Sunni Militias Must Be Integrated Into the Iraqi Army

In this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Center for American Progress analysts Brian Katulis and Ian Moss argue that the U.S. must increase pressure to integrate Sunni militias into the Iraqi government.

The problem is that members of the movement are increasingly flexing their military and political muscle in ways detrimental to the overriding political goals of the surge.[…]

It is time for the United States to use its leverage to press Iraq’s leaders to reconcile their differences over power-sharing and make the security gains achieved last year sustainable.

CBS News reports that, of the roughly 80,000 Sunni militiamen currently working with U.S. forces, “only 25 per cent can be absorbed into the army and police. For the rest, there must be jobs, or they risk becoming disillusioned, frustrated, and perhaps returning to their old ways.” Gen. Petraeus told CBS News that “this, above all else, was the thing that kept him awake at night.”