Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Perspective: Embedding with the wolves

The Wolf Brigade is one of Iraq's most feared police units and is known to target Sunnis for arrest, beatings and torture

U.S. Army Maj. Charles Miller suspects members of the Iraqi police unit he was advising of killing, kidnapping and beating Sunni Muslims and leading him into an ambush.

Yet Miller still supports the U.S. policy of embedding small teams in larger units of Iraqi security forces, believing his work improved the national police battalion he advised.

Miller, who normally works at U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, led an 11-strong team advising the battalion that was part of the Shi'ite-dominated Wolf Brigade, widely reputed to abuse its powers to target Sunnis.

"They were all very friendly but they all have other motives on the side," recalled Miller, who completed his year-long mission last month and is now teaching other U.S. soldiers soon to deploy in advisory teams.

"They're friendly because as long as the Americans are with them, they can get away with more because the Iraqi people see Americans with them and think everything is legitimate."

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet