The recently installed Iraqi prime minister removed 36 military commanders in a sweeping shake-up on Wednesday, in his first public attempt to put his mark on the Iraqi security forces battling to retake territory from Islamic State militants.
Despite receiving more than $25 billion in American training and equipment over the past 10 years, the Iraqi military buckled, and thousands of troops fled, in the face of the Islamic State’s rapid advance across Iraq this summer. Only half the remaining units are considered fit to fight, according to American officials.
But even as Iraqi and American officials are racing to expand the security forces and turn their losses around, they are having to struggle with a widespread perception of the Iraqi Army as a hopelessly corrupt and incompetent institution.
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