The Future of the Iraqi Military
The International Crisis Group has issued a report on the situation of the Iraqi military, and made some important recommendations to the US.
To the United States Government and the Coalition Authorities:
1. Take immediate steps to increase the attractiveness of service with the New Iraqi Army (NIA), such as by increasing pay and instituting social benefits, including pensions and health insurance, for soldiers and officers, and extending these benefits to their families.
2. Authorise the creation of a defence ministry in the interim Iraqi cabinet charged in particular with overseeing the demobilisation and reintegration of military personnel and the establishment of the new armed forces.
3. Limit reliance on intermediary institutions such as political parties, provincial governors or tribal notables for the recruitment of soldiers and turn instead to a transparent method of direct enlistment of individual volunteers.
4. Establish professional review boards to evaluate applications by officers of the former Iraqi Army for positions in the NIA, including those with senior rank, and to weed out and ban officers who committed crimes during their service in the old army.
5. Curtail the use of private security firms by limiting as much as possible the sub-contracting of security responsibilities, in particular by phasing out the use of contractors for training the NIA, turning instead to military forces of Coalition members and, if possible, NATO.
6. Reverse any decision to incorporate Iraqi militias in the security structure and work instead on a plan for the eventual demobilisation and reintegration of militia members as part of the return of full sovereignty to Iraq.
7. Do not reduce training cycles for members of the NIA.”