BAGHDAD ø The U.S. military plans to establish an Iraqi military
and security force chain of command over the next two months.
U.S. officials said the military and security chain of command will
be the priority of the Iraqi Defense Ministry. They said such a command
would ensure discipline within the new U.S.-trained Iraqi forces.
"In the coming months, we will steadily strengthen our security
partnership, placing increasing responsibility in the
hands of Iraqis," CPA administrator Paul Bremer said. "By June 30, Iraqi
soldiers in the ranks will report up through an Iraqi chain of command to
Officials said the U.S.-led coaltion continues to train members of the
Iraqi security forces despite the flight of about half of the Iraqi military
security forces during the Shi'ite and Sunni revolt in early April. They
forces would now include former members of the Ba'ath Party, the ruling
party under the Saddam Hussein regime, after screening to ensure that they
did not participate in atrocities.
Over the next few months, the United States plans to accelerate the
training and equipping of the Iraqi police, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps,
the Border Police, the Infrastructure Protection Service and the new Iraqi
army. Officials said the training would be integrated into a chain of
command for Iraqi forces. They
said the Iraqi units that fought best against Sunni and Shi'ite insurgents
in April were those with what officials termed a good, clear Iraqi
On April 18, Defense Minister Ali Alawi announced his appointment of the
top Iraqi generals in the new Iraqi army. They included a chief of staff and
his deputy as well as the senior military adviser to the ministry.
Officials said that 70 percent of senior Iraqi military and security
officers would come from the army under Saddam. They said this would include
the return of senior officers under the Saddam regime who did not serve in
the top three layers of the Ba'ath Party or the top four layers of any
"You cannot pull generals out of thin air; you cannot recruit and train
generals in a matter of weeks or a couple of years," CPA senior adviser Dan
Senor said. "These are people who have to have tremendous experience."