Iraq security stations hampered by trust

March 20, 2007 at 1:21 PM
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BAGHDAD, March 20 (UPI) -- Experts say the joint U.S.-Iraqi security stations created as part of the latest Iraq security crackdown are being hindered by a lack of trust.

Counterinsurgency experts say the stations, which rely on Iraqi citizens to feed tips about suspected terrorists, are not as effective as they were intended to be because Iraqi citizens have very little trust in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"We are doing it, and all the other smart aspects of the new Baghdad security plan, very late in the day," said Kenneth Pollack, a former National Security Council official and supporter of the 2003 invasion who now serves at the Brookings Institution. "It is going to be very difficult to build up the trust among the Iraqi public to make any of this succeed."

"We've developed a reputation for coming in, whipping through and then leaving," said Stephen Biddle, a military analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. "All the civilians in Iraq have in the back of their minds that it might look safe now, but three or six months later, they're thinking, 'All the Americans are going to be gone and if I rat on Mohammed down the street, he'll come and get me once they leave.'"

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