Foreign Policy Blogs

Over 1,300 dismissed in Basra, NSA Hadley condemns Iran.

The New York Times has a great piece on the dismissal of 1,300 soldiers and policemen in the wake of the Basra offensive. Stephen Farrell writes that there have been revelations “more than 1,000 members of the security forces had laid down their weapons during the fight“. There were a multitude of reasons behind the refusals to fight: basically, it is impossible to say that all of these policemen and soldiers were on the sympathetic to the Mehdi Army (although some invariably were). The highest rank dismissed was brigadier general, according to the report.

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley (a remarkably quiet NSA when compared with his predecessor) has joined the chorus of voices from the Bush administration condemning Iran's influence in Iraq. According to Hadley, “I think that one of the interesting developments of Prime Minister Maliki's offensive in Basra is that it has revealed to the Shia, particularly, in the Iraqi government, the level of Iranian malign influence in the south and on their economic heartline through Basra”. He was speaking on Fox News Sunday (a full transcript of the interview is available here).