Iraq Takes Control of its Military:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took control of Iraq’s air, naval, and army forces during an official transfer of power ceremony on Sept. 7. The change is a significant step for the Iraqi government that still relies heavily on coalition forces for security operations. Although the move is welcome news for the Pentagon, the top US military commander over operations in Southwest Asia expressed a cautionary note, talking with reporters in Tampa, Fla., the home of US Central Command. Army Gen. John Abizaid said the military was “probably … a bit optimistic in thinking Iraqi forces will be completely ready to take over sectors when the government hasn’t gelled yet,” reports the Tampa Tribune . Abizaid emphasized that the main goal is to give more and more responsibility to the Iraqis, saying, “We don’t win if we do everything for them.”