View Full Version : McCaffrey Says Iraq Army is 'Willing,' but Not Ready

05-03-2006, 11:19 AM
3 May Washington Times - General Says Iraq Army is 'Willing,' but Not Ready (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060502-110459-2311r.htm) by Rowan Scarborough.

The new Iraqi army is "real, growing and willing to fight," but lacks basic equipment and will need up to five more years before it can wage war without U.S. military help, says a new report by a retired four-star general who toured Iraq in April.

Perhaps just as important, Sunni Muslims -- the minority sect who dominated Iraq under dictator Saddam Hussein but now find themselves at a political disadvantage -- are joining the army in large numbers, reports retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey in a seven-page memo written for his colleagues at the U.S. Military Academy.

Gen. McCaffrey also warns that "there is a rapidly growing animosity" among U.S. troops toward the press.

"The reason it bothers me is shades of Vietnam," Gen. McCaffrey said in an interview. "It took my generation 20 years to get over Vietnam, the sense that the press had been against us as soldiers."

Much of his April 25 memo focuses on the Iraqi army and police.

"The battalion-level formation are in many cases excellent. Most are adequate," Gen. McCaffrey says. "However, they are very badly equipped with only a few light vehicles, small arms, most with body armor and one or two uniforms. They have almost no mortars, heavy machine guns, decent communications equipment, artillery, armor, or [Iraqi] air transport, helicopter and strike support." ...

05-03-2006, 09:51 PM
To me the basic point here creates something of a paradox. One the one hand if you donít supply the new army they will never be ready to fight on the other hand if you supply them before they are ready large amounts of material will end up in the hands of the insurgence, either by corruption or capture. But I guess there is just no easy answer for that one.