The post-war plans of the American administration in Iraq are failing
The continuing civil mess and the growth of criminality and looting has changed the schedule for withdrawing coalition troops from Iraq. On the contrary, more troops are expected to arrive in Iraq to replace those who are to leave, in order to provide more security.
There are some 165,000 servicemen in Iraq at present. About 100,000 of them will remain in Iraq in the autumn - much more than the command originally expected. This is another fact that proves that the restoration of the country and a return to normal life is a harder process than American military men thought it would be.
The New York Times wrote that the American administration is not hurrying to hand over control to Iraqi authorities. Instead, 4,000 servicemen and 300 vehicles are going to arrive in Iraq soon to toughen control over Baghdad and other large cities.
The first armored division of the US Army is going to become the allied forces' major unit in the nearest future. The division will be provided with additional Humvee vehicles to patrol Baghdad. The 16th brigade of the British airborne troops is going to be deployed in the Iraqi capital also. Paratroopers will supposedly train Iraqi policemen and maintain law and order on the streets. For the time being, about 7,000 Iraqi men have expressed a wish to work in the Baghdad police.
The new Iraqi policemen will wear blue uniforms. The USA insisted on the change of the uniform design in order to avoid any associations with the security forces of the former government (they had an olive-colored uniform). At first, Iraqi policemen asked to wear white shirts, but Iraqi men strongly opposed such an idea. They said that white shirts were not meant for men, and that they would look like nurses in them.
The newspaper also reported that a decree to disarm Iraqi people was being prepared. If someone does not wish to give away any of the numerous Kalashnikovs and grenade launchers, they will be arrested. David McKiernan, commander of the American ground forces, said US authorities were devising a policy to regulate possession of firearms. The newspaper also reported that Paul Bremer, the head of the US-led administration in Iraq, supported the initiative. An official statement on the issue is expected to be released soon.
Iraqis will be allowed to keep firearms at their homes for self-defense, but it will be prohibited to take weapons outside without a special license . First and foremost, licenses will be issued to law-enforcement officers: it is hard for them to fulfil their duties at present, for every gang of looters is armed with Kalashnikovs and bombs. Firearms can be bought on Baghdad markets, next to food and clothes vendors.
The New York Times wrote that such initiatives of the US-led administration testified that the question pertaining to Iraqi sovereignty and a government of its own had been adjourned.
American military men and lawmakers believe that the post-war plans of the American administration in Iraq are not succeeding. The Washington Post wrote that, a month before the war began in Iraq, high-ranking American officials said their plan for winning the peace had been built "upon the swift provision of basic services that would 'immediately' make the Iraqi people feel they were better off than they had been under the government of Saddam Hussein."
Five weeks after the war ended, the Bush administration is still struggling to accomplish this goal: "It has failed to establish law and order on the streets and has achieved only mixed results in restoring electricity, water, sanitation and other essential needs."
The newspaper believes that the US Defense Ministry underestimated the potential danger of looting and lawlessness after the collapse of the Iraqi government. As the newspaper wrote, military planners had been influenced by the Pentagon's stance, expressed by Paul Wolfowitz. The deputy defense secretary said that American troops would be welcomed in Iraq as liberators.
As a result of numerous mistakes, the newspaper said, even some Republicans are beginning to warn that the American administration "is in danger of losing the peace, having brilliantly prevailed on the battlefield." The newspaper cited Christopher Shays, chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee: "The hard lessons learned in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti and Afghanistan on the need to quell emergent lawlessness seem to have fallen out of the battle plan during the dash to Baghdad."