Leadership: Europe Trains Iraqi Staff Officers


January 24, 2006: NATO instructors trained 1,500 Iraqi staff officers and commanders in 2005, a third of them in Europe, the rest in Iraq. This year, another 1,500 will be trained, most of them at the Iraqi Joint Staff College outside Baghdad. The students go on to take positions on brigade and division staffs, or to command those units. Many of the students had already graduated from Iraqi or Russian staff schools before 2003. But that training emphasized Russian methods, which are more rigid and subject to control from above. NATO techniques emphasize initiative, the use of more technology, and better trained troops. Teaching Iraqi officers NATO methods is expected to make the Iraqi armed forces more effective, and make it easier for the Iraqi military to cooperate with NATO forces. What effect this will have on the Iraqi tendency for military coups, is unknown.


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