"Their televised graduation was supposed to be a moment of national celebration: A class of 1,000 Sunni Arab soldiers emerging from basic training would show Iraqis that the country’s worsening religious divide was not afflicting the national army.
The evaporation of the class underscores the struggling U.S. and Iraqi effort to increase recruitment from the disgruntled Sunni Arab minority, which forms the backbone of the insurgency.
The success or failure of the effort holds broad ramifications, especially as U.S. forces begin to hand control of troublesome Sunni cities and neighborhoods to Iraqi soldiers, most of whom are now Shiites and Kurds." Castaneda
I have tried repeatedly to get a straight answer from various authorities as to the representation of the various communities in units of the Iraqi Army. So far, I have not been successful with obtaining the over all numbers for the army as a whole or for particular units.
In my experience it is difficult but not impossible to get soldiers to serve effectively in units of a mixed ethno-religious nature. The smaller the units, the less it is possible to do so. The soldiers want to live and serve with their own people and ancestral enemies are generally not thought of as their own. In other words a brigade (3,000 men) might be "mixed" but a battalion (600 men) or a company (150 men) might be an impossibility.
Where did the "missing" 700 new Sunni soldiers disappear to? Where do you think?