"The Iraqi Army presently must rely on US logistical support to conduct the majority of its operations. It currently lacks critical support services such as transportation, medevac capabilities, medical logistics, and intelligence. Until the Iraqi Army can develop these capabilities, it will continue to depend on US forces for support."
There are a number of related things about the situation in Iraq that continue to bother me. One of them came into clear focus today when I heard a "talking head" (British) mention the lack of "underpinning" and military "infrastructure" possessed by the new army that we have been building in Iraq.
Armies are famously dependent on their logistical "tail," that is the aggregation of all the services an army needs to exist and operate and the organizations which fulfill those needs.
Add some more categories if you like.
The old Iraqi Army had all these services. That was one of the good reasons for not abandoning it as an institution. I am familiar with the argument that the old Iraqi Army had disbanded itself and I reject that argument because the officers and men who manned the above listed services were still present in the country and could have been brought back into service to resume performing the jobs they had done all their professional lives. These men had sustained a long, long war against Iran and had continued to sustain what was left of their army through many years of sanctions and Saddam’s idiocy. They could have done the job.
Bremer is eager to take credit for the dissolution of that army and its replacement with a madcap collection of semi-militia national guard units, a tiny, under-equipped border defense force and a lot of police. This has "morphed" into a sizable army which is still under-equipped for combat against both the insurgents and the true sectarian militia armies from whom the army will ultimately and inevitably have to wrest control of Iraq.
To make that worse, much worse it now seems clear to me that this army that we have been creating is almost entirely an organization made up of headquarters and combat units… As it is now, the Iraqi army depends on the coalition for its logistics.
Well, folks, we need to have a discussion about that. Until the Iraqi Army can sustain itself, we coalitionists can never leave without leaving behind us a collapsing force.