Originally posted by bg_socalif
Yes, the government is seated, however there is still no Minister of Defense or Ministry of Interior in place yet. Neither of which is helping
matters any right now.
Violence is down, depending on how you view it. Down against US troops, that's a definite yes. Now Iraqi on Iraqi violence is down some as compared
to the halcyon sectarian violence days of 2007 timeframe. But it's still a daily occurance in most cities at a high level. There are different
factions, tribes, criminal element, etc, involved. I can easily see the sectarian violence flaring again. Especially with Kirkuk and Mosul having
such diverse ethnicities involved. Not to mention the Kurds, they don't trust the Iraqi government at all.
The troops here are still outside the wire alot, just not as much as before. Many of them man joint US-Iraq checkpoints and Patrol bases. Or in the
case of Kirkuk and some areas around Mosul, joint US-Iraq-Kurd checkpoints and Patrol bases. US troops have had to act as peacemaker between Iraqi's
and Kurd forces, getting them to communicate and work together and building trust. Decades of mistrust is hard to overcome in a short period of
time. Aside from SpecOps, there are no real combat missions now, unless Iraqi Army specifically requests assistance. So occasionally some US forces
may get caught in the middle of something. It's mainly training and assistance now, from training them in basic target practice (Iraqi's love to
shoot) to basic equipment maintenance and logistics (which Iraqi's despise) to battlefield tactics.
It's in their best interests to take the lead in providing security. There has been some progress towards that, whether it'll keep on going or be
enough remains to be seen.
I believe when it's all said and done and we're out of here, Iraq will become a pawn or "protectorate" of Iran. The influence is just too strong with
Maliki and then throw Moqtada Al-Sadr into the mix as well.
I just hope i'm wrong. But they need find their own destiny.
It sounds like if Iraq is going to survive, it will take place in Kirkuk and Mosul? You can sum up most of the countries problems with those two
cities? All the ethnic groups, factions, and sects are living side by side in those two cities. If relative calm, stability, and trust cannot be
established there; the idea of Iraq as a multi-ethnic democracy is doomed to fail. The approach being taken by you guys to encourage each side to
communicate, man checkpoints, and do patrols together is the right move. Hopefully, if they can work out their differences in the military and
security services, that relationship will trickle down to the residents of the two embattled cities, and elsewhere?
It is good to read that you believe they are making progress, and are showing a willingness to take the lead at some time. Still, if those two
important cabinet positions remain vacant with the Iraqi Interior Minister and Minister of Defense, any gains being made by the military and security
forces will be for naught, because there is no direction or consolidation within the chain-of-command. Furthermore, who is setting budgets, procuring
weapons and materials, etcetera? It would be in everyone's best interests if the politicians would set aside their sectarian differences and make
earnest attempts toward filling those crucial positions.
Sectarianism Stalls Key Iraqi Cabinet Appointments
The negotiations have been dragged out by an unofficial sectarian quota system that was created to support national unity but could threaten Iraq’s
fragile democracy, officials maintain.
“The current government is being formed based on a sectarian quota agreement, and this is why we have a dispute over the [security] ministries,”
said Hamid al-Mutlaq, a lawmaker from the Sunni-backed Iraqiya list, an assertion made by several officials interviewed by IWPR.
Iraq’s constitution does not set aside government posts for sects or ethnic groups. However, in order to maintain the delicate balance of power
between Iraq’s various communities, the president, the prime minister, the speaker and most ministerial posts are unofficially allocated along
sectarian and ethnic lines.
If there is going to be any unity among the people, the politicians have got to set the standard and shed their sectarian allegiances. An Iraq first
policy or something? This government cannot move forward if it continues to operate in a vacuum.
Since you keep mentioning Prime Minister, Nuri Al-Maliki. I followed the parliamentary election crisis from last year, and his actions speak louder
than words. He thwarted the will of the people by not conceding power as the election results dictated. Looking back on the results, the Iraqiya party
won a narrow majority in the parliamentary elections.
With those results, that particular party should have been able to appoint the prime minister, lead the negotiations in convening the government, and
appoint ministry positions. However, Maliki did not like the results and chose to dig his heals in, and make deals with the other political blocs to
ensure his position as prime minister after the election. The government was at a stalemate for almost a year. Then throw in his frequent visits to
Tehran, and how Sadr was allowed to re-enter the country from his self imposed exile in Iran without so much as a peep by the Iraqi government. That
ought to bring his allegiances into contention among the Sunnis and other groups in Iraqi? Another serious concern would be his complete control of
the Iraqi Special Forces.
In Iraq, U.S. Special Forces
gearing up to leave
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s direct command of the elite forces has prompted fears among some Iraqi political parties and factions that the
units will turn into a private militia. Maliki has denied that he maintains a security force outside the regular chains of command, but the United
States has pushed for the force to be placed under a conventional chain of command, overseen by the Defense Ministry.
Highly trained soldiers under one man's thumb seems like a recipe for disaster to those who may be in the opposition to that person? Oh yes, how can I
forget about the firebrand cleric who continues to threaten and intimidate the central government with his militia. Sadr is a menace and should be in
jail or forced into indefinite exile, yet this man walks free after numerous occasions of using his own private army in the Mahdi Militia to raise
hell, and thwart efforts by the Iraqi government and Coalition Forces to stabilize Iraq. I have to agree with you, it seems Iran is stacking the deck
in its favor, and is poised to kick it up notch in terms of the influence over Iraq when the US pulls out. Hopefully, the conundrum that is Iraq can
be resolved and the country remains intact. That remains to be seen? Thanks for the reply!
edit on 12-4-2011 by Jakes51 because: (no reason given)