National Guard (Iraq)
The Iraqi National Guard was part of the new Military of Iraq but has since been absorbed by the Iraqi Army controlled by the interim government. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, United States Coalition Provisional Authority Chief Paul Bremer disbanded the military apparatus of Iraq as existed under Saddam Hussein. As the security situation in occupied Iraq deteriorated and the Iraqi insurgency became increasingly active, the U.S. set up, recruited and trained the new security force in order to combat the insurgency. Despite attacks by insurgent and terrorist groups, the Iraqi National Guard was able to recruit many Iraqis from the vast ranks of the unemployed. The force has been used to assist Coalition troops in combatting the insurgency. However, there have been several instances where they have refused to take military action against fellow Iraqis, such as in Fallujah, deserted, or allegedly aided the resistance. It is alleged that most guardsmen were drawn from the Shia majority in Southern Iraq or the Kurdish majority in northern Iraq, rather than from the Sunni area which they were ordered to attack.
In September 2004, a senior member, General Talib al-Lahibi was arrested on suspicion of having links with insurgent groups. In December 2004, it was announced that the Iraqi National Guard would be dissolved. At this time its strength was officially over 40,000 men.
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