"Right now, the [Iraqi] security forces are not good enough to take on the insurgents," explains Vic Morrow, ex-Special Forces and now an adviser to the transition team. "Some of them are up to it, but what'll fail it is corruption. And the price of failure is astronomical."
Many believe a dysfunctional security force in Iraq would allow insurgents, as well as neighbors such as Iran and Syria, to fill the power vacuum as the US withdraws. This could lead to a return of sectarian fighting.
For those who advise the federal police and Iraqi Army, one of the largest worries is money and corruption. Iraqi commanders claim the problem stems from Baghdad, where politicians still haven't formed a government nearly four months after the March 7 parliamentary election.
"We are ready to take full control of our country's security," says a federal police commander from Baghdad. "But the government isn't serious. They're corrupt and are only looking out for themselves. We need a strong government like we had under Saddam."
Sunnis in Mosul fear oppression by the country's Shiite majority, especially from the Army and federal police who have come from Baghdad.