British colonel criticizes U.S. Army in Iraq

A British officer says &to= ' target=_blank>U.S. officers in Iraq displayed "cultural insensitivity" bordering on racism toward Iraqis, and also seemed weighed down by bureaucracy and "a predisposition to offensive operations."

The 14-page article by Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster was published in the latest issue of U.S. military magazine Military Review.

Aylwin-Foster was deputy commander of a British program to train the Iraqi military, based in Baghdad, in 2004. For four months, he shared offices with Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Iraqi training programs, who now is commanding general at Fort Leavenworth.

Petraeus was unavailable for comment Wednesday, an Army spokeswoman said.

The British officer praised American military leaders for showing flexibility in moving troops from combat to reconstruction and for repairing infrastructure in Baghdad. But he said the Army "seemed weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchal outlook, a predisposition to offensive operations, and a sense of duty that required all issues to be confronted head-on."

Furthermore, he said U.S. officers displayed "cultural insensitivity" bordering on racism toward Iraqis and that the decision to disband the Iraqi army alienated segments of the population that could have eased the transition and squelched insurgency.

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