Monday, November 13, 2006


Also Sunday, the country's Sunni defense minister challenged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's contention that the U.S. military should quickly pull back into bases and let the Iraqi army take control of security countrywide.

Defense Minister rejected calls by al-Maliki for the U.S. military to speed transfer of security operations throughout the country to the Iraqi army, saying his men still were too poorly equipped and trained to do the job.

"We are working hard to create a real army and we ask our government not to try to move too quickly because of the political pressure it feels. Our technical needs are real and that is very important, if we are to be a real force against insecurity," al-Obaidi said.

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