Thursday, November 02, 2006

Iraq recap of the day

Maliki's political machinations

The Christian Science Monitor:
They also provided Mr. Maliki with a chance to further assert his independence after weeks of friction between Washington and Baghdad - just days before US midterm elections, in which the Iraq war has become a defining issue.

Aides to the premier have said that they want to take advantage of the vote, and the unpopularity of Mr. Bush and the Iraq war, to expand Maliki's authority. The new assertive tack is boosting the portrayal of Maliki as commander in chief.

The US pullback is being seen in Sadr City as a loss for the Americans, even as Maliki has shown that he can issue orders and deliver - though he has yet to follow through on vows to stanch sectarian killings.
Iraqi army's discipline

The AP:
TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) -- Iraqi soldiers being trained by American military advisers go on rampages, flee from dangerous situations and waste ammunition in undisciplined bursts of fire at any provocation, according to an account in a U.S. Army journal.


Iraqi soldiers frequently use excessive force, going on retaliatory rampages after colleagues are killed by insurgents, Grunow wrote in the journal, a publication of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.


Grunow, who spent a year with an Iraqi armored brigade north of Baghdad, also said that Iraqis often fail to report for training, and that sometimes up to 40 percent of some units flee from dangerous situations without fear of punishment.

"As of this writing, the only power holding them is the promise of a paycheck (not always delivered) and a sense of duty. Good soldiers leave after receiving terrorist threats against their families," Grunow wrote.
Troop levels in Iraq

The AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush says he has not received any request to send more American forces to Iraq and that commanders have told him the 144,000 troops already deployed are "what they can live with."

Bush also said "it's hard for me to tell" if U.S. troops will still be in Iraq when he leaves office in January 2009.


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