17 Nov. New York Times Op-Ed - Too Few Good Men.

This month, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense encouraged former officers in Saddam Hussein's army to apply for commissions in the country's new army. Much has been made of this initiative, which is sensible and welcome at a time when Sunni cooperation is crucial to Iraq's stability. But contrary to news reports, the announcement does not mark a policy change.

To explain this requires a bit of history. When the American-led coalition "disbanded" the Iraqi Army in May 2003, it was simply recognizing the fact that the army had long since dissolved itself - in the Pentagon's jargon, "self-demobilized" - as the mass of (mostly Shiite) conscripts fled the brutality of their (mostly Sunni) officers.

Indeed, by the time Baghdad and Tikrit fell in mid-April 2003, there was not a single Iraqi army unit still intact...