The assessment states that Iraqi forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki are now heavily dependent on Shiite militias — many of which were trained in Iran — as well as on advisers from Iran’s Quds Force.
The assessment, which took two weeks to prepare under the guidance of Army Major General Dana Pittard, graded the strengths and weaknesses of units down to the brigade level, examining their equipment, ammunition, sectarian makeup, morale, leadership and other indicators. Each unit’s overall capability was rendered in a blunt color-coded chart: green if capable; red if not, the New York Times reported.
One of the assessment’s conclusions was that Iraqi forces had the ability to defend Baghdad, but not necessary hold all of it, especially against a major attack by the Islamic State fighters.
The assessment does not contain specific recommendations. Those will be developed separately by the United States Central Command and the Joint Staff and will be sent to the secretary of defense and the White House.
Photo credit: Volunteers trained with the Iraqi Army. (Ahmed Saad/Reuters/NYTimes)