Tuesday, January 06, 2015

White House failing in Iraq again

Today is the 94th anniversary of the founding of the Iraqi army. Though Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has participated in various photo-ops, not all feel it's a day to celebrate.  Communities long victimized by the Iraqi military, such as the Kurds, are not feeling joyful.  It's doubtful that the Shi'ites would be if they weren't now in charge of the killing machine.

You may remember the White House has been (weakly) pushing a national guard -- one made up of various demographic components in Iraq.  Pushing that since the summer.

Yesterday, National Iraqi News Agency reported MP Amin Bakr (with the Kurdish Change or Goran bloc) declared he expected the bill to come before the Parliament this month.  However, the Cabinet of Ministers has still yet to vote on it.  You may remember all the promises about a vote in Parliament on the budget being just around the corner.

Despite hearing that for months, it's still not happened.  And it may not for months.  The budget is now tied to the oil and gas deal between Baghdad and Erbil.  Iraq never got around to passing a 2014 budget and, as 2015 begins, a budget for this year seems doubtful as well.

Saif Hameed, Ned Parker and Dominic Evans (Reuters) report on the issues with the Iraqi military (which include the issue of corruption which plagues all of Iraq).

And that really underscores how the White House is yet again failing in Iraq.

Oil is dropping.

The previous drop meant Iraq's proposed budget slashed pretty much everything but defense.

The Iraqi government wants military weapons, they want military training and the US is supplying it.

For what?

For nothing.

Where are the demands that Iraq needs to do X to get Y?

Where's the diplomatic effort?

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