By Simon Kent.
NATO have announced that they are in talks with Iraqi officials to revive a coordinated training mission for Iraqi officers. Previously, NATO was in Iraq during the war against the ISIS predecessor, ISI, the Islamic State of Iraq.
At that time, NATO was generally involved with training the Iraqi army in Jordan and Iraq under NTM-I, or NATO Training Mission: Iraq. This was done in tandem with a US training effort.
Currently, NATO armies have pursued their own strategies for supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces, with some countries focused on Kurdish Peshmerga while others aid Iraq, but rule out attacking ISIS in Syria. There are 28 NATO countries in the anti-ISIS coalition.
Critics of these initiatives note that the training effort has previously been a complete failure, with the Iraqi armed forces collapsing during last year’s Mosul offensive, and more recently in Ramadi.
Other observers such as Michael Knights and Douglas Olivant point out that the Iraqi army has remaining divisions that have upheld the fight against ISIL for several years, and although not in the headlines, these units need more international support.
(Source: The Guardian)