New Iraqi Army

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Image:Iraqi soldiers.jpg
Military Manpower
Military Age18<ref name="CIA">CIA - The World Factbook: Iraq [1]</ref>
Availabilitymales age 18-49: 5,870,640<ref name="CIA" />
females age 18-49: 5,642,073<ref name="CIA" />
Fit for military servicemales 18-49: 4,930,074<ref name="CIA" />
females 18-49: 4,771,105<ref name="CIA" />
Reaching military age annuallymales 18-49: 198,518<ref name="CIA" />
females 18-49: 289,879<ref name="CIA" />
Military Expenditures
Dollar Figure4.989 billion (USD$)<ref name="IWSR01/11/06">Iraq Weekly Status Report 01/11/06 p.12, 16 [2]</ref>
Percent of GDP0.4% (Funding comes from U.S. Government)
Military Strength
Personnel129,760 <ref name="IWSR01/11/06" />
Tanks22 T-55 <ref name="MEMB">Shapir, Yiftah S., Middle East Military Balance, Tel Aviv University, 6, 7 [3]</ref>
77 T-72 <ref name="MSSI">Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq - Februrary 2006 Report to Congress, 43 [4]</ref>
Armoured Personnel Carriers36 Spartan<ref name="MEMB" />
39 BTR-94<ref name="MEMB" />
44 MT-LB<ref name="MEMB" />
180 M-113
100 M1114 <ref name="JDWFEB08">Holdanwicz, Grzegorz. "Iraqi armed forces get armoured vehicles". Janes Defence Weekly, 21</ref>
167 M1151 <ref name="JDWFEB08" />
Armoured fighting vehicles22 DZIK-3<ref name="MEMB" />
72 Defender-110<ref name="MEMB" />
Infantry Fighting Vehicles50 BMP-1 <ref name="MEMB" />
Artillery0 (2005 est.)
Aircraft0 (2005 est.)

The Iraqi Army is a component of the Iraqi Security Forces tasked with assuming responsibility for all Iraqi land-based military operations following the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Because of the ongoing Iraqi insurgency, the Iraqi Army is designed to be an objective counter-insurgency force for a period of time until the insurgency is diminished to a level that the police can handle.<ref name="MSSIAug06">Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq, August 2006</ref> Thereafter, the Iraqi Army will undergo a modernization plan which includes purchasing more heavy equipment. The IA is currently being developed by the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq (MNSTC-I).


[edit] Development

One of the many organizations created to replace the duties of the former Iraqi army (disbanded by U.S. Administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer on May 23, 2003 <ref name="ISMFD">Iraqi Security and Military Force Developments: A Chronology, 2, 4, 6, 7 [5]</ref>), the New Iraqi Army was originally intended to comprise 3 divisions numbering 40,000 soldiers in 3 years time. The Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (headed by Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton) was the organization set up by the United States military with the responsibility of training and development of the new army. In June 2004, it was dissolved and forced to pass on that responsibility to the MNSTC-I (initially headed by Lt. Gen. David Petraeus) due to its focus on developing the military for traditional defense from a hypothetical invasion by its neighbors rather than providing security for the Iraqi people from the emerging threat posed by the Iraqi insurgency <ref>Kalev I. Sepp - Prepared Statement before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations regarding the training of Iraqi Security Forces, 2 [6]</ref>.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the Iraqi Army will in the end state be an approximately 137,500-person force based around an Army with 9 infantry divisions and 1 mechanized infantry division consisting of 36 brigades and 112 battalions. Nine Motorized Transportation Regiments, 5 logistics battalions, 2 support battalions, 5 Regional Support Units (RSUs), and 91 Garrison Support Units (GSUs) are intended to provide logistics and support for each division, with Taji National Depot providing depot-level maintenance and resupply. Each battalion, brigade, and division headquarters will be supported by a Headquarters and Service Company (HSC) providing logistical and maintenance support to its parent organization. The Army will also include 17 SIBs and a Special Operations Forces Brigade consisting of two special operational battalions.<ref name="MSSIAug06" /> MNSTC-I commander Martin Dempsey stated June 2006 that the IA "will be built by the end of this calendar year".<ref>Pentagon Press Briefing with Lt.Gen Dempsey June 27, 2006</ref>

[edit] Timeline

[edit] 2003

  • May 23 – U.S. Administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer dissolves all of Saddam Hussein's armed forces except the Iraqi Police under the impression from pre-war intelligence that the post-war security situation would be relatively calm. This would provide enough time to build a new army free of members from Saddam's former Ba'th Party. Bremer would later continue to defend his highly criticized decision stating that it was necessary to convince the Kurdish population of Iraq not to secede<ref>Bremer, Paul L., "The Right Call", Wall Street Journal, Jan. 12, 2005</ref>.
  • Oct 4 – The first battalion of 700 New Iraqi Army recruits graduates from basic training. Governing Council President Dr. Ayad Allawi, Bremer, and other notable dignitaries are on hand to witness the graduation ceremony<ref name="CPA" />.

