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…
1. we really never had a strategy for Iraq much less for the actual Salafist insurgency that existed before we arrived---our answer was COIN.
2. we never did understand the Salafist insurgency that was at a phase two guerrilla war within four months after we arrived in Baghdad.
3. we never did institute the Rule of Law and Good Governance the second we handed the country over after elections as we never did envision the Shia trying to rule one sided and making no compromises with the minorities.
4. we never learned that disbanding an entire Army and police is not the right way to go when one occupies a country.
And now after training what close to 350K Army and security police Iraq cannot hold it's own---the Shia never learned to fight for their flag therein lies the problem.