2015 March 24 Tuesday
America's Allies In Iraq Very Poor Fighters?

Shiite Militias and the Iraqi Army have had a hard time just clearing Tikrit of ISIS.

The pro-government force of more than 30,000 is struggling to clear a midsize city in a province never believed to have had more than 1,000 Islamic State fighters.

Iraqis would rather fight in ethnic/religious militias than for the state.

But recruiting and retraining efforts for the Iraqi Army have not produced as many fighters as the parallel efforts by Shiite militias.

I'd like to know the total casualties of the Iraqi Army, Shiite militias, and ISIS/Daesh in the battle for Tikrit. My guess is that ISIS had far fewer casualties. I say this because the death rate of the Iraqi Army plus the Shiite militias was running at least 60 per day and possibly 100 or more per day. For how long? For how many dead total? If someone comes across a source then post in the comments.

A measure of the relative casualty rates of the two sides would give us an idea of the relative efficacy of the fighters on the two sides.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 March 24 07:45 PM 

WCN said at March 25, 2015 3:20 AM:

When they are fighting each other, it is good for us.

Jim said at March 25, 2015 6:35 AM:

best - I don't think creating chaos in the Middle East will turn out to be such a good idea. Libya under Quadaffi was much less dangerous to us than the present chaos which gives terrorists a base close to Europe and Mediterranean shiping.

Toddy Cat said at March 26, 2015 2:15 PM:

Of course, generally speaking, the attacker will have higher casualties than the defender when attacking a fortified/urban area, unless they have overwhelming firepower and don't mind using it (Americans at Iwo Jima, Russians in Grozny# or unless the defender's morale is very poor #Baghdad 2003#. But certainly, the quality of the Anti-ISIS forces #excluding the Peshmerga# does not seem to be particularly high. You do have to wonder why. Of all the forces trained by the U.S. over the last 60 or so years, only the South Koreans could really hold their own #although the ARVN in South Vietnam fought harder than they are often given credit for, despite their terrible senior officer corps). Does anyone who has served in the U.S. military have any insights?

AbelardLindsey said at March 27, 2015 3:06 PM:

ARVN is not doing well here.

Jim said at March 28, 2015 7:14 PM:

Toddy Cat - There is no mystery about all this. There is not and never was any such nation as Iraq. Shiites from Baghdad have no interest in dying to gain Mosul any more than Americans would be willing to die to gain Timbuctou.

Toddy Cat said at March 31, 2015 12:44 PM:

"ARVN is not doing well here."

I'm not sure what you mean, but yeah, the ARVN (the old South Vietnamese Army) was often criticized for not being as good as the Communists, but they would be popping champagne corks in D.C. if the Iraqi "Army" fought as well as the ARVN did.

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