A small setback in the, uh, Iraqification of postwar Iraq:
Plans to deploy the first battalion of Iraq’s new army are in doubt because a third of the soldiers trained by the U.S.-led occupation authority have quit, defense officials said Wednesday.
Touted as a key to Iraq’s future, the 700-man battalion lost some 250 men over recent weeks as they were preparing to begin operations this month, Pentagon officials said.
”We are aware that a third … has apparently resigned and we are looking into that in order to ensure that we can recruit and retain high-quality people for a new Iraqi army,” said Lt. Col. James Cassella, a Pentagon spokesman.
Left unsaid, of course, is how many of the remaining soldiers are FRLs working secretly against the new government. No one said this was going to be easy. . .