Pentagon Vows to Improve Training, Arming of Iraqi Troops

Says Effort Will Include Increased Aid to Sunni Tribes

In comments earlier today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter vowed to continue “fine-tuning” the effort to train and arm Iraqi forces, including both the military and Sunni tribal forces.

Carter made clear that a lot of the effort is going to be toward increasing aid to the Sunnis, and trying to convince the Shi’ite-dominated central government to let the Pentagon directly arm them.

Carter said the goal was to both “hasten and enhance” the training process, which has come into increased focus after Iraqi troops, who had an enormous numerical advantage, were routed by ISIS in Ramadi.

US officials have repeatedly insisted that the problem has been with Iraqi military leadership, however, not with the training of the rank and file, so it’s unclear what this plan will actually change, as ISIS continues to take over much of Anbar Province.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of