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Army Journal Cites Problems With Iraqis

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

TOPEKA, Kan. —  Iraqi soldiers being trained by American military advisers go on rampages, flee from dangerous situations and waste ammunition in undisciplined bursts of fire at any provocation, according to an account in a U.S. Army journal.

In contrast to the iron discipline imposed during Saddam Hussein's regime,"the new army serves the cause of freedom, and officers and soldiers alike are a bit confused about what this means,"Lt. Col. Carl D. Grunow wrote in the July-August issue of Military Review.

Iraqi soldiers frequently use excessive force, going on retaliatory rampages after colleagues are killed by insurgents, Grunow wrote in the journal, a publication of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

"The `burst reaction'may be attributed to Iraqis experiencing denial, anger and grief all at the same time,"he wrote.

Grunow, who spent a year with an Iraqi armored brigade north of Baghdad, also said that Iraqis often fail to report for training, and that sometimes up to 40 percent of some units flee from dangerous situations without fear of punishment.

"As of this writing, the only power holding them is the promise of a paycheck (not always delivered) and a sense of duty. Good soldiers leave after receiving terrorist threats against their families,"Grunow wrote.

(Story continues below)

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The old Iraqi army"executed deserters unhesitatingly,"he said.

Another problem, Grunow wrote, is the Iraqi"death blossom,"in which an attack by even a single sniper"provokes the average Iraqi soldier to empty his 30-round magazine and fire whatever belt of ammunition happens to be in his machine gun."

That is both dangerous and wasteful, he said.

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On the Net:

Military Review:http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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