July 29, 2004


Saudis trying to create security force for Iraq (GEORGE GEDDA, July 29, 2004, Chicago Sun-Times)

With American support, Saudi Arabia is taking the lead in trying to form a Muslim security force to help Iraq overcome its 15-month-old insurgency, U.S. and Saudi officials said Wednesday.

Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed the issue with top Saudi officials after a stop in Egypt and had it on his agenda for today's talks with Iraq's prime minister, Ayad Allawi, in Jiddah.

''We're taking this initiative because we want to help the Iraqi people reclaim their sovereignty as quickly as possible, because there is a tremendous desire in the Arab and Muslim worlds to help Iraq and because instability in Iraq has a negative impact on Saudi Arabia,'' said Adel al-Jubeir, a top Saudi government foreign policy adviser.

Details on the force were scant, but a major Saudi concern in recent weeks has been the infiltration of militants from Iraq.

Powell's spokesman, Richard Boucher, said, ''We discussed some ideas tonight with the Saudis that they have been discussing with others about how to facilitate the deployment of troops from Muslim countries. The goal is to help Iraqis establish security. It's a goal that they support, that we support, and we'll keep talking to them about it.''

Shouldn't this have waited until John Kerry was in office?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 29, 2004 10:38 AM

Considering many believe the Saudies are a big source of the terrorist $ and ideology having Saudies running around Iraq doesn't seem like a good idea. Have the Saudies take care of their own country before mucking things up in Iraq.

Posted by: AWW at July 29, 2004 10:50 AM

It's Wonderland, though one seems to always forget that essential point.

(Actually, I think they'd be insulted if you actually took them at their word. Not to worry though; they'd also be insulted if you thought they were lying.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 29, 2004 11:18 AM

Given how thoroughly Al Qaeda has penetrated Saudi security, wouldn't a Saudi led/funded security force in Iraq be a big win for the insurgents? Note also the appeal to "stability". We all know what that means. As for the inflow of jihadis from Iraq to the Saudi Entity, it seems to me that the Saudi suggested solution is to make Iraq a softer target to draw them back. I'm not clear on why that's in the best interests of Iraq or the USA.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 29, 2004 11:28 AM

Isn't this a bit like having the fox guard the hen house!

Posted by: JR at July 29, 2004 11:44 AM

JR - Quit your unispeciesism! We need a multispecies force!

Posted by: pj at July 29, 2004 1:30 PM

Yeah, but the multispecies keeps leaving with the first threat.

Posted by: JR at July 29, 2004 3:14 PM

Considering that we've transferred sovereignty, this isn't our call to make anymore. It's up to the Iraqis, and I guarantee they will want absolutely no part of this.

Posted by: brian at July 29, 2004 7:02 PM

Put them in Jaffa. Sadr would love it.

Posted by: genecis at July 30, 2004 10:38 AM