Tags: America's Forum | Iraq | iraq | military | training | scott neil

Iraq Veteran Scott Neil: Iraqi Military Lacks Ability to 'Refit'

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 02:06 PM

If the training given to the Iraqi military is going to last beyond the short term, those forces must be taught how to continue the training themselves, says former Green Beret and Special Forces Iraq War veteran Scott Neil.

The current training "will reinvigorate the Iraqis well. They've seen the total carnage of ISIS, they know, hopefully, and understand that they need to defend themselves," Neil, who also served in Afghanistan, told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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The New York Times recently reported that American soldiers who returned to Iraq to train forces there to fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) had found the Iraqi military in disrepair. Its poor state was disheartening for the Americans, who thought the training given at the end of the Iraq War had been a success.

Neil said that the question for this new round of training is: Once the Iraqis are considered successfully trained, "how do you get them to refit and then march forward?"

If they don't know how to "refit" on their own, "they're just going to fall backwards, they're going to have people going back home. They're only part-time paid soldiers at times, and it won't be sustainable," he said.

"We found out when we started to leave that we can train an individual soldier or we can teach him how to maneuver like a soldier, but what was really lacking was the sustainment part," Neil said.

The Iraqi soldiers are "just degrading what they have now, and they don't have reserves or an ability to refit," he added.

"What we see now out of the administration is this admiration for tactical successes, when the rest of us are realizing the strategic failure," he said. "And until we address those over time and the great partnerships over time, all you will get is minor tactical successes out of the Iraqis."

The Iraq veteran said that when he was serving in the country, "we immediately started with the Special Forces, training with the Peshmerga, the Kurds up north. They were dedicated, they were loyal fighters, and that was all the way back in 2003, 2004, that led to the Iraqi commandos, the Iraqi counterterrorism forces. They became a very professional fighting force."

But after leaving, the Iraqis "basically, through political measures, gutted the leadership, marginalized those units, and today those soldiers are just like me. They're 40, 50 years old, and the new generation hasn't stepped up," Neil said.

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra joined Neil on Newsmax TV. He said that "if you're going to build a professional army, you have to build over time a culture of professionalism, excellence, integrity and discipline."

The Michigan Republican added: "We taught [the Iraqis] how to train and fire guns and other weapons and how to attack and clear an area. But we never enabled them or helped them develop the correct culture."

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If the training given to the Iraqi military is going to last beyond the short term, those forces must be taught how to continue the training themselves, says former Green Beret and Special Forces Iraq War veteran Scott Neil.
iraq, military, training, scott neil
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2015-06-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 02:06 PM
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