Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Training Iraqi Forces

Posted by Dan Draney on October 15, 2005

What is the state of training of the Iraqi military forces? This is obviously a key question, the key military question, in the de-Americanization of the battle against al-Qaeda in Iraq, restive Sunni Arabs, and residual Baathists. So how is it going? Robert Pollock has an interview with Gen. David Patraeus, who is in charge of the training, in OpinionJournal. The article is not readily summarized, so you’ll just get a taste of it here (emphasis in original):

“But in Iraq–where he first governed Mosul as commander of the 101st Airborne and then took over training of all Iraqi security forces in June 2004–he is something of a giant and one of the foremost authorities on many of the major questions about the war: Did we have enough troops? Which Iraqi leaders are most effective? Was it a mistake to disband Saddam’s army? What is the current state of Iraqi security forces?

That his answers are likely to please neither side in these debates–he simultaneously thinks Ahmed Chalabi is too uncompromising when it comes to former members of Saddam’s Baath Party, but also that Mr. Chalabi is committed to reaching out to Iraqi Sunnis and ‘in the best position to do that of anybody in the government’–is all the more reason to listen to them. For in addition to an impressive resume, he also has an independent mind.”

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