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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Military readiness of battalions of the new Iraqi Army and Special Police

Idiot of NRT is all excited about a Washington Post article stating the number of Iraqi Army battalions at "Level 1" military readiness has declined from 3 to 1 over the last couple of months.

Idiot ignores the section of the very same WashPost article which states the number of Army and Special Police battalions at "Level 2" readiness has now reached around 36 (~700 men in each if at full strength). The WashPost staff reporters writing the article have chosen to bury this fact in paragraph six, while calling the story "Decline in Iraqi Troops' Readiness Cited" and mentioning more suicide bombings in paragraph three. Thats liberal bias in a nutshell - promoting the negative and burying the much larger positive storyline on Iraq.

The definitions of those readiness levels as researched by Bill Roggio of The Fourth Rail back in August:
  • Level 1 is the highest rating, where units are fully independent in all aspects. This includes being able to plan and conduct operations without coalition support. It also means the units sustain themselves through their own systems, handle all maintenance and have every piece of equipment needed to perform any mission.
  • Level 2 means units that are "in the lead" in the counterinsurgency effort. The units plan and execute their own operations, but they do require coalition support. This support is typically logistics, close-air support, indirect fire, medical evacuation and so on.
  • Level 3 indicates units fighting alongside coalition units. An Iraqi company will be embedded with a coalition battalion. The company gets support from the coalition and operates with the battalion.
  • Level 4 indicates units just forming.
I think the Iraqis and the various countries providing training, such as South Korea, have done quite well to get 36 battalions up to "Level 2" status in such a short amount of time. As Austin Bay explainedseveral months ago, most Iraqi units aren't even a year old. In fact I'm amazed any were considered at "Level 1" considering the Iraqi Army has no Air Force, no attack helicopters, no professional supply division, no medical corps, and no indigenous training systems in place to keep its officer corp up to NATO standards. And lets not forget the best-trained officers of the former regime are (in theory) prevented from joining the new units.

Just another day at the office for Idiot.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 10/01/2005 04:46:00 pm


Blogger tincanman said...

I'm not a military fundi, but wouldn't it make sense to train a number of people up to complete independance and to then redistribute them amongst the upcoming training batallians? As a form of experience redistribution.

10/01/2005 05:33:00 pm  
Blogger Ashley Clarkson said...

Tincanman - That might be what they have done if they have gone from three level 1 down to one. They may have cycled soldiers in those other two batallions to other forming batallions as cores, whilst bringing fresh soldiers into the two they've taken them from. Of course, you've got to wonder whether that may have an impact on their esprit de corps.

10/01/2005 05:40:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

There's meant to be another dozen or so Level 2 battalions moving into service over the next two weeks, before the Constitution referendum. Will be intersting to see if it happens.

Have to be realistic about this - it will take a decade or so to build a military approaching western standards. Maybe thats why the South Koreans volunteered to help out with training - they had it even harder with Park and domestic communist agitation for many decades.

10/01/2005 05:55:00 pm  

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