Friday, March 10, 2006

Iraq's False Sovereignty

Michael Schwartz takes on Iraq's sovereignty vacuum over at TomDispatch as he examines a government with no military and no territory. A real must-read.

Every plan so far to withdraw troops from Iraq, from political leaders both left and right, has assumed that the Air Force, artillery and support troops would stay. Why? Because no-one has a plan to give Iraq any capabilities in these areas themselves. "As a result, even if the Iraqi government could "take command" of its army, it could not fight battles on its own. This distinguishes the Iraqi Army from virtually every other military on the planet. None of its units can go into battle unless they are integrated into the American military." (For more on this, read my post The Satrapy Of Iraq.) It makes a nonsense of the Pentagon's list of Iraqi battalions able to operate even semi-independently as well as the idea that "we will stand down as they stand up".

What the Iraqi security forces are good for is adding firepower to a civil war. The cold civil war which has been going on for over a year now is heating up - but casualty figures are being supressed by the Iraqi government as it tries to conceal how badly out of control its own Interior Ministry is. Rummie plans to leave the Iraqis to fight it out themselves then present the victors with a fait accomplis of permanent bases and permanent satellite nation status.

Sovereign nation? Don't make me laugh.

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