Dissolving the Sons of Iraq?
Marc Lynch reads the United Arab Emirates newspapers because I can’t. The latest talk is that the Shiite coterie around Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has lost patience with the Sons of Iraq and is urging outright disbanding:
According to al-Khaleej, military and political figures around the Maliki regime have been complaining about his silence with regard to the Awakenings, which they allegedly call "American militias." Now that the exceptional circumstances surrounding their formation has passed, these government and military figures reportedly believe, the time has come to break them up and correct what they believe was a strategic mistake by the Americans to support militias full of brutal killers and unreconstructed sectarians.
Marc gives the appropriate caveat about how the story might be a better reflection of Shiite frustration than an accurate prediction of Maliki’s next move. For my part, I don’t understand how Maliki could order the groups dissolved without sparking outright violence. He’d be making the same mistake Paul Bremer did in dissolving the Iraqi Army in 2003. Of course, another Bremer-lesson is that just because a move doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean someone won’t make it.