Train Them Better

Max Boot makes a practical, constructive proposal for rescuing what's left of democratic Iraq. Money quote:

We have more than 140,000 troops in Iraq, but fewer than 4,000 of them act as advisors. There are barely enough to go around for higher-level Iraqi headquarters; there are no "embeds" available to consistently operate at the company and platoon level, where most of the action occurs. The Iraqi police forces are even more neglected.

What's more, some of the best and brightest American officers are being steered away from Iraqi units. Everyone in the U.S. armed forces knows that the way to the top is to command American units, not to advise foreign units — even if the latter task is more difficult and more important.

We have to make it prestigious within the military culture to be embedded with and training Iraqi forces at all levels. Right now, it isn't. That has to change if we are to have a chance.