Thursday, June 19, 2014

And now we gonna "retrain"/"restrain" 'em Iraqis

From: USA Today (6/19/2014):
President Obama said Thursday he will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help retrain Iraqi security forces as they battle an insurgent invasion.

For a historical perspective on USA-in-Iraq training, you might wish to take a look at "We're Gonna Train 'Em: The Fallacy of American Total Make-Over in Iraq," Huffington Post (6/14/2014), which cites this 2006 piece:
Training Iraqi troops to replace American ones has long been touted by the administration and the Pentagon as key to success in Iraq, a view reiterated last week by General John Abizaid in his testimony before Congress. On the surface, U.S. training of Iraqi soldiers and police seems like a viable option: It takes Americans out of the line of fire, it "softens" the impact of the U.S. occupation, making American soldiers appear to be instructors rather than aggressors, and, most importantly, it ideally gives Iraqis themselves responsibility for safety and order in their own country But there are many reasons to be skeptical about the effectiveness of U.S. training. ...
[Eric] Egland writes [2006] that: 
"According to one soldier in Iraq, his unit spent days going over how to clear a foxhole, something many had already trained to do numerous times in their careers. The problem is that the enemy we face in Iraq is not entrenched in foxholes, but moves fluidly and blends into the civilian population."

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