Why the Iraqi army keeps failing

“The ones to be blamed for this are the government and the local authorities in Ramadi,” said a police colonel who fled the city on Sunday, in an interview with the Guardian. “The army don’t have the fighting spirit. They were there waiting for Isis to attack. They are poorly equipped comparing to Isis. We are fighting with guns and pistols while the Islamic State has Humvees and IEDs and suicide bombers.”

Even with the support of U.S. air strikes, Iraqi forces couldn’t dislodge the extremist militants from their entrenched positions in the province. Part of the problem, as The Washington Post reported last year, is that they weren’t ready to battle an organization with the sophistication of the Islamic State.

“Iraq’s military is still a ‘checkpoint Army,’ more interested in manning roadblocks than developing intelligence and engaging in counterinsurgency missions,” wrote the Post’s Kevin Sullivan and Greg Jaffe.

The other problem is the country’s sectarian politics.