Ben, my lib hawk bro, makes the case for the developing Iraqi army and the US mlitary's approach;
Since the MSM and other Democrats mostly portray the situation in Iraq as a quagmire, and jumped on the Pentagon's categorization of only one Iraqi battalion as being "Level 1" as meaning that no other Iraqi troops are even able to fight, I was wondering how they'd handle the cognitive dissonance when it becomes clear that the new Iraq is winning.
This was a curious thing, and an example of how the intelligentsia of this nation, through years of self-inflicted isolation from all matters military, are so completely out of touch that they are unable to understand any military information at all.
The United States, as is popular in the West, uses a strong "dual track" military, with parallel officer and non-com heirarchies. We are teaching the Iraqis to do this as well. One of the advantages of this system is a dual chain of command, and one of the advantages of that is the means by which you can rapidly expand a military. In the old days- prior to WWI- an entire Army unit, a regiment, battalion, etc, would be formed up at once from draftees and/or volunteers. In many cases the leaders would be as untrained as the lowliest private. This had the effect of US military units being very... er... unpredictable in the field.
This was a big problem, historically, as the US military is generally grossly undersized in peacetime and has always needed to expand for a war. The low point was the Civil War. One of the reasons it was such a bloodbath was that much of the Army, from the general staff on down, was, frankly, inexperienced and inept.
But the dual track, professional system offers a way out, a way to grow and train the military quickly when need be. Simply put- you take your best unit, and split it up, combining it with people from a poorly rated unit- or perhaps new recruits- to form two new units. Your good unit ceases to exist, but somewhere out there, an inexperienced and inept battalion commander suddenly finds himself working with a trained, competent Sergeant Major, and maybe a few good staff officers, and the remodelling begins. Likewise, raw recruits or perhaps lazy soldiers used to "old school" leadership suddenly find themselves with a good commander, with high expectations.
You might think you'd get two mediocre units where you once had one good and one bad, but this isn't the case. Troops have an uncanny instinct for their own safety, and in wartime, rapidly understand that the better their own unit is, the less likely it is they will die. George Patton's troops had lower casualty rates than other forces in Europe- though you'd never get the sense of this from the movie and to someone who doesn't know the counterintuitive dynamics of the situation, it seems strange given his aggressive style. But the reality was, troops understood it was because of his aggressive style and competed to join his units. Soldiers in wartime learn quickly and given the opportunity will always want to be in a good unit. So in Iraq, once Iraqi soldiers see how its done by professionals, they copy. You start with one good and one bad unit, you mix them up into two mediocre units, and you rapidly get two good units.
This is how the US Army grew in WWII. The model is still in use today.
Given that, a military analyst, rather than fault the Iraqis from dropping from 3 "Cat 1" battalions to 1, would have considered a gain from 1 to 3 a sign that good leaders are not being properly distributed.
The irony is that not only is reality so frequently 180 degrees off from what the untrained observer sees, it is that when talking about their own areas of expertise, left leaning liberals understand this. Case in point: My movie making relatives assure me that although a movie shoot on location looks, to my inexpert eyes, to be a study in laziness as 100 people wait around, sleep in trucks, or forage amongst bagel spreads while 1 person moves a cable, this is in actuality a tightly budgeted, carefully managed and very efficient operation.
hat tip: Ben