Saturday, June 21, 2014

Not the 300 the Iraqis Need

So we're sending 300 military advisors to help the Iraqis fight the jihadis. Don't get your hopes up, they're not that 300.

These 300 will remain within Baghdad for pure planning purposes. We're not even talking about embedding with Iraqi battalions, brigades, or even divisions.

While that is useful, and perhaps is just the initial phase of what will be more substantial assistance (with a proper status of forces agreement), I'd like to point out that during our surge offensive in 2007 we embedded American troops within Iraqi units down to the company level to help them fight more effectively.

But perhaps the Iraqi military is better today after 30 months of American neglect than it was in 2007 when our training was finally creating sufficient decent Iraqi units capable of fighting with our support and supervision.

UPDATE: In a press conference, we're told by Rear Admiral Kirby that some of the advisors will be out in the field:

Well, as I said, they're going to be embedded, at least initially, at the higher headquarters level down to only about the brigade level. So they'll be at staff levels.

So contrary to the initial reports I heard that stated the advisors would be restricted to Baghdad, we will be at levels sufficient to help with planning a counter-offensive in the field.

Apparently, when we want to put troops outside of our embassy without a formal status of forces agreement in place, we can find a way with the Iraqis to protect our troops from prosecution on trumped up charges by corrupt local officials.