This volume documents both the initial mistakes and the changes in U.S. policy that now offer real hope of success in Iraq. Although the United States understood neither the strategic situation in Iraq, nor the value of Iraqi military, security, and police forces in fighting the growing insurgency, the country undertook a series of policy changes in June 2004 that may well correct these mistakes and create the kind of Iraqi forces that are vital to both Iraq's future and any successful reduction in Coalition forces and eventual withdrawal from Iraq.
In this book, Cordesman sets a number of U.S. policy priorities that must be attained if Iraqi forces are to be created at anything like the levels of strength and competence that are required. He is convinced that pursuing the right program consistently and with the right resources may well succeed in solving the security aspects of the nation-building problem in Iraq. The history of U.S. efforts to create Iraqi forces is a warning that Americans at every level need to think about what alliance and cooperation mean in creating allied forces for this kind of nation building and warfare. Iraq is only one example of how vital a role such forces must play in many forms of asymmetric warfare. What is equally clear is that Americans must understand that they have a moral and ethical responsibility to the forces they are creating.
About the Author:
Anthony H. Cordesman is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a military analyst for ABC News. A frequent commentator on National Public Radio, he is the author of numerous books on security issues and has served in a number of senior positions in the U.S. government.