An independent commission established by Congress to assess Iraq’s security forces will recommend remaking the 26,000-member national police force to purge it of corrupt officers and Shiite militants suspected of complicity in sectarian killings, administration and military officials said Thursday.
The commission, headed by Gen. James L. Jones, the former top United States commander in Europe, concludes that the rampant sectarianism that has existed since the formation of the police force requires that its current units “be scrapped” and reshaped into a smaller, more elite organization, according to one senior official familiar with the findings. The recommendation is that “we should start over,” the official said.
The report, which will be presented to Congress next week, is among a number of new Iraq assessments — including a national intelligence estimate and a Government Accountability Office report — that await lawmakers when they return from summer recess. But the Jones commission’s assessment is likely to receive particular attention as the work of a highly regarded team that was alone in focusing directly on the worthiness of Iraq’s army and police force.
As I wrote in March of last year this was pretty much inevitable because we have seen this sort of thing in the past, even in the US. From me:
In the Spring of 1980, Fidel Castro declared the port of Mariel an open port. That Summer, 125,000 Cubans made the trip from Mariel to Miami in what came to be known as the Mariel Boatlift. The influx of refugees into an already depressed economy ultimately led to a major crime wave, so the city of Miami did what any city would do in that situation, they rapidly beefed up their police force immensely.
The problem was that everyone from major drug cartels to street gangs sent their loyalists with clean records to the police academy, which resulted in a very corrupt police force. Eventually, 10% of the force ended up jailed, fired, or disciplined; and that's just the ones they had hard evidence against.
Fast forward to Iraq. We have just done the same thing that Miami did in the early eighties. We have built up roughly 240,000 security forces in just a couple years. If we are as lucky as Miami, that means about 30,000 corrupt forces, and I doubt we're that lucky.
If the absolutely clueless Rumsfeld would have let Shinseki prosecute this war we'd be home by now. In fact, my greatest opposition to the war at that time was simply that we can't let these fuck-ups do this because they are wholly incompetent and refuse to listen to people who aren't. There is really nothing we can do now to fix it because it was always a one shot deal.
Now these idiots want to attack Iran. The roll-out starts after Labor Day. As our feckless leader says, "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
Found via Kevin Drum