Saturday, October 08, 2005

Iraqi Troops

I was going through my favorite blogs and dropped in on Fuzzy Bear at Fuzzilicious Thinking and once again she pointed me to another wonderful blog.

This one, Major K, has an awesome report on the real state of affairs with the Iraqi troops. It is not, as almost all things, being reported accurately in the MSM. I will trust the "boots on the ground" over the MSM any day!

In light of the resulting carping from people back in the US about this "regression." I would like to explain the difference between "fully capable" and "operational" and explain what "operating with US support" means as far as the reality on the ground based on my experience. My experience includes conducting joint operations with Iraqi units as a member of a US unit and acting as a US adviser to Iraqi units conducting operations here in Baghdad.
This tells you a little something about what Major K does in Iraq and he explains about the state of affairs there. Here is the real story, not the vinegar coated news the MSM would feed us:

When I first arrived here back in January, 2005, all sectors of Baghdad were "controlled" by US Forces. Very few operations other than manning checkpoints were conducted by Iraqi Security Forces(ISF - This is an umbrella term that covers both the Iraqi Army and Police). In the initial months of our operations here, most major raids and searches were conducted jointly by an Iraqi unit with an equivalent-sized US unit, a company with a company or a battalion with a battalion. US units were still in the stage of carrying their Iraqi counterparts through these operations as the Iraqis still had a reputation for cutting and running if enemy contact got hairy. Support for Iraqi units was needed in almost every area; mobility, communications, logistical support, tactical employment, training and intelligence. Training continued, and change has occurred over time.

Now, 9 months later, the way many Iraqi units require US support has changed significantly. Battalions and companies are seldom, if ever matched with US battalions and companies for "strike operations" - raids, searches, etc. Many Iraqi Battalions operate with a small US MiTT(Military Transition Team) that is squad-sized (9-15 mmen). The MiTT advises, rides along, and provides limited training, logistical and communications support.
Read the whole report here. Actually, read the whole blog. It is refreshing to get an eye witness account of what is really going on in Iraq.

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