RealNews

Iraq Falls Short on Vote Security

Iraqi officials and American commanders plan to rely on Iraqi security forces to protect 9,000 polling places during the coming elections, but there are far fewer trained security officers than Iraqi officials estimate are needed. Moreover, many have performed poorly in the Sunni Arab areas where the worst violence is expected. Iraqi and American officials believe it is important to deploy Iraqi forces, rather than have American troops police the polls, to ensure the credibility of the vote. But American commanders say that only 145,000 Iraqi security personnel will be trained and ready by election day, now scheduled for Jan. 30, far short of the 270,000 that Iraqi officials say are needed. The role that American troops will play is still being defined, though they will probably serve as backups out of sight of the polling stations. As such, they will remain important as the final guarantors of security, and American officials are already worrying about a lack of communication with Iraqi election officials. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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