Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Ugly Duckling
I was watching some British news coverage this morning showing a 16-year old female suicide bomber that for one reason or another did not detonate herself. The footage was riveting and depicted two lightly armored Iraqi police officers striping the vest and clothes off the girl as she was still standing in the street. What caught my eye was the other 4-5 Iraqi police standing within 2-3 meters of the girl apparently watching and trying to act useful. What's to say that, as in many cases, she is not remotely detonated, killing the lot of them?
The Iraq police force is supposed to have undergone extensive training by the Coalition but instances like this make me wonder just how effective that training has been. I see Iraqi Police on a daily basis and I've yet to be impressed by anything that they've done. To me, an uninformed observer, they appear to be little more than disheveled thugs with guns who motor about the city with lights and sirens, firing their weapons into the air to force people to move out of their way. I see very little signs of a highly trained, professional, and disciplined force, one which is going to be necessary to assume the role of this county's primary security provider.
Progress is evident on all fronts, from education to infrastructure; the Iraqi Army looks to be a well-trained and equipped force; it's only the police that appear to be lagging far behind. It's too bad because the Police are Iraq's most visible public entity, one which could benefit the most from having its ducks well in order.