Sunday, December 04, 2005

Training a New Iraqi Army From the Ground Up

Jeff Goldstein, at Protein Wisdom, points to this snippet of commentary from Cliff May at the Corner on Tim Russert's interview with John McCain this morning on MEET THE PRESS :
Tim Russert asked John McCain this morning: We send kids to boot camp and send them to Iraq to fight. Why can’t we do the same with Iraqi kids?

McCain’s answer was good – he noted that Iraqi kids are indeed being trained and sent out to fight and are doing better and better -- but he left this out: We send kids to West Point for four years – and we graduate them as lieutenants, not generals.

The problem with Iraqi forces -- as was explained me at CENTCOM (Central Command) recently -- is not training troops who can acquire a target and fire a rifle. The problem is training a new generation of military leaders with the skills and judgment people in the U.S. military take decades to develop.
Then Jeff points out further that the same process in the US Army often takes 15 years to produce the level of officers we need now in Iraq. And that the Administration needs to be making this point more forcefully in public. It's a useful discussion and clarification of the issue, particularly TmUtah and JeffS further points in the comments.

And then there is also this Why Arabs Lose Wars, explaining the cultural problems of Arab military command in so far as it clashes with local culture.


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