StrategyPage.com editor James F. Dunnigan insists that the old Iraqi Army had to go. "The Saddam-era security forces were recruited mainly for loyalty to Saddam and the Sunni Arab minority. Unless you wanted an Iraqi security force led by Sunni Arabs, many of dubious loyalty to a democratic Iraq, you had to disband the security forces."All true statements -- but like Garner, I say don't put unemployed young males with military experience on the streets. The United States should have fired the officers above the rank of captain and paid the enlisted soldiers -- and then used these "service corps" units as building blocks for a new force.
In the "Iraq" chapter of the new edition of "A Quick and Dirty Guide to War," Dunnigan and I had to negotiate this compromise: "Unemployed young men who know how to use weapons are a huge problem. Likewise, retaining 100,000 young Iraqis would have been a route for pumping money into the economy. The problem of determining who would command the "reconstruction corps," however, still remained. ... The CPA concluded that the army and police force had to be rebuilt, and that became a fact on the ground."
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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