What New Zealand can teach the Iraqi Army
military lessons over the years
Of all the things our government might do, they’ve decided to spend millions on training the iraqi army.
Few countries soldiers have enjoyed such breadth and depth of training as the Iraqi army.
Centuries before New Zealand had any sort of an army, military training was a feature of Iraqi society.
From 1533 to 1918 Iraqi soldiers were trained as part of the Military of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman military instructors were themselves recipients of the latest modern military training from French experts training.
Then in 1917, when the Ottomans took their eye off the ball for a second, the good old British took control of Iraq, sharing their great stock of efficient killing people traditions with the locals.
In 1932, the Kingdom of Iraq was granted official independence. This was in accordance with the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930, whereby the United Kingdom would end its official mandate on the condition that the Iraqi government would allow British advisers to take part in government affairs, allow British military bases to remain, and a requirement that Iraq assist the United Kingdom in wartime.
Some Iraqi people didn’t think their independence was fair dinkum, so several coups were mounted by Iraqi army officers.
Open hostilities between the British and the Iraqis lasted from 2 May to 30 May 1941. During that time, the German government and the Italian government kindly provided some training to the Iraqis.
In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Iraqis deployed an expeditionary force which peaked at 15-18,000 men. These forces operated under Jordanian military guidance.
During the14 July Revolution. King Faisal II of Iraq along with members of the royal family were murdered. The coup brought Abd al-Karim Qasim to power. He withdrew from the Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union, who provided Iraqi troops with more training.
Saddam Hussein is not looked on as a super good guy, but he did provide the Iraqi people with a great deal of military training. Looking to build fighting power against Iran soon after the outbreak of the Iran–Iraq War he doubled the size of the Iraqi army from 1981, when it numbered 200,000 soldiers in 12 divisions and 3 independent brigades, to 1985, when it had 500,000 men in 23 divisions and nine brigades.
In the days leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the following Iraq War, the Army consisted of 375,000 troops, organized into five corps.
Based on Bus’s administration expectations that coalition forces would be welcomed as liberators after the overthrow of the Hussein regime,prewar planners had only been expecting little if any resistance from the Iraqi people. Thus the new army was initially focused on external defence operations. The new Army was originally intended to comprise 27 battalions in three divisions numbering 40,000 soldiers in three years time. Vinnell Corporation was engaged to train the first nine battalions.
The Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), headed by Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, was the organization set up by the United States military with the responsibility of training and development of the new army. On August 2, 2003, the first battalion of new Iraqi Army recruits started a nine-week training course at a training base in Qaraqosh. They graduated on October 4, 2003
Army training was transferred from Vinnell Corporation to the United States armed forces supported by U.S. allies, and is now done by three Iraqi training battalions.
So, up till now, Iraqi troops have been trained constantly, by just about every nation except New Zealand. Maybe we just don’t want to be left out.
Iraqi people have suffered decades of invasion, civil war, field position war, chemical war – what can New Zealand military instructors possibly have to tell them?
The Iraqi’s first military instructors were the Turks, who creamed us when we tried to invade their country via Gallipoli.
Ok, I know that politicians have a lot of awfully clever advisers telling them what to do, but this one just doesn’t add up for me at all.
What can New Zealand possibly teach Iraqi soldiers that they don’t already know ?
How to play ten guitars?