The top American operational commander in Iraq has offered a sober assessment of the hurdles facing a new Iraqi government, voicing concerns that sectarian rivalries and incompetence could cripple major ministries and turn newly American-trained Iraqi security forces into militias for hire.
The commander, Lt. Gen. John R. Vines of the Army, warned in an interview on Wednesday that the development of the Defense and Interior Ministries that sustain Iraqi security forces lags behind the fielding and prowess of more than 220,000 Iraqi soldiers and police officers.
“The ability of the ministries to support them, to pay them, to resupply them, provide them with water, ammunition, spare parts and weapons is not as advanced as the competence of the forces in the field,” General Vines said at his headquarters here outside of Baghdad, as a new wave of violence gripped Iraq this week. “We must make significant progress in that area before they can conduct independent operations.”
So were the whole forty minutes explaining how great things are going in Iraq just bullshit?
Do we really need to answer that?