The U.S. military plans to take its time rebuilding
Iraq's security forces.
U.S. officials said the Defense Department and the military's Central
Command will employ lessons from the collapse of the Iraqi security forces
Sunni and Shi'ite insurgency in Iraq in April. About half of the Iraqi Civil
Corps fled during the fighting.
Central Command plans to establish 45 ICDC battalions, officials said.
At first, officials said, the effort was to have been completed in early
officials have since deemed the original timetable as unrealistic.
Officials said the ICDC has been included in 300 out of 2,000 patrols
conducted daily in Iraq. ICDC operations have included joint patrols with
U.S. and other coalition troops, Middle East Newsline reported.
The U.S. goal has been to ensure that each of the ICDC battalions would
be able to operate independently of U.S. forces. Officials said the
rebuilding effort will require a set of benchmarks to ensure that the force
can return to the field without coalition support.
"We're not trying to rush that," Maj. Gen. John Sattler, Central Command
operations director, said. "It'll be event-driven. It'll be based on their
performance, and it'll be based on the assessment and the capability of
which areas they do go into, [and] how large and tough a mission they might
take on. All those [factors] will fit into that equation."
At a May 28 briefing from Qatar, Sattler said several ICDC units have
mastered military tactics, techniques and procedures. He did not say what
proportion of the ICDC has achieved this.
"We've had a number of ICDC warriors who have fought extremely well,"
Sattler said. "They have proven themselves on the battlefield, and many of
them have paid by being severely wounded or lightly wounded, and some have
paid with their lives."
In addition, ICDC troops have been conducting an additional 150
independent patrols a day in Iraq. Sattler said the U.S. military seeks to
expand this capability
by creating a partnership between the Iraqi police force and the ICDC.
"But the bottom line is," Sattler said, "the goal, as we move toward
sovereignty here, and as we transition into sovereignty as a partnership
will be to continue to work with the police force and the ICDC to get to
where at least 50 percent, working up to 100 percent, of our patrols are, in
fact, joint -- where no patrol goes out, no operation is conducted, without
an Iraqi alongside of a coalition member."