TITLE

Train Wreck

AUTHOR(S)
Ackerman, Spencer
PUB. DATE
April 2004
SOURCE
New Republic;4/26/2004, Vol. 230 Issue 15, p17
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The author argues that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's plan to turn over Iraq to Iraqi security forces and decrease numbers of U.S. troops in the country will lead to further chaos. According to a White House official interviewed by Newsweek this week, the Bushies had been convinced that the Iraqi security forces would be up to the job of going after U.S. enemies like Sadr. That's because, for the past year, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has sung the praises of "Iraqification"--the strategy of depending on rapidly convened Iraqi forces to safeguard the country rather than American troops--as a solution to an increasingly dire security situation. And, over the past year, experts repeatedly warned that Rumsfeld was deluded: that the United States hasn't fielded nearly enough troops to stabilize Iraq and that throwing Iraqis into uniform with minimal training wouldn't fill the vacuum. So, as the White House struggles to figure out what's gone wrong, the more appropriate question might be why they ever thought it would go right. Almost since the day Saddam Hussein's regime was overthrown in April 2003, the Pentagon's impulse has been to reduce the American troop presence in Iraq. The steady decline has largely been a function of Rumsfeld's conception of the role American forces should play in "post-conflict" operations. But most experts didn't think the Iraqis could do better. Worse, even though instability is very likely to increase after the planned transfer of sovereignty to as-yet-unnamed Iraqis on June 30, Rumsfeld has shown no willingness to concede that his policy has failed.
ACCESSION #
12860699

 

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