Iraq's military unlikely to turn the tide

Recent assessments by Western officials and military experts indicate that about a quarter of Iraq’s military forces are “combat ineffective,” its air force is minuscule, morale among troops is low and its leadership suffers from widespread corruption.

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As other nations consider whether to support military action in Iraq, their decision will hinge on the quality of Iraqi forces, which have proved far more ragged than expected given years of American training…

“Now we are just in the position of protecting what we have left of our territory,” said an Iraqi Army commander in Diyala, where ISIS fighters and other Sunni groups are fighting. “Our army soldiers are really down,” said the commander, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak with reporters…

“The momentum is with ISIS,” said one Western official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. “They grow and grow every day.”

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