Monday, December 04, 2006

Standing Up

We've heard all too often from President George Bush that we will stand down in Iraq once the Iraqi army stands up. How's that going? From the LA Times:

Instead, the soldiers of the Iraqi army's 9th Mechanized Division and their American trainers had walked into a deadly ambush Friday. From upper-story apartments, insurgents stopped the soldiers' advance with grenades and shoulder-fired rockets. Others launched coordinated mortar strikes, hitting one of two nearby Iraqi field posts.

By the time the 11-hour battle was over, one Iraqi soldier had been killed and six others wounded, including one who shot himself in the foot. A U.S. soldier was also wounded and, according to American troops interviewed, additional casualties were averted only because U.S. Apache attack helicopters were called in and American trainers shot their way out of the ambush.

"Fear took over" among the Iraqis, Staff Sgt. Michael Baxter said.

"They refused to move. We were yelling at them to move," he said. "I grabbed one guy and shoved him into a building. I was saying, 'God get me out of this, because these guys are going to get me killed.' "

The offensive was initially billed by U.S. officials in Baghdad as an Iraqi-led success and a case study in support of the Pentagon's increasing reliance on using American troops as military advisors as a way to shift security responsibilities to Iraqi soldiers.

Keep in mind that the Iraqi 9th Mechanized Division is considered the best trained and equipped division in the their army. The article even goes on to state that this division likely won't even fight against the Shia, as they are mainly compromised of Shia themselves. They can only even be used against the Sunni.

Also consider that these aren't even the guys Duncan Hunter has talked about deploying to Baghdad. The guys Hunter is talking about are at no where near this level of readiness.

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