Gen. Dempsey: Half of Iraqi Army Not Competent to Partner With US Against ISIS

Iraq Tries to Push Offensives in Anbar Province

The news coming out of Iraq on plans for the US to coordinate with the Iraqi military keeps getting worse, with Gen. Martin Dempsey today insisting that about half of the Iraqi military is so incompetent that the US can’t effectively partner with them, and the other half needs to be “rebuilt” by the US with weapons aid and new training.

That’s a pretty damning indictment of the long-term US training and arming of the Iraqi military ahead during the last Iraqi occupation, as the military was pretty much created out of wholecloth by US forces, and did such a poor job they can’t partner with them.

The Obama Administration continues to insist publicly that they intend the Iraqi Army to do virtually all of the heavy-lifting on the ground in Iraq, and the military attacked three ISIS-held cities today in Anbar Province, though there was no sign, even with US airstrikes backing, that they were making real progress.

The US intention is to continue an air war against ISIS, though Gen. Dempsey says the ability to actually do a lot of that is going to be a struggle, since ISIS is dispersing its fighters among the population, instead of just standing in the middle of nowhere waiting for the US to hit them.

That too should’ve been entirely predictable, though US officials are treating it as an unforeseen bump in the road, and one which is threatening their plans to “destroy” ISIS in the open-ended conflict.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.