Just got this comment from a reader who really stays on top of the new Iraqi Army:
Over the last three weeks the Gov of Iraq and MNF-I have announced recruiting, training and equipping programs to increase the manpower of the Iraqi Army by 37 percent over the next nine months:
– 18,000 personnel to replace combat losses, desertions and BCDs.
– 12,000 personnel to over-man the IA combat Battalions at 110 percent.
– 18,700 personnel to establish 3 Division HQs, 5 Brigade HQs, 20 Battalions and 1 SOF Battalion.
The specific stated intent is to provide for a “Mobile Strategic Reserve” for the Iraqi Army by the end of this FY. The announcement specifically noted the addition of a fourth Brigade to the 9th IA Mech Division.
A three Division MSR.
What is its function?
– Quick Reaction Forces (QRFs).
Who currently fills this role?
– Coalition forces. (4 Division equivalents)
This is the implementation of a plan to reduce the coalition’s presence to 1 Division, Advisors and Air by the end-2007.
Reduced to 25-50,000 personnel.
Replaced by Iraqi Army.
If this is, indeed, the plan and it works, a year from now we’re going to be hearing “I question the timing” of the withdrawal of US forces. What we won’t hear, of course, is the the question of timing which gets these developments absolutely zero coverage today.
Is something going on in America right now that might make certain elements of the media hesitant to publish these military and political moves?