Iraq: July 10, 2003


Taking a page from the British playbook, the U.S. is considering hiring tribal militias from Kurdish areas to guard economic and government facilities throughout Iraq. When the British occupied Iraq in the 1920s, they hired Christian Chaldeans for such duty. But there are ten times as many Kurds as Chaldeans in Iraq and the Kurds are very pro-American because the United States and Britain kept northern Iraq free of Saddam's army since the end of the 1991 war. The Kurds would be given some training and organized into small units under their own leaders. American Special Forces troops have been providing military training for Kurds since 1991 and know a lot of the key military leaders in the Kurdish areas. Reliable security personnel are especially needed in central Iraq, where many of the locals secretly, or openly, want Saddam back in power. For three decades, the Sunni Arabs in central Iraq lived well, at the expense of the other 90 percent of the population, by supporting Saddam.


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