April 22, 2004

Iraq leaves 'Coalition of the Willing,' apparently.

Or at least a sizable portion of the new Iraqi army and security forces have left, says a senior US commander.

According to Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey of the 1st Armored Division, the US military was able to rely on only half of the Iraqi troops involved in fighting against recent insurgent attacks. He said that 40 percent of the troops walked off the job, and 10 percent actually fought against occupation forces.

The failure of Iraqi security forces to perform is significant because it could hurt the United States' overall exit strategy from Iraq, which is dependent on moving U.S. troops out of the cities and handing authority to Iraqis. Officials have said the U.S. military would delay its withdrawal from parts of Iraq until Iraqi forces were ready to take control.

Given the US military's historic penchant for under-reporting bad news, we'd guess that the proportion of Iraqi troops that refused to fight or fought against US forces is probably higher than Dempsey acknowledged.

Via AP.

Posted by Magpie at April 22, 2004 02:55 AM | Iraq | Technorati links |