Friday, November 28, 2014

U.S. Trainers Now Have Modest Goals In Training The Iraqi Army

Tribal fighters take part in a military training to prepare for fighting against Islamic State militants, at the Ain al-Assad military base in Anbar province November 15, 2014. Picture taken November 15, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Stringer

U.S. Seeks To Build Lean Iraqi Force To Fight The Islamic State -- Washington Post

After learning hard lessons rebuilding foreign militaries over the past dozen years, the U.S. military is shifting its strategy against the Islamic State, choosing to train a smaller number of Iraqi soldiers rather than trying to stand up an entire army anew.

At their peak, Iraqi combat forces, painstakingly built and paid for by the United States during the last Iraq war, numbered about 400,000 troops. By the time the Islamist militant group launched its advance across northern Iraq in June, the Iraqi forces had shrunk by as much as half, depleted by years of corruption, absenteeism and decay.

When the Islamic State completed its seizure of the city of Mosul, four Iraqi army divisions and another from the federal police had disappeared, shrinking the original combat force to as few as 85,000 active troops, according to expert estimates.

Read more ....

Update: U.S. advisers stay out of harm's way in Iraq -- USA Today

My Comment: Trying to change a military culture takes years .... and in Iraq's case .... probably a few decades. The problem in the Iraqi has always been the same ..... its top and middle level leadership lacks experience in fighting wars .... and coupled with political interference .... a lack of will to fight and win. What is needed are U.S. combat boots on the ground to show what it takes to win .... but the White House has made it very clear that this is an option that is not going to be followed.

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