Updated: 5/16/2006; 2:50:13 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Friday, September 24, 2004


Many setbacks on road to an effective Iraqi force: Further evidence of the lack of preparation or experience of the Pentagon in nation-building, on top of a very difficult situation to begin with.  "Out-of-shape recruits, equipment shortages, and "unbelievable" retention problems are just some of the myriad challenges facing Sergeant Nunn, tasked with leading a 16-man team to train an Iraqi National Guard (ING) battalion of 1,000 men from scratch.  ..

In June, the Pentagon assigned Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who led the 101st Airborne Division in invading Iraq, to overhaul the training operation. Across the country, more than a dozen battalion-sized units and headquarters had to be reconstituted, and others started from scratch, military documents show.

One of those units was Mosul's 106th Iraqi National Guard battalion. On May 5, Nunn of the Stryker Brigade's 1-23 infantry battalion was given the job of leading training for the Iraqi unit. On May 8, lacking training materials, equipment, or a single interpreter, he took charge of the first 194 Iraqi recruits at a soccer stadium in Mosul.  .. With no training manual, Nunn wrote one himself and later found translators to produce an Arabic and Kurdish version. ..

According to Pentagon figures, only 90,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained of the more than 270,000 needed. These include police, ING, Army, and border-control forces. This summer, US and Iraqi officials sharply increased the number of security forces they believe are required in Iraq: from 16,000 to 32,000 border guards, 45 to 65 ING battalions, and 90,000 to 135,000 police.

NATO announced Wednesday that it would increase its number of military trainers in Iraq, from 50 to up to 300."  If each 1000-recruit battalion needs 16 trainers, the 270,000 trainees need 4300 trainers, plus support.  The NATO support is minor.

  9:47:28 PM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 2:50:13 PM.