Murphy's Law: You Cannot Hustle The West In Iraq Any More


January 22, 2015: Iraqi leaders keep pressing the United States and the other nations supplying air support to do more in the fight against ISIL. The Iraqis are particularly upset at the disproportionate number of air strikes provided to the Kurds defending the Syrian town of Kobane and are not pleased when they are told the reasons why. The Kurds get more air support because they are better and more dependable soldiers (despite the fact that most of them are part-time militia). Most of the Kurds at Kobane have been trained, often by American soldiers over the last two decades and that training stuck. Some of the Kurds at Kobane are recent volunteers with a few days or weeks of training but they have the same attitudes. The Kurds will follow orders and their officers, who were also trained, usually by Americans, are dependable and, unlike their Iraqi Arab counterparts, not corrupt and prone to run away when things get rough. Because of the greater effectiveness and reliability of the Kurds the U.S. trusts them to look after American air control teams sent to work with them, or to provide accurate and reliable information to warplanes overhead when there are no air controllers available. Thus the Kurds provide more good targets for air strikes.

All this is in contrast to most Iraqi troops, and especially Iraqi officers. The Iraqi government now admits that corrupt officers and corruption in general was the cause of the Iraqi Army collapse in June 2014 that led to the loss of Mosul to ISIL. The Iraqi leader even admit that cleaning out all the corrupt and inept officers is still underway and training new, more reliable officers, will take time. But too many of the Iraqi leaders still fail to understand that the sorry state of their officers is a very real and practical reason why Iraqi troops cannot get more air support. Moreover these same leaders will protest loudly is some of their inept officers are the reason why a smart bomb hits Iraqi soldiers or civilians. That sort of protest is expected and there is still a belief that the Americans have some kind of magical power they can unleash if pressured or persuaded enough.




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