The Developing Iraqi Insurgency: Status at End-2004

Much has been made of the decision to disband the Iraqi Army, and many see it as a key failure in US policy. As has been explained earlier, however, the decision needs to be put in perspective. Most of the Iraqi Army had either been shattered in the field or had deserted before ORHA, much less the CPA, entered the country. In many cases, key facilities had been destroyed or looted to the point where barracks could not be occupied. Not “disbanding” was not a choice in any serious sense; it had already happened, and events since that time have shown that creating effective forces would have required a massive training, equipment, and facility improvement effort – and massive purging of low grade forces and inadequate leaders.