View Full Version : Iraq Wants U.S. Choice Out as Chief Of Brigade

01-04-2006, 05:46 AM
4 Jan. Washington Post - Iraq Wants U.S. Choice Out as Chief Of Brigade (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/03/AR2006010301373.html).

Over the strong objections of U.S. commanders in Baghdad, the Iraqi government has nominated a new leader for a brigade that is set to assume control over some of the capital's most sensitive areas. This dispute appears likely to postpone an already overdue handover by American forces for at least another month.

The 5th Brigade, 6th Division of the Iraqi army was scheduled to assume responsibility on Dec. 27 for the heart of Baghdad, including the perimeter of the fortified Green Zone, where the U.S. Embassy and many Iraqi government buildings are located. It was also to patrol the road to the city's main airport...

U.S. commanders are concerned that the rejection of a qualified Sunni Muslim candidate by a government that is dominated by the rival Shiite Muslim majority will fuel perceptions of Iraq's security forces as sectarian institutions, particularly in Sunni regions where sympathy for the insurgency runs deep.

American officers who work with the unit reevaluated the brigade without Taha in charge and lowered its readiness rating from Level 1, meaning it can operate without U.S. assistance, to Level 3, which means significant help is required. That rating, in force for a month, made it officially unqualified for the proposed new responsibilities...