Fledgling Iraqi Military is Outmatched on Battlefield by Matt Bradley, Wall Street Journal
… More than two years after the last U.S. troops left Iraq, as the country prepares for its first post-occupation parliamentary elections on Wednesday, its demoralized, underequipped military is losing the fight against Islamist militants, who are better armed, better trained, and better motivated, according to Iraqi and American generals, politicians and analysts.
"You can see how terrorism is eating our flesh. We're almost helpless," says Staff General Mohammed Khalaf Saied Al Dulaimi, commander of 12th division of the Iraqi army based in the northern city of Kirkuk. "We're facing a good, well-trained enemy. The attacks in this area were huge."
The insurgents are able to launch surprise raids, seize urban ground and hold their positions for days, weeks or even months, even far beyond their strongholds in the west. The growing disorder and violence threaten to open the country to interference by its neighbors and dash what little hope remains that ordinary Iraqis might benefit from their oil wealth…