Iraq: December 28, 2003


Attacks against coalition troops is still mainly in the Sunni Arab areas. Most American troops are now concentrating on following up on intelligence information and making raids to arrest suspects and seek documents and weapons. The recruiting of Iraq security personnel continues, although it has been found that you have to watch them carefully after you put them to work. Many former Baath members lie their way into these jobs, and then try to organize some of their fellow security troops into  criminal gangs. As security troops, there are opportunities for theft and extortion, not to mention supporting terrorist attacks. Even unarmed Iraqis hired by coalition forces have to be supervised closely, as corruption is so endemic that any Iraqi in a position of power is liable to exploit it illegally. Other Iraqis are reluctant to report such behavior, for it's the Iraqi custom to avoid confrontation and a possible tribal feud over the issue. Changing this culture of  corruption, and tolerating corruption, is essential if Iraq is to have any real economic progress. 


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