A Defeat

Iraq to dissolve National Guard,” BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4133039.stm, 29 December 2004.

A set-back in the Global War on Terrorism (Second Battle of Iraq)

Iraq’s interim rulers say the National Guard (ING), currently spearheading anti-insurgency activity, is to be dissolved and merged with the army.

The merger was originally planned for much later, after ING defeated the insurgency with the help of US force.

As a comparison, imagine that the mafia had proven so intractable that the FBI was dissolved. The ING was supposed to be the “big guns” on which the Iraqi police would rely. The National Guard proved helpful in dealing with the Shia holy places in Najaf, but has suffered terrible casualties.

A little mystery further on

The paramilitary ING, which is responsible for internal security, has more than 40,000 troops, according to figures given to the United Nations by US forces occupying Iraq.

The regular army is thought to number barely one tenth of that.

I’m unsure what Iraqi “regular army” the article is talking about. This is the first I have heard of it.

This is the clearest sign yet the Iraqi government expects an ongoing civil war. If the Sunni insurgency does not stop, already existing militias (including the Kurdish Peshmerga, the armed wing of the Surpeme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraqi, and even al Sadr’s Mahdi Army) would be more reliable than the ING troops, many of whom are jobless Sunni Arabs.

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