Iraqi Military Coming Along

Iraqi Force Developments and Sensationalistic Press Reporting

DJ Elliott with lots of good information, including:

In 2007, the planned expansion standardized the IA at four brigades to the division and three line battalions to the brigade, adding two peshmerga divisions and five ISOF battalions. Additionally, there are indications that a 16th division is being established south of Baghdad where Major General Lynch needs seven more Iraqi Army battalions to join the 8th IA Division and the oversized 4-6 IA Brigade (five battalions). The Iraqis currently plan an army with at least 16 IA regular divisions, 65 brigades, and 195 battalions. In addition, the ISOF is splitting off from the IA and expanding to at least three brigades (probably six or seven).

He points out that the US planning and direction of the new Iraqi Army was focused on the anti-insurgency force, which consisted of the first 10 divisions and was reached in 2006.

DJ then runs down the list of Iraq’s potential enemies (all of which are currently capable of defeating Iraq if they put their minds to the task) and the list of Iraq’s current military capabilities. The most glaring weakness of the Iraqi Army at this time, in terms of conventional warfare, is its low number of tanks and virtually complete lack of artillery. Though the individual soldiers are becoming quite capable, the lack of armor and artillery, coupled with minimal logistics, mean the Iraqi Army isn’t capable of fighting anything tougher than insurgents.

Go read the whole thing for a wealth of information on the subject.


  1. I glanced at the originating article but missed discussion of IA retention rates; if it’s there, I apologize. Because it’s a critical consideration. If you want to have x-divisions capable by 2009, or 2010, or 2014, or whenever, you’re going to need to know not only how many guys are coming in and how long it takes to train them but how many are going out, too. That’s fine if you want 14 divisions to be fully mission capable and self-sustaining by the year 20-whenever; sounds optimistic though if you have legions of soldiers doing 6 months and going AWOL. And since I brought it up, I think it might be worthwhile to do away with brigades entirely and go with ‘legion’ instead.

  2. According to MNSTC-I congressional testemony, the IA AWOL rete is down to 1.2 percent. Overall annual attrition is 18-20,000 (KIA, WIA, dismissals, etc.) Basic IA thruput is over 104,000/year. They expect to add 80,000 this year to IA. Compare that to the 89,000/year the US Army recruits and retains past the six month mark for eventual planned size of the IA.