Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Scott Ritter calls the "only effective unit" of the new Iraqi army "a Kurdish militia":
The reality is there is no Iraqi Army. Of the tens of thousands recruited into its ranks, there is today only one effective unit, the 36th Battalion.
This unit has fought side by side with the Americans in Falluja, Najaf, and Samara. By all accounts, it has performed well. But this unit can only prevail when it operates alongside overwhelming American military support. Left to fend for itself, it would be slaughtered by the resistance fighters. Worse, this unit which stands as a symbol of the ideal for the new Iraqi Army is actually the antithesis of what the new Iraqi Army should be.
While the Bush administration has suppressed the formation of militia units organized along ethnic and religious lines, the 36th Battalion should be recognized for what it really is – a Kurdish militia, retained by the US military because the rest of the Iraqi Army is unwilling or unable to carry the fight to the Iraqi resistance fighters.