A new independent report from a congressionally appointed panel of retired senior military officers criticizes Iraq’s “dysfunctional” Interior Ministry, noting rife sectarianism and corruption. The report also blames Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for problems with Iraq’s army, which it says will not be self-sufficient for at least two years.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry is “dysfunctional,” filled with sectarianism and corruption, according to an independent assessment of the Iraqi security forces to be published [Thursday]. The report said that Iraq’s national police force, controlled by that ministry, is “operationally ineffective” and should be disbanded and reorganized.
The report, by a congressionally-named commission of retired senior military officers, cites progress in the operation and training of the Iraqi army. But it estimates that “they will not be ready to independently fulfill their security role within the next 12 to 18 months” without a substantial U.S. military presence. Logistical self-sufficiency, which it describes as key to independent Iraqi operations, is at least two years away, the report says.
Iraqi security forces “have the potential to help reduce sectarian violence,” the report says. But the report, which emphasizes the failure of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government to achieve key political benchmarks, says that violence will not end without political reconciliation. In addition to the failings of the Interior Ministry and police, it says that Maliki is perceived as bypassing the Ministry of Defense and the chain of command to create “a second, and politically motivated” command structure in the army.