The nation of Iraq has come a very long way in the few years it has existed free from Saddam. Yet talk of the nation being able to stand on its own are very premature—given that they have such nice neighbors as Iran and Pakistan.
This month the Iraqi National Defense College welcomed a team from the NATO Defense College to conduct the first ever Crisis Management Exercise with senior Iraqi leaders. This is the kind of thing that mature nations do routinely.
The exercise is centered around a fictitious scenario, which requires departmental and interagency cooperation to resolve a major crisis. Iraqi senior military and civil leaders must work together to overcome the emergency, while maintaining fundamental services, governmental functions, and security. Expect that it won’t run smoothly—they never do, even for experienced nations.
This is a great exercise, but think twice when someone suggests that the Iraqi government is mature and “ready to rock” on their own.