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Large number of Iraq security units triggers ineffectiveness in war on militants

Multitude of Iraqi security services, competition, varying orders between them hurt efforts to fight militants.

Middle East Online  April 18, 2012

The multitude of Iraqi security services and the competition and varying orders between them hurts efforts to fight militants here, high-ranking interior ministry officers and an analyst say.

While violence has fallen sharply in Iraq compared to its peak in 2006 and 2007, amid a bloody sectarian war, militant groups including the Islamic State of Iraq, Al-Qaeda’s front organisation here, remain active, and attacks common.

“The main reason for the failure to eliminate violence completely and control the leaders of the terrorist organisations is the multiplicity of security services,” one high-ranking interior ministry officer in Baghdad said.

“Each department operates in accordance with instructions … that are different from the other one, and that complicates cooperation among them,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Iraq became a stronghold for a variety of militant groups, both Sunni and Shiite, following the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

The US disbanded Iraq’s military following the invasion, creating a large pool of men who were unemployed, disgruntled and armed, and thus ripe for recruitment into the insurgency.

People also journeyed to Iraq from around the region to fight the US “occupiers.”

But the worst violence was reserved for the Iraqis, tens of thousands of whom were killed in an orgy of bombings and death squad murders that erupted after the bombing of the Shiite Al-Askari shrine in Samarra in 2006.

A surge of US troops combined with the Sunni tribesmen turning against Al-Qaeda reduced the violence, but it still continues, with 14 Iraqi security agencies now working to fight it.

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April 18, 2012 - Posted by | Iraq, Private Security Contractor | ,

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