Command and Control

Shadowy Iraq office accused of sectarian agenda -
Iraq's prime minister has created an entity within his government that U.S. and Iraqi military officials say is being used as a smokescreen to hide an extreme Shiite agenda that is worsening the country's sectarian divide.

The Office of the Commander in Chief has the power to overrule other government ministries, according to U.S. military and intelligence sources.Those sources say the 24-member office is abusing its power, increasingly overriding decisions made by the Iraqi Ministries of Defense and Interior and potentially undermining the entire U.S. effort in Iraq..

A senior Iraqi army officer told CNN that the presence of theAmericans was preventing the actions of the Office from being devastating, but he worried about what would happen when U.S. forces ultimately leave Iraq. At that point, the officer says, there will be no restraint on the activities of the Office.