[edit] 2004

  • April 5 – Several Iraqi Battalions refuse to fight following the US siege of Fallujah.
  • August 14 – The NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) is established at the invitation of the Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqi government in order to provide training, technical assistance, and assistance with equipping the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)<ref>2005 NTM-I Year in Review [7]</ref>. Their focus will be on training mid to senior level personnel.
  • September 20 – The Fallujah Brigade disbands after being sent in to secure the city.

[edit] 2005

  • September 19The Independent reports that approximately one billion US dollars has been stolen by top ranking officials from the Ministry of Defense including Hazim al-Shaalan and Ziyad Cattan<ref>Cockburn, Patrick, "What Has Happened to Iraq's Missing $1bn?", The Independent UK [8]</ref> . The depletion of almost the entire Ministry of Defense budget due to corruption cripples the effectiveness of the Iraqi Army.

[edit] 2006

  • February 7 – A Defense Language Institute is established in Baghdad. The current focus of the institute is on educating mid to senior level Iraqis in English to enable them to take part in out-of-country training<ref>NATO opens Defense Language Institute in Baghdad [9]</ref>.
  • March 24MNSTC-I commander LTG Martin E. Dempsey holds a United States Department of Defense press conference on the training of the Iraqi Security Forces. <ref>"Iraqis Eagerly Taking Responsibility for Country, General Says" , Sgt. Sara Wood, American Forces Press Service [10]</ref> His points include:
    • 49 Iraqi Army battalions control battle space. So do 6 Iraqi police battalions.
    • By the end of 2006, Iraqi Security Forces will control 75% of the country.
    • By July 2006, Iraqi Security Forces will be responsible for security along all of Iraq's border.
    • Iraqi Police are no longer fleeing when police stations are attacked by insurgents.
    • U.S. and Iraqi governments are creating a system to discourage and punish corruption and criminal conduct.
  • April 30 – The first entirely Sunni class of Iraqis graduates from army basic training at Habbaniyah, Iraq<ref></ref>. It is the first visible sign of a new coalition strategy aimed at recruiting Sunnis in particular, hoping that a greater inclusion of Sunnis into the army will help quell the insurgency as well as sectarian violence. These group of graduates from Al-Anbar province are scheduled to serve in the 1st and 7th Iraqi Army Divisions.
  • May 3 – The Iraqi Army command and control center opened May 3, 2006 during a ceremony at the Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IFGC) headquarters at Camp Victory<ref></ref>. The IFGC is the operational headquarters of all 10 Iraqi Army divisions. The headquarter's mission is to exercise command and control of assigned Iraqi Army forces and, upon assuming Operational Control, to plan and direct operations to defeat the Iraqi insurgency. The IFGC is commanded by Lt. Gen. Abdul-Qadar.
  • July 3 – The 5th Iraqi Army Division is certified and assumes responsibility for the battle space of Diyala province. Also, the IA took control of the maintenance contract for the Numaniyah Regional Support Unit (RSU). The An Numaniyah RSU site was the first of five RSUs to transfer responsibility the Iraqi Army.<ref>The Advisor, MNSTC-I Newsletter, July 8, 2006</ref>
  • September 7 – The operational responsibility of the 8th Iraqi Army division is transfered to an all-Iraqi chain of command. The transfer shows that the Iraqi command and control-structure is ready to assume responsibility for counter-insurgency operations in vast areas of Iraq. The 8th IA division is the first to transfer to the Iraqi Ground Forces Command, and the transfer is hailed by US forces as an important milestone. <ref>[11]</ref>

[edit] Exclusions

Excluded from New Iraqi Army include:

  • Former persons from regime security organizations
  • Intel organizations
  • Special Republican Guards
  • SSO
  • Ba’ath Party security and militia organizations
  • Top-level Ba’ath Party members

[edit] Structure

  • 1 Div: – Fallujah
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde
    • 4 Bde
  • 2 Div: – Mosul
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde
    • 4 Bde
  • 3 Div: – Yethrib
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde
  • 4 Div: – Tikrit
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 4 Bde
  • 5 Div: – Balad
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde
  • 6 Div: – Bagdad
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde
    • 5 Bde
  • 7 Div: – West Al Anbar Province
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde
  • 8 Div: – Al Kut
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde
  • 9 Div (Mech): – Taji
    • 1 Mech Bde
    • 2 Arm Bde
    • 3 Mech Bde
  • 10 Div: – Basrah
    • 1 Bde
    • 2 Bde
    • 3 Bde

[edit] Training

Iraqi soldiers perform a live-fire exercise

Training of Iraqi forces was initially done by private contractors, transitioned to coalition forces, and is now done by three Iraqi training battalions.

