Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Iraqi strife

Iraq needs to beef up its security forces in order to move towards stability. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's coordinated attacks are not only making transition difficult for Americans, but Iraqis who need the stability to refurbish the economy and build opportunity. Lack of opportunity and stability further creates the conditions that lead to young, disenchanted youth to find solidarity in hostile fundamentalist Islamic Groups.

With this in mind, one also has to recognize that the "silent majority" of Iraqi citizens are calling for reform. They want to move towards democratic ideals and moderate Islam. The September 13, 2003 Economist Survey, "In the Name of Islam," argues this point, adding the need for a "reformation" of sorts to solve the quarrel within Islam, an ongoing quarrel between fundamentalism and tolerance.

Whether one agrees with the March 2003 invasion of Iraq or NOT, the current situation in Iraq is of vital importance, producing an opportunity for reformation or further divulgence into radicalism. Whether one believes America is the proper judge and administrator of democracy-development in Iraq or NOT, the citizens of Iraq must have the final say and benefits over their government and its ability to represent them. Strong Iraqi-administered Security Forces are the first utilitarian step towards a budding democracy.

The Iraqi police force needs to be trained and supplied to deal with the insurgency and realize that their determination must be for their own country and livelihood. So, one must ask about the prospects of a self-sustained Iraqi security force.

Taking most of my information from a July 12, 2004 TIME article "Taking Back the Streets." I find reason to be optimistic, but vulnerabilities still exist.

Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, since the handover on June 28th, has made combatting the insurgency a main priority, naming General Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani head of Intelligence. Al-Shahwani's resume is impressive. He has ties to the CIA, working with them on one occasion on a failed coup against Saddam Hussien in 1990, and working with American covert teams prior to the 2003 invasion. In addition to his experience, he speaks of the need to energize Iraqis to defend their own country by securing it, lending leadership to a Iraqi's who are familiar to the lanscape and inner workings of the insurgency. He states, "...we will do better than the coalition because we know this country. This is our life (Time 31)."

Such leadership is much needed to energize Iraqis to defend their own security. However, many Iraqis believe that Allawi and Shahwani are puppets of the United States, believing the only solution is to "get rid of the americans (30). Growing percieved lack of credibility for the American occupation is seemingly threatening the credibility of their own leaders. Additionaly, with the lack of evidence of WMDs, ties to Al Queda, or threat to the U.S., the credibility of America's justification for war is doubtful. This makes it more important for Iraqi security forces to realize that they will be countering the insurgency for their own stability.

Iraqi security forces must also be given the ammunition and supplies need to fight the insurgency and establish peace. Too often, one hears of lack of ammunition and body armor causing the Iraqi police force to relinquish fighting an insurgency uprising. The American Military presence is having enough logistical troubles to be able to supply Iraqi Security on its own. A broader coallition is needed to insure proper logistical support to Iraqi security. NATO would need to be a large player in this. Success or failure in Iraq, as said before, has broad-reaching consequences for many nations. It's a shame that multilateral action is only now being seriously considered and acted upon.

No comments: