Day By Day

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bremner Fights Back

Writing in the NYT, L. Paul Bremner, III defends his widely criticized decision to disband the Iraqi army after the fall of Saddam.

IT has become conventional wisdom that the decision to disband Saddam Hussein’s army was a mistake, was contrary to American prewar planning and was a decision I made on my own. In fact the policy was carefully considered by top civilian and military members of the American government. And it was the right decision.

He goes on to make four crucial points.

1) The Iraqi army had already disbanded on its own. In effect the decision being made was whether it was better to try to reconstitute the army or to build a new one.

2) The decision not to reconstitute the army was non-controversial at the time and was thoroughly vetted by experts in the military, state, and intelligence agencies, all of whom supported it.

3) Even if reconstituted, the old Iraqi army would be unreliable, ineffective, and mistrusted by the vast majority of Iraqis. If you want to see what a Baathist army would be like, look at the old Iraqi police force which has been reconstituted and is thoroughly corrupt and oppressive.

4) The new Iraqi army, built by the US, is currently the most trusted and effective security force in the country.

Read the whole thing here.

Of course none of this will matter in Washington where the bureaucrats and politicos are only concerned with aggrandizing credit to themselves and their agencies while heaping blame on all others.

Hat tip: Instapundit