I tried not to come up with such an extreme statement, but quite frankly after listening to the podcast below, I couldn’t put it any other way.
All hope is lost. The Iraqi army does not have a chance in hell of beating ISIS. At least not in the short-term.
The Financial Times Middle East and North Africa correspondent Borzou Daragahi filed this podcast from Iraq. In it, you hear the reason why I think this way.
You hear about Iraqi army commanders punishing their own under-equipped soldiers who were lucky enough to escape ISIS attacks. How instead of debriefing these soldiers and helping them, they literally spat on them. About how Iraqi commanders ignored pleas for air support from their units because they believed they were “exaggerating”. The podcast also talks about how sectarianism plays a role in the Iraqi army and the performance of the soldiers.
In my opinion, you can never win a fight as a national army, when many of your soldiers put their sectarian affiliation before their national identity. As a fighting force, ISIS does not have such a problem. Everyone is Sunni. But the Iraqi army does. And its a serious handicap.
Podcast: Under fire: the Iraqi army vs Isis