In the New York Times you can read another long item by Solomon Moore, “In an Uneasy City, Tough Test of Rebuilt Iraq Army,” marking the five-year anniversary of the Iraq War. Bottom Line: The Iraqi army will not be ready to take over anytime soon. I found the following discussion between American and Iraqi officers quite intriguing:
Then the discussion swerved off course. Far from the crisp bullet-pointed agendas common in American military briefings, the Iraqis, many of them dressed in mismatched camouflage uniforms, spoke over one another with little regard for rank. A din of debates in English and Arabic filled the room.
Colonel Brown, a slight, man with gray hair and a professorial demeanor, tried to direct the conversation in a Socratic fashion.
“What is it that we’re trying to do?” he asked the Iraqi command staff. “What is the end product that you want in this neighborhood?”
General Khazraji suggested that they encircle Somer with a concrete wall.
“Where do you get 12 kilometers worth of barrier material?” asked Colonel Brown, now more incredulous than Socratic.
“It’s not that difficult,” the general replied. “The United States has good money.”
But Colonel Johnson said that the $3 million needed for so much concrete was beyond his battalion’s means. The Americans suggested the general should approach Mosul’s mayor for barrier construction funds. But by then the idea seemed to have lost its allure for General Khazraji.
“This is the best plan to control the terrorists,” he said. “But if we do this plan and divide the city, Mosul is not like Baghdad. People are going to get mad and we might have riots.”
The Iraqi general has apparently not be following the financial news from America and around the world in recent days. American money no good anymore, general.