Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Reshaping the Iraqi police

One is left to wonder why this took so long. The New York Times:
The reorganization calls for a substantially reduced presence of American soldiers on the capital's streets, although not their numbers around the country.

The plan, revealed today in conversations with senior Iraqi leaders, would substantially alter Baghdad's landscape, now permeated by tens of thousands of police, soldiers and paramilitary soldiers whose identities and allegiances are not always clear.

The centerpiece of the plan is to gather together the multitude of existing security forces under a single command, with one easily identifiable uniform. Iraqi officials say that would give them greater flexibility to combat the insurgency and identify rogue elements within their ranks.

Private militias and death squads have flourished in such an environment, with Iraqi officials openly acknowledging that they do not control all of the armed groups operating in Baghdad. Such militias, some of them operating under official cover, have been blamed for much of the mayhem and killings that have become routine in the capital.


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