Pentagon Works Around Congress, Finds Funding for US Units in Iraq

Small units of a couple of hundred US troops are still in Iraq training Prime Minister Maliki's abusive security forces

by John Glaser, October 02, 2012

The Pentagon says it will be able to continue funding for at least the next 90 days US military personnel in Iraq who are training Iraqi security forces, even though Congress stripped money for the program in a recent resolution.

About $1.7 million will be taken “from a special combatant commanders initiative fund” to continue the training that a couple hundred US troops are performing for the Iraqi forces.

Most Americans have been led to believe that all US forces besides those guarding the massive American Embassy in Iraq have been withdrawn since the end of last year. But small units have remained in Baghdad to support elite Iraqi forces that report directly to the increasingly authoritarian Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

These forces have essentially been used as a secret police force for Maliki to attack, detain, and torture his political opponents and crack down harshly on public dissent.

The funding scheme is a temporary solution the Pentagon has come up with to get around Congress’s failure to continue to back the remaining US military presence.

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