Is Iraq Ready to Handle Its Own Security?

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Since the last U.S. combat brigade pulled out of Iraq last week, insurgents have stepped up their deadly attacks.

The increased violence is raising the question: Can Iraqis handle security on their own?

For many American soldiers, the U.S. troop drawdown in Iraq means relief and reuniting with loved ones.

"It's been about six, seven months. I haven't seen my family, and it just feels great," U.S. Army Spc. Bernard Martin, Jr. said.

In Iraq, it's a different story. August is the deadliest month for Iraqi security forces in two years. Insurgents have killed six members of a pro-government militia Thursday. And on Wednesday, attacks killed 56 people, destroying a police station and family homes.

CBN News Senior International Correspondent Gary Lane has more analysis of the recent attacks in Iraq and questions of the country's stability.  Click play for his comments following Mark Martin's report.

Most of the targets are Iraqi police and military, along with local government leaders. The insurgents targeted institutions key to the day-to-day running and stability of the country.

The attacks came after the U.S. declared the number of U.S. troops had fallen to fewer than 50,000 which is the lowest level since the war began in 2003.

No one has claimed responsibility for the the attacks yet.

"There are factions in Iraq who are seeking to exploit what they view as a transition period to undermine the progress that's been made on the ground," U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Baghdad resident Saad Namaa said he believes U.S. troops have left too soon.

"The Iraqi troops are not ready to receive the security dossier in the current circumstances at a time when the explosions continue," he said.

U.S. leaders say this spike in violence is only temporary, and that the Iraqis are ready to lead.

"I think now what I'm seeing here in 2010 is the Iraqi army is more professional than I've ever seen it," Lt. Col. Ross Coffman said.

However, Iraqi leaders are concerned attacks will increase because of the troop drawdown and the country's fragile government.

"So in such environment, these terrorist networks flourish, actually, and would love to deepen division among Iraqi politicians," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said.

U.S. combat operations in Iraq officially end Aug. 31, the day on which President Obama will deliver his second primetime address to the country from the Oval Office.

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at