Sunday, October 24, 2004

Gross Incompetence: 44 Iraqi soldiers killed

I woke up this morning to a news story about 44 freshly trained Iraqi soldiers and their four drivers who were found killed "execution style" at the side of a highway about 80 miles east of Baghdad. The men had just completed their training and were on their way back from their graduation ceremony in a convoy of mini-buses. They were dressed in civilian clothes and unarmed.

Which leads me to a very troubling question: what the hell were these men doing, traveling in a convoy of mini-buses, unarmed, and with no security escort? With the current security situation in Iraq, someone should have expected that these men would be targets, and should have provided a security escort to protect them, or at least equipped them with weapons to let them protect themselves.

The incompetent fool who made the decision to send these men in such a large and vulnerable convoy is just as responsible for their deaths as the insurgents who killed them. If the US military is serious about developing a viable Iraqi army, they need to do a better job of protecting these people, or equipping them with the weaponry they need to protect themselves.