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Iraqi Army ‘Months Away’ From Being Able To Take On ISIS, US Campaign To Take Years

Though hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars went into forming, training, and equipping the Iraqi National Army it only took a few weeks for ISIS to cripple the force – stealing a good deal of military equipment and sending Iraqi soldiers into the wind. The quick and utter collapse of the Iraqi Army in the Sunni dominated areas of Iraq was a considerable psychological blow to the government in Baghdad and raised questions as to whether the sectarian divides ripped open by the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq could ever be bridged. Maybe Iraq would never be one country again.

Despite the previous failure and weak prospects for the future the US is trying to rebuild the Iraqi National Army. It’s not going well. According to US officials that spoke to The New York Times the Iraqi Army is still “months away” from being able to retake territory it has lost to ISIS.

Despite increasing assistance from the United States, Iraq’s ability to mount a sustained counteroffensive to retake territory seized by the Islamic State is still months away, American military and defense officials here said on Thursday. Iraqi and Kurdish troops have demonstrated in a few recent instances that they can repel attacks by the militants, as they did this week at the Mosul Dam in the north, and make initial inroads at reclaiming enemy-held territory, such as a new push north of Baghdad toward Baiji, the officials said.

But so neglected were Iraq’s security forces by the government of former Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that scores of American advisers have been deployed to help the Iraqi and Kurdish forces rebuild their ability to conduct complex combat operations, sustain their troops over long distances, and maintain their equipment and weaponry for what American officials say will be a multiyear campaign to wrest back vast areas of the north and west.

A multiyear campaign that requires more assistance – in other words, the US is back in the nation building business in Iraq. Of course we just saw the results of a multiyear campaign to provide military assistance – total capitulation. So why not do it again? It’s only the age of austerity for domestic spending.

At this point does anyone even know the point of this war in Iraq? It’s not to stop militant Islamism, we would not be partners with Saudi Arabia if that were actually the case. The objective appears to be to maintain the status quo for the sake of maintaining the status quo – as long as it does not involve (more) ground troops. Except the status quo is a terrible deal for Americans who aren’t involved in the defense industry – lots of money and attention with no real benefit.

The American people gave Barack Obama the presidency largely based on his promise to get out of Iraq – the more we learn how worthless our actions are in Iraq the clearer it is that that’s a promise worth keeping.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Iraqi Army ‘Months Away’ From Being Able To Take On ISIS, US Campaign To Take Years

Though hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars went into forming, training, and equipping the Iraqi National Army it only took a few weeks for ISIS to cripple the force – stealing a good deal of military equipment and sending Iraqi soldiers into the wind. The quick and utter collapse of the Iraqi Army in the Sunni dominated areas of Iraq was a considerable psychological blow to the government in Baghdad and raised questions as to whether the sectarian divides ripped open by the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq could ever be bridged. Maybe Iraq would never be one country again.

Despite the previous failure and weak prospects for the future the US is trying to rebuild the Iraqi National Army. It’s not going well. According to US officials that spoke to The New York Times the Iraqi Army is still “months away” from being able to retake territory it has lost to ISIS.

Despite increasing assistance from the United States, Iraq’s ability to mount a sustained counteroffensive to retake territory seized by the Islamic State is still months away, American military and defense officials here said on Thursday. Iraqi and Kurdish troops have demonstrated in a few recent instances that they can repel attacks by the militants, as they did this week at the Mosul Dam in the north, and make initial inroads at reclaiming enemy-held territory, such as a new push north of Baghdad toward Baiji, the officials said.

But so neglected were Iraq’s security forces by the government of former Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that scores of American advisers have been deployed to help the Iraqi and Kurdish forces rebuild their ability to conduct complex combat operations, sustain their troops over long distances, and maintain their equipment and weaponry for what American officials say will be a multiyear campaign to wrest back vast areas of the north and west.

A multiyear campaign that requires more assistance – in other words, the US is back in the nation building business in Iraq. Of course we just saw the results of a multiyear campaign to provide military assistance – total capitulation. So why not do it again? It’s only the age of austerity for domestic spending.

At this point does anyone even know the point of this war in Iraq? It’s not to stop militant Islamism, we would not be partners with Saudi Arabia if that were actually the case. The objective appears to be to maintain the status quo for the sake of maintaining the status quo – as long as it does not involve (more) ground troops. Except the status quo is a terrible deal for Americans who aren’t involved in the defense industry – lots of money and attention with no real benefit.

The American people gave Barack Obama the presidency largely based on his promise to get out of Iraq – the more we learn how worthless our actions are in Iraq the clearer it is that that’s a promise worth keeping.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.