Iraq launches recruitment drive


Iraqi officers who served under the regime of Saddam Hussein are being invited to rejoin the force.
The army was disbanded after the US-led invasion in 2003 - a move seen by many as an error as it created large numbers of unemployed, disaffected men.

The appeal is part of a drive to build up a force to replace the current multinational troops, who are struggling with a Sunni-led insurgency.

On Wednesday, at least 20 people died in a bombing in the town of Musayyib.

Soldiers who served under the former regime have been gradually rejoining since 2004, but the army still has a shortage of qualified, experienced officers.

In this drive, officers up to the rank of major are being asked to apply.
Long overdue and about time too. Keep them busy as well, stops them instructing insurgent cadres. Recruit the more popular Officers hopefully, and their old platoons and Coys will drift back gradually too.
So it took the insurgents about ... say ... five minutes to start recruiting ex-army bods. The US takes two and a half years. Who is inside who's decision cycle ?
Someone who doesn't like the Sunnis at a guess.

Now we'll start to move forward as regards getting a handover date to a motivated Iraqi Army with any luck.
I have no doubt that the Iraqi Army can be motivated. However, whether they will fight for the Iraqi nation state or their own ethnic or religious grouping remains to be seen. What they say now may be a touch biased - asking someone a question upon which their employment depends in a country without any form of welfare state does tend to mean you hear what you want to.
The IA don't tend to be too bad, in my experience. THey're by no means perfect, of course, but compared to the IPS they are much less motivated by tribal loyalty.
I fear it is too late. However, next logical step is to invite former Saddam's generals and at last to invite Saddam himself. No doubt he is able to stop the insurgency very soon.
If only Bremner had stopped at just sacking the Generals.

How many Majors were there in the RG and IA who were combat veterans from Kuwait and Gulf 1? How many Colonels had been schooled in military doctrine outside Iraq.?
The only thing that worries me about this is that this initiative comes from the President Talabani (a kurd) :? so it could I think be seen by some Shia as a move to limit their power over the new IA. But I guess it has to be seen whether this will be a successful venture first!
I think Talabani wants some useful troops between him and the Shi'a. Let's face it, he can certainly do deals with them about Mosul and Aleppo? Sorry, can't be arrsed to look for the Map of NE Iraq at the moment. He may also be thinking that he can't drink oil and gold.
The recruitment of ex Iraqi Army personnel has its pluses and minuses.

It unfortunately indicates that the US policy of disbanding the Iraqi Army was totally flawed and cussed.

By recruiting old Iraqi Army personnel, it also indicates that the US policy is at sixes and sevens. This is a poor reflection on the long term visualisation capability of the US Administration and hardly exhilarating for the morale. Can't have those in charge being seen as dithering old fogeys, can we?! :wink:

What is the guarantee that these blokes are not pro terrorists or not have had a tenure with the terrorist or that they are now fifth columnists?

After all, would the ex IA Personnel trust anyone who, in the first place, have had doubts about the Iraqi Army's loyalty and have sent them packing without any rationale and thereby being totally demeaning for them (especially for those who were not really for Saddam) and "undemocratic"!?

In fact, for them it is another sign that the US policy is failing and that the US has no option but to undertake a volte face! Therefore, it is an indicator for ex IA's moral ascendency. Dangerous!

If such people with doubtful loyalty are recruited and have access to sensitive areas or undertake sensitive operations, the situation will become even worse.

All one can hope that the US Adminstration stops dithering and not make the whole issue a buggers muddle.
Or we could be recruiting proud , professional (after a fashion) trained soldiers who do what we all aspire to do. Fight for each other and by default , the flag and all that entails?

I did post some time ago on the news reports that were being shown on Iraqi TV pre-war of coverage from the Iran Iraq war. Those soldiers were professional, and more than up for it.

I'm not saying they all are, but the Sunnis were the Officer corps and SNCO's in Saddam's Army I believe. Some units of the RG were very good by anyone's standards. I imagine it might even offend their military sensibilities to see some of the dross currently calling themselves the Iraqi Army.

I don't regard it as an embarrassing failure on behalf of the US and us to reach out to them, I regard it as simply facing the fact they are the best body of men to recruit.

Especially as the b*stards appear to have kept their martial skills up to scratch.

Anyway , I'll put the champagne on ice for the day they indict Bremner :D
Training a New Army From the Top Down
U.S. Military Advisers Struggle to 'Build Leaders'

By Jackie Spinner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 1, 2005; Page A19

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HONOR, Iraq -- U.S. Army Capt. Brian Dugan was already smoking mad. When he first arrived at this Iraqi army post in central Baghdad on a crisp October morning, he discovered that the gunner at the main entrance was missing from his truck-mounted weapon. Another 50 feet in, an Iraqi army guard, his helmet off, was sacked out on a pile of sandbags. A second guard was chatting with three buddies who were just hanging out at the checkpoint.

Dugan was angry that the Iraqi commanders had staked out a private latrine for themselves instead of making their soldiers keep all the portable toilets clean. It was just another privilege they demanded, without accepting responsibility for their troops, he said.

"Take the lock off, or I'll cut it off," Dugan told an Iraqi officer walking by.

For the past three months, Dugan, a slight, clean-cut officer with Task Force 4-64 of the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, has been responsible for helping train one of the 86 battalions in the new Iraqi army. The work of Dugan and American officers like him is a key element of the U.S. military strategy that entails Iraqi forces progressively taking over security duties here and enabling American troops to go home.

In testimony in September before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. John P. Abizaid, who leads the U.S. Central Command, said that a single Iraqi battalion was at "Level 1" combat readiness, meaning it was capable of taking the lead in combat without support from coalition forces. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who oversees U.S. forces in Iraq said the number of Level 1 battalions had dropped from three to one since June.

Americans troops in Iraq say the reason is simple: The Iraqi forces are only as good as their commanders, and when those commanders are inadequate, transfer, quit or get killed in action, their units often fall apart.

"You try to build leaders," said Lt. Col. Robert M. Roth, commander of Task Force 4-64. "You're trying to build officers. But you have to understand if you go in and say, 'Duty, honor, country' -- no, it's American. You can't do that. The only thing they understand, for the most part, is money and authority."
Washington Post

Simply recruiting soliders alone is not going to work...It is a facinating article, and it boils down to leadership, leadership, leadership. The insurgents are way ahead of the IZ army, because they are motivated and through Darwinian selection the calibre of their surviving leaders is going to be exceptionally good :x

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