An independent panel of experts has reported to the U.S. Congress that it will be 12 to 18 months before Iraqi forces are ready to take charge of their country's security.
Retired Marine General James Jones, who led the panel, told the U.S. Senate Armed Forces Committee today that the Iraqi army cannot operate independently due to a lack of logistics, supply, mobility and effective national command and control.
He said the army can not defend against external threats, particularly along the borders of Syria and Iran. But he said the army is improving each day in regards to responding to internal security. He said the special forces still lack mobility and support systems. Jones said the panel recommends disbanding and reorganizing the national police. He said the mostly Shi'ite force is judged to be overly sectarian, too forceful, is not trusted by those of other ethnic origins, and is alleged to be widely corrupt.