Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hashemi calls for recalling former members of army

Tariq al-Hashimi, one of Iraq's two vice-presidents, thinks he has an answer to one of Washington's greatest headaches: how to create a capable Iraqi army in double-quick time.

In a speech today at Chatham House, the Sunni politician called for the reintroduction of whole units of the Saddam Hussein-era Iraqi army to be reformed.

Paul Bremer, former head of the coalition authority in Iraq, has long been criticised for disbanding the Iraqi army too quickly, with some arguing that the decision boosted the Sunni insurgency. Mr Bremer has said he was made a "fall guy" by the Pentagon and that the decision to disband the army was approved by Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld.

Today, Dr Hashimi said that bringing back old Iraqi units would get "get rid of the sectarian discrimination" which, he says, exists at the moment as recruitment centres favour Shia Muslims and scrutinise applicants' ID documents.

Read the rest at the Guardian

Related Link:
Hashemi: Sunnis primary victims of ethnic cleansing