The Crisis Group, a renowned international NGO dedicated to solving international conflict has released a new report on Iraq.  It highlights the progress made and the problems still plaguing the Iraqi Security forces as they wait for full U.S. withdrawal in December of 2011.  The Crisis Group highlights that all thought the Security Forces have come a long way, many still are beholden to sect or tribe rather than the nation of Iraq as a whole.  Furthermore they argue that only true oversight by the government can only come when it is united.  The more the government fails to come to terms with who will be the next leader of Iraq, means that the Security forces could also remain fragmented between rival factions.

Another concern that The Crises Group touches upon is the Prime Minister Maliki’s co-opting of the security forces, making them in many cases beholden to him only.  As The Crisis Groups writes, :

Without parliamentary oversight or legal basis, the institutions he established are accountable to him alone. Even some Iraqis who originally accepted this as dictated by circumstance argue it has lost any justification. Although regular forces also have been known to engage in unlawful conduct, these new security bodies are believed to carry out extra-judicial operations, uncoordinated with the defence or interior ministries, unmonitored by parliament and unregulated by oversight agencies. Maliki’s authoritarian tendencies are widely decried – one reason why some opponents resist granting him a new tenure and others will acquiesce only if his powers are seriously diluted.

A balance must be struck between the use strong and well trained security forces in order to keep the peace, while avoiding high handed rulings done in secret that utilize the security forces acting in lieu of established law.

Loose Ends: Iraq’s security forces between U.S. drawdown and withdrawal

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