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U.S. widens push to use armed Iraqi residents [View All]

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-07 11:33 AM
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U.S. widens push to use armed Iraqi residents
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Source: Washington Post

BAGHDAD - The U.S. military in Iraq is expanding its efforts to recruit and fund armed Sunni residents as local protection forces in order to improve security and promote reconciliation at the neighborhood level, according to senior U.S. commanders.

Within the past month, the U.S. military command in charge of day-to-day operations in Iraq ordered subordinate units to step up creation of the local forces, authorizing commanders to pay the fighters with U.S. emergency funds, reward payments and other monies.

The initiative, which extends to all Iraqis, represents at least a temporary departure from the established U.S. policy of building formally trained security forces under the control of the Iraqi government. It also provokes fears within the Shiite-led government that the new Sunni groups will use their arms against it, commanders said.

.......

The U.S. military will use its funds to "jump-start" the local forces in stages, U.S. officers said. Initially, the military will pay local residents who call in successful tips that turn up roadside bombs or weapons, or lead to the capture of insurgents. Next, it will identify residents for the security forces, vet their names and take their fingerprints, and require them to take an oath of loyalty to the government. Finally, it will train them in weapons usage and American "rules of engagement" and "put them on a key location" to provide security, Gibbs said.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20006005/page/2 /
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