Thursday, March 23, 2006

Of Course, it's a Civil War

That's what Krauthammer says.

"What we don't want to see is the private militias taking the law into their own hands. The army, by all accounts, has remained cohesive, with relatively good discipline. The problem is the police forces, which have been infiltrated by some of the Mahdi Army and other freelance Shiite vigilantes.

We cannot allow parts of the police apparatus to become instruments of Moqtada al-Sadr or other private interests. And not just because they act viciously and vindictively but also because their insubordination and independence are a threat to the very stability of the new Iraqi state.

But let's put this in perspective. First, this kind of private revenge attack has been going on at a low level since the beginning of the insurgency. Second, it does have the effect of concentrating Sunni minds on the price of their continuing support for the random, large-scale and heretofore unanswered slaughter of Shiites that they either actively or passively support.

And, third, if the private militias are the problem, it is a focused and relatively narrow problem. Creating discipline and central control over the security services is a more manageable issue than all-out Hobbesian conflict.

The principal issue, and measure of our success, is the shaping of disciplined and effective security forces. And that is why the political negotiations that have been dragging on are so critical. It is the political track that must secure leadership for both the defense and interior ministries that is nonsectarian and committed to a unitary force whose members do not answer to private warlords." Rest here

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