A classified military assessment of Iraq’s security forces concludes that Iraqi forces loyal to Nuri Kal-Maliki "are now heavily dependent on Shiite militias — many of which were trained in Iran — as well as on advisers from Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force," The New York Times reported on Saturday.
Pentagon leaders are now reviewing assessment and it may be some time before decisions are made about what additional assistance the U.S. should provide as the Baghdad government battles Sunni insurgents.
According to a report by Associated Press, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, has read the completed assessment. A Pentagon spokesman said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel received it but hadn't reviewed it yet.
The Pentagon spokesman said there is a sense of urgency about the situation in Iraq but it's important to get the decision right.
The New York Times the confidential report says that "many units are so deeply infiltrated by either Sunni extremist informants or Shiite personnel backed by Iran that any Americans assigned to advise Baghdad’s forces could face risks to their safety, according to United States officials."
"The report concludes that only about half of Iraq’s operational units are capable enough for American commandos to advise them if the White House decides to help roll back the advances made by Sunni militants in northern and western Iraq over the past month.
"Adding to the administration’s dilemma is the assessment’s conclusion that Iraqi forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki are now heavily dependent on Shiite militias — many of which were trained in Iran — as well as on advisers from Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force."