The Mosul Offensive’s Many Unknowns

The Mosul Offensive’s Many Unknowns, by Srdja Trifkovic.

The first question, which has not been adequately considered in mainstream media reports, concerns the battle readiness of government forces. In June 2014 the Iraqi army collapsed and fled without a fight when ISIS attacked Mosul, although it was vastly superior to the attackers in numbers and equipment.

The high command in Baghdad was unable to maintain any semblance of command and control, even though the U.S. had spent some 20 billion dollars on arming, training and equipping it in preceding years. Its mostly Shiite soldiers were uninterested in fighting for Sunni-majority areas which they did not regard as their own. It was unable to develop any sense of loyalty or common purpose among its non-Shia recruits, who deserted en masse.

The US dropped $20 billion on training them, and they deserted en masse? Why bother fighting for Iraq, if they won’t fight for themselves?

Iraqi and Afghan forces suffer terribly from corruption, because the government pays the officers who pay the troops. So the officers say they have vast numbers of troops, and pocket much of the pay themselves.

hat-tip Stephen Neil