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Iraqi Army Failure is Failure for U.S. Military, Maliki

The Washington Post reports that “the Iraqi army’s collapse this week marked a stark failure for the U.S. military that trained it and for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, which has struggled to address leadership and morale problems that now threaten the force’s ability to defend the country.”  

“Although they far outnumbered the insurgents and had greater firepower, Maliki’s troops have fled by the thousands in the country’s north, allowing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to take the city of Mosul and start an ominous march toward Baghdad.”  

“Former U.S. military officials who oversaw the building of the Iraqi military placed much of the blame for that dereliction on Maliki, who has purged the Iraqi army of some of its most capable leaders.”  

“The army’s dilemma came down to a single question that soldiers had to ask themselves as they faced sudden attack, said Derek Harvey, a former top U.S. military official in Iraq: ‘Do I want to die for Maliki?’”