Iraqi Special Forces Fatigued from Overuse

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service forces participate in a training exercise as U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter observes at the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service Academy on the Baghdad Airport Complex in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 23, 2015. Carter is on a weeklong tour of the Middle East focused on reassuring allies about Iran and assessing progress in the coalition campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

Iraq’s CTS force did a fine job taking Ramadi back, but that’s got to be about it for a while:

The so-called Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) troops “are the best light infantry the Iraqis have,” said Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said of the CTS troops.

But, the senator added, they risk being worn out by overuse.

The elite forces recently led the way in taking back Ramadi from militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS and earlier spearheaded the offensive to recapture Tikrit when conventional Iraqi troops and Shia militias backed by Iran failed. They held on at the Baiji oil refinery when others fled and recently routed ISIS in fighting near Haditha in western Anbar province, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.

“They are beginning to prepare for other efforts to retake territory” from ISIS, said Reed, who recently returned from Iraq and meetings with U.S. and Iraqi commanders.

“One of the major objectives is Mosul,” he said, but “that’s probably months and months away” in the campaign against ISIS.


We could have nipped the Iraq’s “jayvee” problem in the bud three two years ago if Obama hadn’t purposely scuttled the Status of Forces Agreement.


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