great deal of enthusiasm; it was very good training taking place. Not enough of it, they're short trainers.

So there are a lot of challenges. But I think once those are worked out, you'll see some progress in the Iraqi police service, again, which is separate from the national police.]


8:39 PM, September 06, 2007

Anonymous JB said...

Thanks for that.

Sorry, my comment above should read militant Shi'a infiltrating the police.

I write a daily security report on Iraq and do find this blog very interesting.

8:15 AM, September 07, 2007

Blogger bg said...



Ramadi Shaykhs in No Hurry to
See Americans Leave Al-Anbar


[That's from Col. Sean B. MacFarland, commander of the 1st BCT, 1st AD which has returned to its home base in Wiesbaden, Germany after a 14 month deployment in Ramadi, where he flipped the majority of Ramadi's tribal shaykhs to our side.

Money quote:

Now, "If you talk to these sheiks, they'll tell you that they're in no hurry to see the Americans leave al-Anbar," he said.

"One thing Sheikh Sattar keeps saying is he wants al-Anbar to be like Germany and Japan and South Korea were after their respective wars, with a long-term American presence helping ... put them back together," MacFarland said. "The negative example he cites is Vietnam. He says, yeah, so, Vietnam beat the Americans, and what did it get them? You know, 30 years later, they’re still living in poverty."

Freakin' priceless. Shaykh Sattar knows a stronger tribe when he sees one.]


10:33 AM, September 07, 2007

Blogger bg said...


pardon if a repeat.. :)

Iraq To Formally Seek Long-Term US Military Presence


[Meanwhile, the Iraqi Foreign Minister unveiled that Iraq “is seeking the signatory of a long-term security agreement with the U.S. next year once the U.N. mandate given to the presence of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq was over.”

Minister Zibari noted that the agreement recently reached among the Iraqi political leaders included a clause indicating the readiness of the Iraqi government to have a long-term partnership with the U.S. in security.

“This agreement will help us and our friends to act together in the security aspect,” the Iraqi Minister said.]

[Zibari considered such a move as “an internal issue and
has nothing to do with the neighboring countries.”]


10:37 AM, September 07, 2007

Blogger Louise said...

bg @10:33 AM, September 07, 2007

thumbs up, thumbs up, thumbs up!!!

12:13 PM, September 07, 2007

Blogger perry1961 said...

Man,I lost a whole month somewhere. Oct. 20th already?

5:48 AM, September 14, 2007

Blogger Jaguar b. p. said...

[ God Bless Iraq/is!! :) ]

Would that include the 1 million you have already killed, or not?

Civilian toll in Iraq may top 1M

4:58 PM, September 14, 2007

Blogger bg said...


1 million?? you're n arse.. but as for those who were initially killed.. yes it would, but that was not our doing, it was Saddams doing, all he had to do was surrender or leave, he chose war..

my prayers also go out to the millions of innocents Saddam slaughtered for no other reason but domination.. same as the thousands AQ et al have slaughtered, and for what?? freedom?? liberty?? no, domination, period & pathetic doesn't describe the atrocious acts of wither Saddam nor AQ et al..

you think you're smart asking morally convoluted questions don't you you leftist pig, but the reality is, all you amount to is a whinning swinedog..


5:50 PM, September 14, 2007

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