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Iraqi Security Forces A Strategy for Success by Anthony H. Cordesman

Iraqi Security Forces A Strategy for Success

Part of the Praeger Security International Series


Iraqi Security Forces A Strategy for Success by Anthony H. Cordesman

This volume documents both the initial mistakes and the changes in U.S. policy that now offer real hope of success in Iraq. Although the United States understood neither the strategic situation in Iraq, nor the value of Iraqi military, security, and police forces in fighting the growing insurgency, the country undertook a series of policy changes in June 2004 that may well correct these mistakes and create the kind of Iraqi forces that are vital to both Iraq's future and any successful reduction in Coalition forces and eventual withdrawal from Iraq. In this book, Cordesman sets a number of U.S. policy priorities that must be attained if Iraqi forces are to be created at anything like the levels of strength and competence that are required. He is convinced that pursuing the right program consistently and with the right resources may well succeed in solving the security aspects of the nation-building problem in Iraq. The history of U.S. efforts to create Iraqi forces is a warning that Americans at every level need to think about what alliance and cooperation mean in creating allied forces for this kind of nation building and warfare. Iraq is only one example of how vital a role such forces must play in many forms of asymmetric warfare. What is equally clear is that Americans must understand that they have a moral and ethical responsibility to the forces they are creating.


Iraqi Security Forces: A Strategy for Success chronicles the initial mistakes and changes of US policy with respect to the creation and training of a competent Iraqi security apparatus. Cordesman highlights the policy changes intiated in June 2004, which aimed to correct these past mistakes and to pave the way for the reduction and eventual withdrawal of Coalition forces from Iraq. The author sets out a number of US policy prescriptions that he believes, if applied consistently and with the necessary resouces, could help to stabilize Iraq. - Middle East Journal Author, radio commentator, and sometime US government agent, Cordesman argues that the US must construct Iraqi military, security, and police forces as an essential element of nation-building and stability, and presents a program for doing so. Most of the book is analysis of the planning and execution of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation and resistance to it. Then he looks at The Iraqi View, the evolving nature of the conflict and the risk of sectarian and ethnic conflict, before laying out his own ideas in the final chapter. - Reference & Research Book News Cordesman, who holds the Burke Chair in Strategy at the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies, has produced an analysis of the Iraq war that is well written, thoroughly researched, and objective. The volume describes a rush to war without committing enough military forces, a failure to assess the nature and size of the Iraqi insurgency, and, perhaps most importantly, the failure to react to the wartime collapse of Iraqi military, security, and police forces. The rush to transfer sovereignty brought new problems; an election does not necessarily create a sovereign government, or even a true democracy. In the author's analysis, the US set the stage for a civil war by not adequately recruiting, training, and equipping police and national guard forces. Cordesman has provided a textbook for this and future administrations on how not to conduct a war and occupation; it includes a helpful chronology of events. This work should be required reading for professionals in the field and anyone concerned about the lack of progress in Iraq. Essential. General readers, lower-division undergraduates through practitioners. - Choice

About the Author

Anthony H. Cordesman is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a military analyst for ABC News. A frequent commentator on National Public Radio, he is the author of numerous books on security issues and has served in a number of senior positions in the U.S. government.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 2005


Anthony H. Cordesman

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Praeger Publishers Inc an imprint of ABC-CLIO


440 pages


International relations
Warfare & defence



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