Iraq: September 17, 2003


In order to provide more security forces, the US is speeding up the organizing and training of the new Iraqi army. Some 40,000 troops will be trained and available for service by this time next year. The Vinnell Corporation, which has been training the Saudi National Guard since the 1970s, is training the first infantry battalion, which will complete it's training next month. Originally it was thought that two years would be needed, instead of one, to get three divisions (nine motorized infantry battalions, plus support units) recruited and trained. But it was discovered that more of the members of the old army were non-political and already had useful military skills. The screening process of former military men has yielded thousands who are capable to serving with a few weeks or months of training. Lower ranking soldiers will get six weeks of retraining. Most of this training is to teach the men more modern military methods, and how important it is to not abuse civilians. Most Iraqi soldiers are very impressed by the American armed forces and are eager to learn American techniques. 


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