The Iraqi Government Assumes Control of the Sons of Iraq in Baghdad

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Michael Snodgrass, of 2nd Platoon, Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airbourn Division, speaks with Sons of Iraq about Al Qaeda activity in Abu Bakur (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micky M. Bazaldua/Released)


The transfer of fiscal and command responsibility for the Sons of Iraq (SoI) program began in earnest with the assumption of responsibility of roughly 20,000 SoI in and around Baghdad by Government of Iraq (GOI) on November 10, 2008. With provincial elections only two months away and a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops set in the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), this was a crucial step taken by the GoI towards integrating the Sons of Iraq into their security operations in order to build sustainable security. This commentary briefly explains the integration process and the challenges faced by the GoI as they incorporate this large, complicated, and de-centralized security force.

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