Last week, several prominent Iraqi political and defense officials announced that the government would permit discharged lieutenants, captains, and majors of the old Saddam Hussein-era Iraqi Army to resume their commissions in the new national army.
A more professional army is not necessarily a good thing, given that the primary loyalty of these gentlemen may not be to the Iraqi state but to their own tribal groupings. Saddam didn't trust them, that's why he had the RG. I also wonder how many have been keeping their skills fresh by taking on the US - the obvious career path once they were sacked.
Or even, arguably, a more corrupt professional army working towards imposing a solution of its own (factional) programme? Or.... and this is where we can follow the Middle East template and historical precedent, an eventual military coup to "bring peace and stability to our troubled land until such time as free and truely representative elections can be held". And the Army is predominantly of which faction? And the persecution of what faction is in the news at the mo'?.....
Sorry chaps, this isn't a conspiracy rant, nor is it a political point scoring thing. It is more of an emotional outpouring at our involvement in, and attempts, to impose Western-style democracy on a nation (and an artificial construct at that) which is still riven with tribal, religious, social scisms overlaid with a sordid and degenerate attempt to get to the top of the power tree. Lets not even open up the rant by mentioning oil and various nations' interests/desperate need for oil.
The present thought, which is "we started this, we can't leave until it is all sorted out," is a fine, moral and responsible thing. It is also extremely naive. It is also being conveniently shelved with the slowly emerging disengagement. Once we are gone, the regime that we put in place will be able to either cement its position of power by the use of time-honoured Middle Eastern practises or oversee a three way civil war and the Balkanisation of Iraq.
Me, angry? A bit.