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    US-PA cooperation now in doubt

    DebkaFile reports that American General Keith Dayton and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad went head-to-head recently, engaging Sunday in a heated argument that throws into doubt US-PA security and political cooperation.

    Fayyad, considered by many Palestinians to be an American puppet, may have been trying to improve his street cred by calling the four-star general onto the carpet, complaining about Dayton's attempts to publicize the 2000 strong American-trained Palestinian commando force. "You're just the trainer, after all," Fayyad reportedly told him, provoking a strong comeback from the senior US military man in the region, who is spearheading the quarter-billion dollar effort to elevate Palestinian fighters from their terrorist roots to a disciplined pro-Western fighting force capable of combating Hamas.

    They have made progress in making West Bank streets safer, but the new force is not popular on the Palestinian street, which calls the new army "Dayton's men." Fayyad is also considered by the shabib to be an American "poodle."

    The open spat may require the intervention of senior officials in Washington. If it is not resolved, then the new US-trained force is more likely than ever to revert to what they were before, along with the West Bank streets.