Sunday, February 26, 2006

Iraq and logistics

The latest quarterly assessment by the Pentagon on the status of the Iraq military stated that more units are at combat level 2 (capable to take the lead in combat operations) but the one unit at level 1 was downgraded. The report is available here (.pdf). An A.P. story highlighted the downgrade. The big question is left unanswered by a vague remark, which is somewhat troubling (my emphasis):
At the top level, level one, the unit is fully independent and requires no Coalition assistance. Considering the need for further development of Iraqi logistical elements, ministry capacity and capability, intelligence structures, and command and control, it will take some time before a substantial number of units are assessed as fully independent and requiring no assistance.
Whatever develops in Iraq in the coming weeks will require honest analysis by the administration as it decides the proper course to pursue. As we cannot trust them to do this, we will therefore need Congressional oversight to conduct that analysis.

It seems, based on this report, that if Iraq were to devolve into a substantial civil conflict -- larger than what is evident today -- there would be few or no Iraqi formations capable of planning, equipping and executing military operations. The question may then be: is the government and that army legitimate (enough) for the United States to continue acting as logistician and planner?

With the present Interior Ministry, I would say clearly not.

A debate may spark up on this topic at the Atlantic Review.


Post a Comment

<< Home