The difficult and dangerous task of retraining Iraqi security forces to take on the Islamic State militants who’ve made impressive gains in the north and west of Iraq will require large numbers of trainers from the United States and NATO nations, according to a person familiar with joint assessments by the American-led coalition and the Iraqi government.
The expanded retraining effort being proposed by the United States may require as many as 1,000 foreign trainers from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Australia to restore the beleaguered Iraqi security forces to a battle-ready state led by American advisors, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made. The United States already has about 1,500 advisors in the country, and Western European allies have signaled their ability to send hundreds of trainers each, the person said.
While Britain and France are participating in airstrikes against the Islamic State and Germany is supporting Kurdish rebels in Iraq, getting those countries’ parliaments to approve sending ground troops into a war zone to train Iraqi forces is likely to be enormously complicated politically given the war fatigue in Washington and other Western capitals. […]