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April 18, 2008

Iraqi Security Forces Abandon Positions...Again
Posted by Patrick Barry

The New York Times reported today that Iraqi Soldiers have once again abandoned their post, this time in Sadr City.  Here is the key excerpt:

"A company of government troops in Sadr City retreated when they came under attack from Shiite militiamen who used the cover of a sandstorm, police said Friday."

Now what would you do if you were attacked by the Jaish al-Mahdi during a sandstorm?  I think most people would agree when I say that that has to be among the more terrifying circumstances imaginable.  But this is the Iraqi Army, a well-trained fighting force, and one that is capable of withstanding all kinds of trials, while still maintaining the utmost professionalism.  In that sense, this company's actions are just incongruous with the larger pattern of successful military performance...unless Nouri al-Maliki and President Bush are just completely misrepresenting the situation, and that is something I'm not ready to accept. 


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Would the Pentagon lie to us?

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2008 – In the past year, the Iraqi army has transformed into a national force that has deployed across the country in operations that show its increasing combat capabilities, a senior commander there said today.

“There should be no mistake on the behalf of anyone that the Iraqi army is a national army,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Robin Swan, commander of the Coalition Army Advisory Training Team. “Just over the past year, it has made a tremendous, tremendous impact in areas throughout Iraq. In as short as nine to 12 months ago, [it was unimaginable] that battalions and a division headquarters from al Anbar province would be utilized throughout … Iraq. But that is exactly what has happened.”

Time for US troops to pull out -- the Iraqi troops have gone national (except in sandstorms).

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