Tuesday, April 29, 2014

who's losing Iraq?

Looks like the Maliki government.

The WSJ has a discouraging article assessing the Iraqi military.  Some quotes:

"Despite nearly a decade of training from U.S. troops, the Iraqi army remains, by comparison, poorly equipped and far less motivated, say Iraqi politicians, Gen. Dulaimi and Hisham Hashemi, an Iraqi researcher on armed groups who is in regular touch with militants in Anbar.
"Even the most basic maneuvers can stymie the Iraqi military. Regional commanders who lack basic knowledge of military logistics often are clumsy when transporting food for soldiers on the move, leaving many enlistees to scrounge for themselves or go hungry, say officers and observers.

"Without meals, some soldiers simply leave. Though there are no official statistics, military personnel cite desertion as a persistent and growing problem, particularly for troops deployed in Anbar and other areas to the north where ISIS is active."

American soldiers who helped train the Iraqi military say that Iraqis abandoned the organizational and educational infrastructure U.S. forces had hoped would perpetuate a professional military.
"The whole concept of developing a professionalized security force just stopped right there with the [end of the] U.S. presence," says Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, who was the chief of the U.S. military's Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, which is in charge of training troops, from September 2011 until May 2013.

Mr. Maliki, a Shiite, has proved unable to resolve the gridlock among the country's three main political blocs: Arab Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. With his army unprepared to handle the fallout, foreign diplomats, politicians and analysts say Mr. Maliki is governing over a state that is failing in slow motion.

"Partnership failed in Baghdad," says Fouad Hussein, chief of staff to Kurdistan's regional president, Massoud Barzani. "After the election, if we cannot work together as three groups—Sunnis, Shias and Kurds—then Iraq is headed toward collapse."

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