A large new army for Iraq can be created quickly like this. Call for people who want to join the new Iraq army to find other people who want to join the new Iraq army and organize themselves into groups of 100-2000 people. Each group should find some way to contact the american government. The government should issue each group several portable telephones. The portable telephones should be satellite telephones which can be recharged from a car or truck, so the telephones will work even if the telephone and electricity networks are not working. At least one of the portable telephones should be in the possession of a person who can speak english, so that communication between the groups and the government can be in english.
The american government should ask each Iraq army group to list all members, who are the leaders, where they live, what military skills or experience they have, and whether they are affiliated with any ethnic, religious, political, or tribal group. The american government should give the group money.
The american government should ask each group to go to a place far from home and do something like clean up the rubble of a bombed building. This tests how well the group can arrange transportation, food, shelter, etc; and also tests how well the group works together. When this has been completed, the group should get more money.
Then the american government should send observers to each group. The observers should evaluate the skills of the group and make suggestions for improving their skills.
The american government should give the groups money, but no weapons, uniforms, trucks, or other equipment. The groups should use the money to buy their own equipment. This will cost the american government less than buying and transporting equipment for the groups, and the groups will get equipment sooner. The groups will stimulate the economy of Iraq by buying their equipment locally. The groups might buy junk equipment and hire people to fix the junk equipment; this might cost less and stimulate the economy more than buying new equipment. The groups will have an incentive to find Saddam Hussein's weapon caches.
If equipment is issued to the groups by the american government, the equipment will show that the groups are american, and the groups will become targets for antiamericanism, and the groups will have difficulty recruiting people who are suspicious of america. But if the groups acquire their own equipment in Iraq, the groups will not look american, the groups will be able to move around Iraq without attracting attention or hostility, and the groups will be able to attract more members.
The new Iraq army groups will not have a lot of advanced equipment or training at first. They should compensate for the lack of equipment and money by having many people. For jobs like guarding places against looters, it is more important to have many guards than to have well equipped, well trained guards. If there are enough guards to protect every target, then the looters will be deterred, and the guards will not have to do anything except stand around. The hardest part of being a guard is to avoid falling asleep from boredom.
The occupation government of Iraq should use the new Iraq army groups for all routine guard and patrol duties. The american army should be held in reserve. When the new Iraq army groups encounter difficulties, then the american army should be sent to help. Most of the time, the american army should stay out of sight to avoid antagonizing people who are suspicious of america. This would require far fewer american soldiers than the Bush administration's scheme of using american soldiers for everything.
Many of the people in Iraq are suspicious of America, and would not be willing to join a new Iraq army which was controlled by America. The new Iraq army groups need to be independent of America so that people who are suspicious of America would be willing to join. The independence of the new Iraq army groups is a guarantee that America will not interfere excessively in Iraq, because the new Iraq army groups could rebel if the american occupation becomes evil. Maybe there should be an advertising campaign in Iraq to convince people to join the new Iraq army groups and to assure people that the new Iraq army groups are independent of America.
Each of the new Iraq army groups would be like a private militia. Private militias are dangerous because private militias may be criminal, or may violate human rights, or may make war upon other private militias, or may attempt to overthrow the government. However, there is no other way to create a large army in a short period of time in Iraq. The dangers of private militias are minimized by requiring the new Iraq army groups to declare members and leaders and to allow inspections by the american occupation government. The money paid to the groups by the american government will encourage the groups to accept these conditions. The inspectors should try to determine how trustworthy each group is. If a group causes trouble and needs to be disbanded by force, the amerrican occupation government knows who to arrest because the group has declared its members and leaders. It is very important to prevent every group from becoming larger than some size like 3000 people. Large private militias are more dangerous than small private militias. It is better to have many small private militias than a few large private militias.
Private militias are not a perfect solution, but the alternatives are worse.
Some new Iraq army groups would be antiamerican, some new Iraq army groups would be proamerican, and some new Iraq army groups would be neutral. I predict most new Iraq army groups would be neutral. The antiamerican groups would be unwilling to cooperate with the american occupation government of Iraq. The antiamerican groups would be unwilling to report on their activities to the american occupation government of Iraq, and would be unwilling to accept american inspectors. So the antiamerican groups would not fulfill the requirements for receiving money. So the money would go only to the neutral and proamerican groups, which would make the antiamerican groups relatively less powerful. If all the money went to the proamerican groups, this might provoke resentment among the people of Iraq, and there probably would not be enough proamerican groups. The neutral and proamerican groups should be supported equally. The conditions for receiving money should be carefully chosen so that the neutral groups will qualify, but the antiamerican groups will not qualify. If not enough new Iraq army groups are created, then the conditions for receiving money should be reduced. If some new Iraq army groups are unwilling to accept inspection by the american occupation government, then perhaps there could be inspections by some neutral party, but there must be inspections to verify that the new Iraq army groups are not criminals. The new Iraq army groups should not be required to accept the legitimacy of the american occupation goverment of Iraq, but the new Iraq army groups should be required to promise to accept and obey the new Iraqi government of Iraq whenever the new Iraqi government of Iraq is established.
A new Iraq army group can spend its money on people or equipment. Since there is a lot of poverty and unemployment in Iraq, the new Iraq army groups should should be encouraged to spend the money on recruiting and paying more members instead of buying equipment.
At first the new army and police in Iraq would be very similar. The police would be controlled and paid by the local and regional governments and would work close to home. The army would be independent but paid and advised by the american government, and the army would work anywhere, often far from home.
Later, after the new central government of Iraq was established, the army should be reorganized and become more professional, more like the american army, and less like a bunch of private militias. The reorganization of the army of Iraq is less important than many other matters, so the reorganization of the army of Iraq should not be attempted for six months to two years later, so the government can focus its attention on more important matters. Creating a large new army for Iraq is very urgent and should have been done right away; making the army professional is not urgent.
It is impossible to prevent the formation of antiamerican militias in Iraq, as the George W. Bush administration found out. If America had supported proamerican militias, the proamerican militias could have resisted the antiamerican militias. It is easier to suppress proamerican militias than to suppress antiamerican militias. By attempting to suppress all militias, the George W. Bush administration suppressed the proamerican militias but not the antiamerican militias, which made the antiamerican militias relatively more powerful.
People who oppose gun control say that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. That is exactly what has happened in Iraq. Thus we saw stories in the news media about the american occupation government of Iraq disarming guards for some place, and then the guards would stand aside whenever armed looters appeared, so the looting was worse because the american occupation government of Iraq disarmed the guards.
Many people in Iraq have tried to create private militias to defend themselves. But the George W. Bush administration tells them that the american army will defend them, they do not need a private militia to defend themselves. The George W. Bush administration has tried very hard to convince the people of Iraq to not create private militias by promising that the american army will defend the people of Iraq. But the George W. Bush administration has been unable to keep that promise. This is why the people of Iraq are so angry at America for failing to provide law and order in Iraq. It is not the lack of law and order that bothers the people of Iraq, it is that the George W. Bush administration prevented the people of Iraq from creating their own law and order and then did not keep the promise. America should have let the people of Iraq create private militias and establish their own law and order. This would have worked better than trying to use the american army to establish law and order, and the people of Iraq would not have blamed America.
In April, 2004, a shiite militia led by Sadr and a sunni militia based in Fallujah rebelled against the american occupation. After some fighting, the american occupation government negotiated a truce with the hostile militias instead of trying to defeat the hostile militias. That proves that a policy of negotiating independent militias can work.