Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Iraq: the unraveling (III)

Juan Cole’s blog has a good essay by Adam Silverman, who deployed to Iraq last year as an advisor in the 1st Armored Division. Here is his conclusion about how the Maliki government is undermining American goals in Iraq. (In it, “SOI” means “Sons of Iraq,” the official U.S. government term for turned insurgents, while ...

587063_090406_Iraq_b2.jpg
587063_090406_Iraq_b2.jpg

Juan Cole's blog has a good essay by Adam Silverman, who deployed to Iraq last year as an advisor in the 1st Armored Division. Here is his conclusion about how the Maliki government is undermining American goals in Iraq. (In it, "SOI" means "Sons of Iraq," the official U.S. government term for turned insurgents, while "GOI" means "government of Iraq" and "ISF" means "Iraqi security forces"):

All of these attempts to erode the Awakening Council and SOI, all clearly part of the politics and politicking within and around the GOI, seriously undermine the transition from Coalition Forces' control to Iraqi control. While the SOI are hardly perfect, in many neighborhoods and areas they were perceived as being an important component to establishing and enhancing security, and have often been well regarded by their local ISF counterparts. The GOI's unwillingness and/or inability to properly incorporate them into the ISF and the GOI structure, will make progress going forward that much harder, risks the hard won and expensively fragile stability that has developed, and risks destabilizing Iraq as US and Coalition Forces began to pull way back and transition out of theater over the next twelve to eighteen months."

Juan Cole’s blog has a good essay by Adam Silverman, who deployed to Iraq last year as an advisor in the 1st Armored Division. Here is his conclusion about how the Maliki government is undermining American goals in Iraq. (In it, “SOI” means “Sons of Iraq,” the official U.S. government term for turned insurgents, while “GOI” means “government of Iraq” and “ISF” means “Iraqi security forces”):

All of these attempts to erode the Awakening Council and SOI, all clearly part of the politics and politicking within and around the GOI, seriously undermine the transition from Coalition Forces’ control to Iraqi control. While the SOI are hardly perfect, in many neighborhoods and areas they were perceived as being an important component to establishing and enhancing security, and have often been well regarded by their local ISF counterparts. The GOI’s unwillingness and/or inability to properly incorporate them into the ISF and the GOI structure, will make progress going forward that much harder, risks the hard won and expensively fragile stability that has developed, and risks destabilizing Iraq as US and Coalition Forces began to pull way back and transition out of theater over the next twelve to eighteen months.”

Meanwhile, former secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thinks that Iraq is “on its way to becoming a strategic asset” of the United States. Someone in Baghdad who didn’t get that memo set off a bunch of car bombs that killed about three dozen people today.

Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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