The Best Defense

Tom dwells on the mistakes he and others have made thinking about the war in Iraq

It is all here, in technicolor. I am still haunted by that phrase, "hard to imagine." It wasn't just Paul Wolfowitz who came up short. As I note in this interview, I once thought keeping a residual military force in Iraq was a good idea.

 

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The Best Defense

Why the Iraqi army won’t fight: It isn’t for lack of equipment, training or doctrine

The problem with the Iraqi army isn't lack of training, or command and control structures, or insufficient counterinsurgency training. The forces they are fighting -- and losing to -- don't have any of that.

The reason the Iraqi army won't fight is that it lacks a reason to do so. This is a problem of governance. Their enemies are willing to fight and die for their cause. They advance in Toyota pickups, probably communicate via cellphone, and apparently have found little opposition from Sunni inhabitants.

The problem is that many Iraqi government soldiers are not willing to die for Maliki's version of Iraq.

HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images