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Dear List, I don't suppose we can blame the resignations on Ba’thists who don’t want Iraq to develop.. Perhaps those guys will remain in service if they are paid salaries on par with those proposed for a secretary for a certain project. After all, those guys would be sacrificing their lives on the job, and it should certainly be rewarded with a better salary than a secretary’s. Especially now that we are told by GWB that those who sacrifice more are better rewarded... HZ ------------------------------------------------------ http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&ncid=736&e=10&u=/ap/20031211/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_new_army Pentagon: Many of New Iraq Soldiers Quit Thu Dec 11, 1:50 PM ET By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON - Efforts to create a new Iraqi army to help take over the country's security have suffered a setback with the resignations of more than one-third of the soldiers trained so far, officials say. The recruits said they were unhappy with salaries and other terms of employment, so the U.S. occupation authority will review those issues, an authority official said Thursday. Promoted as essential to Iraq (news - web sites)'s future, the army's first 700-man battalion lost some 250 men over recent weeks as they were preparing to begin operations this month, Pentagon (news - web sites) officials said. In Baghdad, the authority official who briefed reporters Thursday on condition of anonymity said salaries and terms and conditions of employment would be compared with the other security services in Iraq such as police and border guards. The official said current salaries — at least for low-level troops — far outweighed those in the Army under ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites). Recruits earn $50 per month, privates $60, and colonels $180, compared with $2 for recruits under Saddam. It was unclear whether the soldiers who remained would be sent out for duty, officials said. The battalion was highly celebrated when the newly retrained soldiers, marching to the beat of a U.S. Army band, completed a nine-week basic training course in early October. The graduates, including 65 officers, were to be the core "of an army that will defend its country and not oppress it," Iraq's American administrator, L. Paul Bremer, said at the ceremony. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials have repeatedly trumpeted the growth of Iraqi security forces, announcing breakneck speed in recruiting and training. "Across the country, Iraqi security forces — now number close to 160,000 — are assuming more responsibility for the security of their country," Rumsfeld said at the Pentagon on Tuesday. He did not mention the problem with the army recruits. Officials said Wednesday they were unaware of any other sizable resignations from the rest of the 160,000 new Iraqi security groups, which they said includes 68,000 police, 13,200 civil defense forces, 65,300 guards at facilities and infrastructure and 12,500 border police. The crumbling of Iraq's first revived army battalion holds considerable symbolism because Bush administration officials have placed great importance on handing to Iraqis some of the duties performed by the 130,000 Americans now occupying the country. About three-quarters of the recruits in the first battalion also were soldiers of the 400,000-man Iraq army that fell apart under U.S.-British attack seven months ago. Bremer formally dissolved the old Iraqi army in May. A second battalion still is in training. The American plan calls for building a 40,000-man force of light infantry battalions by next October, after which a sovereign Iraq government can decide on the eventual size and makeup of its military. The administration plans to spend some $2 billion to rebuild the Iraqi army in the next year. The new units were to take on largely passive defense duties, such as border security and manning road checkpoints. Bremer has said officials are working to speed up the training of Iraqi soldiers and police to cope with new security threats following a rise in attacks by insurgents. Recruiting is done by U.S. authorities and training is led by civilian instructors — mostly ex-U.S. military men from the U.S. defense contractor Vinnell Corp. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk