For those still wondering when Iraqi forces will “stand up” so U.S. forces can “stand down,” an answer came Wednesday: Don’t hold your breath.
With U.S. help, Iraqi forces raided the stronghold of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose ragtag Mahdi Army is thought to be running death squads in Baghdad. Before the smoke had cleared, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki disavowed the operation, saying he had not been consulted and insisting “it will not be repeated.”
Since he already had the microphone, Maliki also condemned talk of a timetable for when Iraqi forces might take a lead security role: “This government represents the will of the people, and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it.”
Given Maliki’s tenuous rule in the Green Zone, both points are debatable. But it’s hard to see how Iraqi forces will ever stand up if their commander in chief keeps telling them to sit down.
Posted by Dave Knadler
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