The recent wave of insurgent violence has a lot of people wondering whether the Iraqi Security Forces will ever stand and fight with U.S. troops. U.S. Administrator Paul Bremer said “Iraqi forces will not be able, on their own, to deal with these threats by June 30 when an Iraqi government assumes sovereignty.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Over the last few weeks, there’ve been reports of Iraqi forces buckling when the battle heats up. One general claimed that ten percent of the security forces actually turned against coalition troops. It’s even harder for the Iraqi police, who’ve become a favorite target accused of being collaborators. Can Iraqis ever be persuaded to fight for their freedom if it means fighting alongside the occupiers?
Bernard Kerik, Iraq’s interim minister of interior from May-September 2003, former police commissioner of New York City
presently CEO of Guiliani-Kerik Partners
Walter Slocomb, former senior adviser on defence and security at the CPA
Dr. Ali Abdulameer Allawi, Iraq’s Interim minister of defense
Thanassis Cambanis, Boston Globe reporter based in Baghdad.