Brian Katulis mentioned this on my radio show this morning. I had missed it. Who is this guy? Why are the Kurds nervous? I’m now wondering about Maliki. What is he about? Is he really interested in a stable democratic government?
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has filled the top military job in Baghdad with a virtually unknown officer chosen over the objections of U.S. and Iraqi military commanders, officials from both governments said.
Iraqi political figures said Friday that Maliki also had failed to consult the leaders of other political factions before announcing the appointment of Lt. Gen. Abud Qanbar.
The appointment is highly significant because it is Maliki’s first public move after President Bush’s announcement that he was sending more troops to Iraq. The prime mission of those troops is to reduce violence in Baghdad, much of which is blamed on sectarian fighters.
As the Iraqi commander for the capital, Qanbar would play a central role in that campaign, and any ties he might have to sectarian groups could undermine the new U.S. effort.
In his speech Wednesday, in which he announced the troop increase, Bush said political and sectarian interference in security matters would no longer be tolerated. Continue reading Maliki choses unknown to run Baghdad operation