Thursday, September 18, 2014

Glass More Than Half Full

We have the raw materials in Iraq to whip together an effective ground force to defeat ISIL.

Our military judges that 26 Iraqi brigades are suitable for our help:

[Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General] Dempsey said U.S. military teams that spent much of the summer in Iraq assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the Iraqi security forces concluded that 26 of 50 army brigades were capable partners for the U.S. He described them as well led and well equipped, adding, “They appear to have a national instinct, instead of a sectarian instinct.” He said the 24 other brigades were too heavily weighted with Shiites to be part of a credible national force.

Since we are planning for enough teams to embed in 12 headquarters, that means we can be partners with 9 brigades and 3 divisional headquarters that control them.

So we have enough raw material to work with and extras in case any of our allies will embed with Iraqi troops.

Then there are the Kurdish forces that stand apart from the regular Iraqi forces.

And don't forget the advantages of throwing those Shia-weighted forces into the line to deplete the pro-Iranian sectarian forces while they grind down ISIL. Two birds, one stone.

Anyway, despite the deterioration in Iraqi forces since we left in 2011, we have 26 more Iraqi brigades capable of working with us than we had in March 2003. So already we've made progress.

Since the administration has already said that forward air controllers and other embeds at the front don't count as "boots on the ground," I'm fairly confident we can carry out the Iraq portion of the ISIL campaign.