[edit] Recruits and enlisted men

Iraqi Army recruits undergo a standard thirteen-week basic training course that includes basic soldiering skills, weapons marksmanship and individual tactics<ref name="MSSI08/06">Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq 08/06 p.53[12]</ref>. Former soldiers are eligible for an abbreviated three week "Direct Recruit Replacement Training" course designed to replace regular basic training to be followed by more training once they have been assigned to a unit.

Soldiers later go on to enroll in more specific advanced courses targeted for their respective fields. This could involve going to the Military Intelligence School, the Signal School, the Bomb Disposal School, the Combat Arms Branch School, the Engineer School, and the Military Police School.

[edit] Officers

The Iraqi Armed Service and Supply Institute located in Taji plays a significant role in training aspiring Iraqi non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers. The training is based on a Sandhurst model due to its shorter graduation time compared to West Point.

CMATT's main recruiting stations are located in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul. The most desired recruits are individuals who have prior military service or are skilled in specific professions such as first aid, heavy equipment operation, food service and truck driving. A recruitment target of approximately one thousand men is desired to eventually form a 757-man battalion. Soldier fallout usually occurs due to voluntary withdrawal or failure to meet training standards.

Due to the current demand for these battalions to become active as soon as possible, the first four battalions' officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men are being trained simultaneously (in separate groups). Notable differences in training between CMATT and former training under Saddam's regime include schooling in human rights, the laws of land warfare, and tolerance in a multi-ethnic team.

Based on the philosophy used by the U.S. military to boost its own size in response to World War II — that an army can be built faster by focusing on the training on its leadership rather than enlisted men — CMATT has pursued a similar strategy of focusing recruitment and training on commissioned and non-commissioned officers for the remaining 23 Iraqi battalions. Upon successful completion of officer training, these groups of officers will form the battalion's leadership cadre, which will then be responsible for overseeing its own recruitment, training, and readiness of its enlisted men. It is hoped that having the Iraqi leadership train its own will overcome problems faced by CMATT's training process; namely recruitment, desertion, and unit loyalty.

All Iraqi Army battalions have embedded U.S. Military transition teams, according to the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. The MiTTs advise their Iraqi battalions in the areas of intelligence, communications, fire support, logistics and infantry tactics. Larger scale operations are often done jointly with American battalions. This operational training aims to make the battalion self-sustainable tactically, operationally and logistically so that the battalion will be prepared to take over responsibility for battle space.

As of October 5, 2005 the New Iraqi Army had 1 Battalion, or 750 soldiers, trained well enough to be "deployed independently," i.e. without the help of others such as the United States. [13]

However, since June of 2004, the partnership between Coalition forces and Iraqi forces has increased due to the number of Battalions growing in the Iraqi army, which now stands around 115. Out of this number, it has been deemed that 80 of them are able to carry out operations in the field with Coalition support limited to logistics and strategic planning, whilst another 20-30 battlions still need major Coalition support to carry out their operations.

Training has been impeded by domestic instability, infiltration by insurgents, and high desertion rates. But inspite of these setbacks strides have been made to improve the level of training for the Iraqi Army. Members of NATO, MNF-Iraq, and the occupying American military forces are conducting ongoing training programs for both enlisted men and officers including training as medics, engineers, quartermasters, military police, and so forth. Outside of the various courses and programs being held in-country, both American staff colleges and military academies have begun taking Iraqi applicants, with Iraqi cadets being enrolled at both the USMA West Point and the US Air Force Academy.

[edit] Equipment

Virtually all of the equipment used by the former Iraqi Army was either destroyed by the U.S. and Britain during Operation Iraqi Freedom or was looted during the chaotic aftermath shortly after the fall of the Hussein regime. Four T-55 tanks however have been recovered from an old army base in al-Muqdadiyah and are now in service with the 1st Mechanized Division.

On February 2, 2004 the U.S government announced that Nour USA was awarded a $327,485,798 contract to procure equipment for both the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi National Guard; however, this contract was cancelled in March 2004 when an internal Army investigation (initiated due to complaints from losing bidders) revealed that Army procurement officers in Iraq were violating procedures with sloppy contract language and incomplete paperwork.

On May 25th, 2004 the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) stated that they would award a contract worth $259,321,656 to ANHAM Joint Venture in exchange for procuring the necessary equipment (and providing its required training) for a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 35 battalions. The minimum bid would begin to be delivered immediately and further orders could be placed until the maximum of 35 battalion sets or September of 2006 after the first order was fully delivered.

