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Iraqi Politicians Blame Poor Coordination For Security Lapses

The August 19 bombings killed 95 people.
The August 19 bombings killed 95 people.
BAGHDAD -- A recent spike in violence in Iraq has been caused by the lack of coordination among security agencies and the growing politicization of law enforcement, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

A parliamentary commission was set up to look into the August 19 bombings that targeted the Foreign and Finance ministries, leaving 95 dead and more than 600 injured.

Lawmaker and commission member Waleed Shirka, from the Kurdish bloc, told RFI that, after hearing testimony from the interior and defense ministers, "the commission has found poor intelligence gathering."

He said lawmakers recommended the creation of a "joint-operations room" that would "address the lack of coordination among the Defense and Interior ministries and the intelligence agencies."

Khalid al-Asadi, a member of the Shi'ite United Iraqi Alliance, told RFI that parliament shares the blame for the security lapses for "failing to pass legislation reorganizing the security apparatus and for denying funding to many intelligence-gathering agencies."

He added that "the politicization of security" is another serious problem, warning that "state power itself will be undermined and all factions will lose if they persist in their squabbling."

Political analyst Khamis al-Badri told RFI the factions are trying to capitalize on the security issue in the run-up to the January 2010 national elections.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has made security a centerpiece of his campaign.