It is not exactly “news” that the Iraqi army and police forces are heavily infiltrated by Shia militias, especially Jaish al Mahdi, nor is it surprising to anyone who has more than passing knowledge of the history of the region.
The Iraqi police and military forces are not simply infiltrated by Shia militiamen, they are infested – to the point that they have managed to apply sufficient political pressure to commanders that, on at least one occasion, they were able to create their own army units, staffed with its own Jaish al Mahdi fighters.
The units were disbanded in May, but like the oil in the pasta pot, it quickly came back together once the heat was off. The commander became the head of a new battalion, but the troops in his command didn’t really change all that much…
One Mahdi Army loyalist, a policeman by day and a militant after the sun goes down, was forthright about discussing the reality "There is a Mahdi Army member in every family and in every home across
Men like him, who seem to seamlessly lead dual lives, represent perhaps the greatest challenges faced by the American forces as they struggle to assemble and train non-sectarian security forces in the occupied country. They quietly, surreptitiously, go about their business of undoing the seeming advances toward a non-sectarian security apparatus.
The Sadr movement has used Iraqi soldiers and national police officers to push deeper into predominantly Sunni Arab districts in west
Army officers said. It also swayed the leadership of an Iraqi army battalion in the spring to mount strikes in Fadil, a Sunni district in east Baghdad, U.S. Baghdad, the officers said. U.S.
The nexus has included soldiers carrying out killings or turning a blind eye as Sadr fighters slip through checkpoints. In late March, in the early phase of the
military buildup, a Mahdi fighter who gave his name as Abu Haidar bragged to The Times that Iraqi army officers had provided vehicles to his group to carry out executions. "We have a deal with the Iraqi army and police," he said. U.S.
Last fall, Iraqi soldiers looked on as Shia militants forced thousands of Sunni families out of their homes in the western neighborhood of Hurriya in the wake of a bomb attack in
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a
*The 750’s signify the point when the Sunni-Shia split became an unbridgeable chasm. The