In the Arena

Should we keep training the Iraqis?

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A really good eyewitness piece from Baghdad by Spencer Ackerman in the Nation.

Hillary Clinton is already raising the question of whether we should keep training the Iraqis on the campaign trail. But, as David Ignatius reports, the Bush Administration sees this a different way.

I’m closer to the Ackerman-Clinton position–with a caveat: We’ve had success in al-Anbar lately creating an all-Sunni regional force to go after the Al Qaeda foreign fighters. If a peaceful partition is possible, then it might not be a bad idea to inculcate the various Iraqi forces with U.S. training methods. But, as Ignatius suggests, U.S. officials are increasingly pessimistic about a peaceful partition or a peaceful anything in Iraq. If ethnic cleansing is the likely result after our departure, why should we be training the Iraqis to be more effective killers?