In 2005, Hungary agreed to give 77 T-72 Main Battle Tanks to the Iraqi Army, to be refurbished by Defense Solutions. On July 29, 2005, the United Arab Emirates gained approval to purchase 180 M113A1 APCs from Switzerland, with the intent to transfer them to Iraq as a gift (since cancelled). 173 M113s, 44 Panhards, and 100 Spartans donated by Jordan, Pakistan and UAE. 600 DZIK3 APCs (option 1200) for delivery by Jan 2007. 573 Akrep APCs for delivery by Jan 2007. 756 Cougar APCs (option 1050) for delivery by Nov 2008.

Image:IraqiArmyHMMWV in Mar 2006.jpg
The 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Division took delivery of 10 armored HMMWVs in March 2006

713 M1114s and 400 M1151s purchased for IA with delivery complete by end July 2006.

[edit] Challenges

The New Iraq Army currently faces multiple challenges it must overcome to establish itself as the premier symbol of authority in Iraq. These include:

[edit] Iraqi insurgency

Based on Bush administration expectations that coalition forces would be welcomed as liberators after the overthrow of the Hussein regime, prewar planners had only been expecting minimal if any resistance from Saddam loyalists. For a multitude of reasons, this ideal scenario has not materialized and now the New Iraqi Army faces an insurgency which has caused more coalition casualties than during the war itself. An increase in size as well as an increased sophistication in the nature of the attacks has seriously weakened the efforts of the New Iraqi Army to maintain internal security.

[edit] Lack of equipment

Whilst US troops have state of the art equipment, Iraqi troops have had to make do with a far lesser degree of sophistication and quality. One of the reasons for this is that the US administration is quite clearly worried about giving inexperienced Iraqi troops equipment which could end up in the hands of the insurgents. It is probably the case that once the US feels certain sections of the Iraqi Army are competent enough to take on the insurgency that they will be given superior firepower. Also, Saddam's troops used to use Russian made weapons, and many if not most of the soldiers of the New Iraqi Army are veterans of the old army. The new army may have to take some time to be trained for the use of American made weapons.

[edit] Infiltration

The Iraqi Army is widely known to have been infiltrated by a multitude of groups ranging from local militias to foreign insurgents. This has led to highly publicized deaths and compromised operations (perhaps the most prominent being an Iraqi suicide bomber detonating his vest inside a US military base near Mosul killing more than 20 people<ref></ref>). Infiltration by elements not primarily loyal to the Iraqi Army presents an ongoing danger to the lives and operations of the entire army.

[edit] Inadequate intelligence gathering capabilities

The Iraqi Army currently has no formalized apparatus for the collection of military intelligence (similar to the DIA). Currently it must rely on intelligence provided by the United States for the majority of its operations. Developing a professional intelligence corps to augment the effectiveness of the Iraqi Army remains an ongoing challenge.

[edit] Lack of adequate logistical support

The Iraqi Army presently must rely on US logistical support to conduct the majority of its operations. It currently lacks critical support services such as transportation, medevac capabilities, medical logistics, and intelligence. Until the Iraqi Army can develop these capabilities, it will continue to depend on US forces for support.

[edit] Insufficient advisory effort

As of October 2006, there are approximately 4000 US combat advisors embedded with Iraqi units out of 130,000 US soldiers stationed in that country. Defense analyst Andrew Krepinevich argues that the roughly twelve advisors per Iraqi battalion (approximatly 500 troops) is less than half the sufficient amount needed to efficiently implement the combat advisory effort[14]. Krepinevich argues that officers try to avoid taking on advisory tasks because the potential for promotion is much lower due to the Army's culture of promoting officers that have served with a domestic units over ones that have served with foreign forces.[15]

[edit] No Military Judicial Punishment system

The Iraqi Army currently lacks a military judicial punishment system thus giving those in command little leverage over subordinates who would choose to disobey orders<ref name="MSSI08/06" />.

[edit] Ineffective Leadership at the Ministry of Defense

The current Minister of Defense, Abd al-Qadr Muhammed Jassim al-Mufraji, has limited experience and faces a number of hurdles impeding his effective governance. Some of the major problems include inheriting a staff that is notorious for favorism, corruption, and deeply divided along sectarian and ethnic lines. He rivals with the Minister of the Interior, Jawad al-Bolani, National Security Advisor Muwafaq al-Rubai, and Minister of Staff for National Security Affairs, Shirwan al-Waili. He has been criticized for not being able to stand up to the Badr Brigade and Mehdi Army members which dominate his own party. In addition a Sunni he faces inherent challenges working within a Shite-dominated government.

[edit] Iranian Influence

Iranian influence is felt heavily within the SCIRI and Badr Organization with one US intelligence analyst commenting that Iran funds many different groups to ensure substantial influence regardless of which faction is likely to dominate the political or military power base[16]. This foreign influence has obvious detrimental effects on the Iraqi Army's effectiveness as it reduces the effectiveness of the Iraqi Army's leadership to exercise its authority without first considering or acquiescing to Iran's demands.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] Further reading

New Iraqi Army

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