Amin: Garner faces big challenges
CNN Correspondent Rula Amin
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. retired Army Gen. Jay Garner arrived in Iraq's capital on Monday to oversee its civil administration while a new government is established. CNN Correspondent Rula Amin filed the following report Monday from Baghdad:
AMIN: Garner came to Baghdad with only 19 aides, but his staff is going to grow to 450. It's a challenging task ahead of him. He has to oversee the reconstruction of Iraq, he has to oversee the delivery of aid to 24 million Iraqis, and he has to establish an interim Iraqi government.
Now, his first visit when he got to Baghdad was to an Iraqi hospital in the Iraqi capital. It was one of the hospitals where many of the war casualties were being treated, and where some of the looters had gone to steal materials. Many of the doctors there had very specific requests. He said that he will try to help, but he also mentioned and said it will take time.
When reporters asked him, how long does he think he will need in order to accomplish his mission here, he said he would be in Iraq "as long as it takes," and that he planned finish rapidly.
Some Iraqis are wondering, how rapidly? Because we have been hearing in the past few days many voices asking the U.S. troops to leave. They are concerned that the troops here will stay much longer than anticipated.
Garner is going to have to get the water and power back running in Baghdad. He has to start getting the schools, the universities, the public services -- everything has to start running again.
How to do it is going to be very difficult, because now most of the old bureaucracy is at home. Many of them have been working for the Iraqi government's regime. And now, how does he bring them back? Does he want them back? Does he want their help? Or is he going to bring new people in? All of these are questions on many Iraqis' minds, as they watch the U.S. run their country.
We are going to see many people who are claiming government posts, claiming roles and power, and Garner will have to deal with all of these people. It's a complex composition here in Iraq. There are Shiite Iraqis, Sunni Iraqis, the Kurds, the Muslims, the Christians. And he has to tackle all of the sensitivities in order to be able to form an interim government in Iraq.