June 15, 2005

Infiltration of the Iraqi Army?

Exhibit A:

...a suicide bomber wearing an Iraqi Army uniform detonated a bodybelt bomb in a canteen at an Iraqi Army base at Khalis, a market town between the Tigris and Diyala rivers about 40 miles north of Baghdad. A local police commander, Lt. Col. Mehdi al-Ubaidi, said the blast killed 23 soldiers and wounded 28. Survivors said the attacker had waited in the canteen until it filled up for lunch before he triggered his bomb.

It was the second occasion in five days when a suicide bomber wearing an Iraqi uniform had managed to penetrate security at an Iraqi base. On Saturday, a former member of an elite Iraqi police commando unit, the Wolf Brigade, detonated a bodybelt bomb at headquarters that killed four policemen. Insurgent attacks in recent months have often focused on Iraqi military units, whose build-up is crucial to plans for an eventual drawdown of the 140,000 American troops in Iraq. [emphasis added]

As I've been saying these past days-- infiltration of 'train and equip' is a serious problem. Yes, of course, it's possible this last suicide attack wasn't conducted by someone that had actually infiltrated the Iraqi Army. Who knows? But it is unlikely. And, regardless, they got their hands on that uniform somehow, no? And lingered at the canteen, without raising the merest peep of suspicion, for quite a while as the lunchers streamed in. Yes , it would be naive in the extreme to expect nothing like this to happen in the midst of a major training and equipping effort and a chaotic, resilient insurgency. But only the most committed cheerleaders would deny that a too hasty rush to get the numbers of "trained" forces up, at all costs, hasn't contributed to the kind of attacks that occured in Iraq today.

Posted by Gregory at June 15, 2005 02:29 PM | TrackBack (1)

on the canteen, they now say it was somebody hired to do construction, not a soldier. uniforms are apparently not that hard to come by (a surprise? - you think no corruption in the uniforms arm of Iraqi army procurement?)\

If you have infiltrators, why use them to blow up? Wouldnt it be better to use them for intell?

Posted by: liberalhawk at June 16, 2005 02:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Is it churlish to point out that if it is mostly non-Iraqi jihadi types that go in for suicide bombings, members of a military unit should not have quite so much difficulty in picking out the guy who doesn't belong in their midst as appears to be the case?

Posted by: JEB at June 16, 2005 07:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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