Iraqi Security Forces: The Challenge of Sectarian and Ethnic Influences [Updated January 18, 2007] [open pdf - 74KB]
"The Bush Administration has deemed the creation of an effective Iraqi fighting force that is representative of Iraqi society at large as key to stabilizing Iraq and expediting the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces. However, there is concern that sectarian killings, terrorism, and insurgency are undermining U.S. efforts to create a unified Iraqi military that can prevent internal violence from metastasizing into a larger civil war among Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. According to the December 2006 Iraq Study Group Report, "Significant questions remain about the ethnic composition and loyalties of some Iraqi units - specifically, whether they will carry out missions on behalf of national goals instead of a sectarian agenda." The 110th Congress may address issues concerning the reforming of Iraq's security forces. This report will be updated periodically. For more information on Iraq, see CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: Post- Saddam Governance and Security Issues, by Kenneth Katzman."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22093