Would you fight?

As I mentioned in a recent post, the collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of ISIS should not be laid at the feet of the troops. The rot was centered in weak and inept senior officials, the result of a weak and inept government.

A piece today gives a view from the ground. One excerpt:

The brigade left Basra on June 14 with the important mission of reinforcing Qaim, its officers said. The troops had only the food and water they carried. Daytime temperatures hovered near 120.

Several officers said the system the Interior Ministry had devised to supply its forces was suited for peacetime, and predictably failed in war. They said it relied on contracts with businesses that would deliver supplies to the troops’ main garrisons. But as the border-police convoys headed for territory under militant influence or control, the vendors would not follow…

By June 17, the brigade was in position around Qaim, with hopes of blocking ISIS fighters’ free passage to and from Syria. But supplies were so depleted the troops could barely fight. Its members said they were given only a small piece of cake and about 10 ounces of water a day…

With supplies almost gone, the brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Sadiq Rasheed Abdilal, left Qaim to complain to senior officers, his troops said. They have not heard from him since.

There’s more in the original. Read it. There may be some cowardice in the ranks of the Iraqi army. But the real story is a government incapable of governing. And the US political leadership that put that government in place.

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