Control of Sunni 'Awakening' Militias handed to Iraqi government

In a step that at the moment appears to have uncertain consequences, the US military is handing control of the 100,000 Sunni "Awakening Council" militias to the Shia dominated Iraqi government.

Recognizing that the government has been wary from the outset about the creation of armed, mainly Sunni groups under U.S. control, American military officials are taking several steps to prevent their sudden disintegration. American officials see the Sons of Iraq as a central factor in the reduction in violence, along with the temporary increase in U.S. forces, a year-long cease-fire imposed by a Shiite militia leader and the stepped-up assassinations of key insurgents.

John's unit -- 2nd Battalion of the 4th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division -- has set aside funds to pay Sons of Iraq guards for 90 days in case the Iraqi government does not. U.S. soldiers say they will sit in as Iraqi officials hand out salary payments during the first few months. And the Americans have demanded that the Iraqi government refrain from arresting any of the Sunni fighters, many of whom are former insurgents, unless authorities have arrest warrants issued within the past six months. That will make it harder for the Shiite government to arrest Sons of Iraq leaders for acts committed before they joined forces with the Americans.


The Sunnis fear that the Shia-led government will kill or arrest them. The Americans fear the Iraqi government - who has shown a distaste for the very idea of armed Sunnis in the past - may deliberately force their disbanding by not paying them. And the Iraqi government is resentful that the Americans seem so interested in the fate of these "Sons of Iraq" when all they see are former killers who should be punished.

The potential for this situation to spin out of control is great. But the US has made a committment to the Sunnis that they will keep an eye out for their welfare - a not all altruistic gesture considering the militias could go back to fighting the government rather than fighting al-Qaeda.

What if Obama is elected president? Perhaps someone should ask the messiah what he intends to do to keep the Sunnis from the tender mercy of the more radical elements in the government while making sure they don't slide back into their old insurgent ways. How is this going to be done when he wants American troops out of Iraq now?

Just asking. In most of America, that's still not a crime although when it comes to The One, questioning anything about him seems to be forbidden.

In a step that at the moment appears to have uncertain consequences, the US military is handing control of the 100,000 Sunni "Awakening Council" militias to the Shia dominated Iraqi government.

Recognizing that the government has been wary from the outset about the creation of armed, mainly Sunni groups under U.S. control, American military officials are taking several steps to prevent their sudden disintegration. American officials see the Sons of Iraq as a central factor in the reduction in violence, along with the temporary increase in U.S. forces, a year-long cease-fire imposed by a Shiite militia leader and the stepped-up assassinations of key insurgents.

John's unit -- 2nd Battalion of the 4th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division -- has set aside funds to pay Sons of Iraq guards for 90 days in case the Iraqi government does not. U.S. soldiers say they will sit in as Iraqi officials hand out salary payments during the first few months. And the Americans have demanded that the Iraqi government refrain from arresting any of the Sunni fighters, many of whom are former insurgents, unless authorities have arrest warrants issued within the past six months. That will make it harder for the Shiite government to arrest Sons of Iraq leaders for acts committed before they joined forces with the Americans.


The Sunnis fear that the Shia-led government will kill or arrest them. The Americans fear the Iraqi government - who has shown a distaste for the very idea of armed Sunnis in the past - may deliberately force their disbanding by not paying them. And the Iraqi government is resentful that the Americans seem so interested in the fate of these "Sons of Iraq" when all they see are former killers who should be punished.

The potential for this situation to spin out of control is great. But the US has made a committment to the Sunnis that they will keep an eye out for their welfare - a not all altruistic gesture considering the militias could go back to fighting the government rather than fighting al-Qaeda.

What if Obama is elected president? Perhaps someone should ask the messiah what he intends to do to keep the Sunnis from the tender mercy of the more radical elements in the government while making sure they don't slide back into their old insurgent ways. How is this going to be done when he wants American troops out of Iraq now?

Just asking. In most of America, that's still not a crime although when it comes to The One, questioning anything about him seems to be forbidden.