Iraqi Air Force ill-equipped to maintain air sovereignty

Iraq’s Air Force Is unprepared to defend country

While Baghdad has made it clear it doesn’t want the U.S. to extend its troop presence in the country after 2011, Iraq’s Air Force won’t ready to maintain air sovereignty any time in the foreseeable future, experts said.

Last year, the government announced its intention of purchasing 18 F-16 Block 52 multi-role interceptors in an effort to fast track its way to an effective air defense, but delivery will only begin in 2013 and even this date is reportedly being pushed back, they said

“I don’t think the U.S. Air Force will be able to leave Iraq for at least five years, as there’s no way that the Iraqis alone will be able to deal with any kind of air threat for this period,” said Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Musa Qallab, an independent defense expert and former program manager for Gulf Cooperation Council Defense Issues Gulf Research Center in Dubai.


  1. Beyond that………the inability to properly perform logistics and maintenance is, and will continue to cripple both the Iraqi and Afghani military. The anectodotal consensus amongst those involved with both militaries I’ve spoken with is log and maintenance is viewed as not glamorous or manly enough to be involved in (I joined up to close my eyes and spray lead all over the place…….you know, warrier like), Coalition forces have been far to leniant and paternalistic in providing these services to our foreign allies (when you subsidise something all you ever get is more it), and it’s cultural to some degree (use stuff till it breaks then get a new one). Which makes me wonder if there’s not an American inside each of them just screaming to get out like Bush, Cheney and all the other erstwhile nation builders said. LOL!

  2. Just gotta be patient with them. In a couple years they’ll have a badass air force rivaling the one they had in the early 90’s.

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