Saturday, January 31, 2015

Behold Real Training Failure

Right now, we have a crippled (because of corruption, mostly) Iraqi army that at least retains enough of what we taught them for us to rebuild it--after our absence allowed it to hollow out--to lead an offensive against ISIL. If you want a failed training effort, look at Somalia.

This is a failed effort to build an army:

The African nations contributing most of the peacekeepers in Somalia are getting impatient with the Somali Army. This force was supposed to be near its ultimate strength (50,000 troops) and ready to take over from the peacekeepers by now, but it’s not. With great effort and at enormous expense the army has been expanded from 8,000 in 2007 to about 22,000 today. The Somali troops who are available are still less reliable than the peacekeepers and in no shape to take over security responsibilities for the entire country. The big problem with the new Somali Army is corruption, which results in unreliable leadership, poor discipline and indifferent loyalty. Troops will desert whenever they feel like it and will try to take their weapons with them. Al Shabaab knows that a large enough bribe can get most soldiers, even senior officers, to do just about anything.

I will also take the opportunity to note that most of the "armies" in the world are really just national police forces that can only hope to fight civilians and perhaps--if they are reasonably good--insurgents. These so-called armies could never hope to fight a real army in combat.

I don't know why we insist on defending colonial era borders above all else. There is no "Somalia." Why not recognize as states anybody who manages to put some decent percentage of the territory into shape to allow those people to have security and opportunity to live decent lives? Perhaps the soldiers of these smaller states will feel more loyalty to their neighborhood than the fiction of "Somalia."

The same goes for the sprawling, violence-riddled, Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), that still has UN forces futilely trying to settle that mess.

But nobody ever complains that the UN fails at anything. Hope of the "sainted international community," and all that.