Saadi seemed genuinely puzzled when asked if he had noticed any changes in American support during the more than two years that he had been leading the Iraqi fight against ISIS. Saadi said, “There was no difference between the support given by Obama and Trump.”

Why is it that the US-trained Golden Division and Counter-Terrorism Service played such a key role in the defeat of ISIS while the Iraqi army ignominiously fled from the ISIS militants that seized much of Iraq in 2014?

Saadi explained, “We have zero tolerance for sectarianism,” which has been the bane of Iraqi security services. Iraq’s minority Sunni population have long viewed the Iraqi security services as armed Shia groups with a deeply sectarian agenda.

The Counter-Terrorism Service, consisting of about 10,000 soldiers, also demands continuous training for its soldiers, unlike the Iraqi army, which only requires basic training.