No Chemical Ali, But Saddam's Soldiers Wanted in Army Again

Iraqi forces desperate for skilled officers
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2007 7:22 PM CDT
No Chemical Ali, But Saddam's Soldiers Wanted in Army Again
Iraqi National Police recruits take part in training in Numaniyah, Iraq, Wednesday, April 25, 2007. Iraqi commanders say it could be years before the force is competent enough to control Baghdad on its own. Or like "trying to build an airplane while you're flying it," said U.S. Col. Chip Lewis, the...   (Associated Press)

The Iraqi Army and police need a few good men, and they’re more and more willing to look in Saddam’s old ledger. Many of the new forces’ problems are said to stem from the 2003 decision by the US to disband the standing army; now recruiters are trying to convince the old experts to return, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Faced with inexperienced recruits, the interior ministry has fired 14,000 officers over the past year—many for mistreating citizens or corruption, internal problems blamed on a lack of experts capable of leading troops. Recruiters are in luck with at least one re-enlisting Saddam-era officer, who says it’s his best shot at shielding his family from chaos. (More Iraq stories.)

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