U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter claimed on Wednesday that not enough Iraqis are joining the country's military forces to fight ISIS, which has invaded parts of Iraq.
According to The Hill, Carter told a House Armed Services Committee hearing:
Our training efforts in Iraq have thus far been slowed by a lack of trainees. We simply haven’t received enough recruits. Of the 24,000 Iraqi security forces we originally envisioned training at our four sites by this fall, we’ve only received enough recruits to be able to train about 7,000 in addition to 2,000 counter-terrorism service personnel.
ISIS forces captured Mosul in June 2014, and took Ramadi in May of this year without much of a fight from Iraqi forces who outnumbered ISIS by more than 10 to 1, noted RT.com.
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After Ramadi fell, President Obama responded by sending 450 more U.S. soldiers to Iraq to recruit and train Sunnis.
However, ISIS is also made up of Sunnis, so that may play a factor in the reluctance of Iraq's Sunnis to fight on behalf of Iraq's Shiite-controlled government.
According to Reuters, General Martin Dempsey, the highest ranking U.S. military officer, told the committee, "If [the Iraqis'] spine is not stiffened by the threat of ISIL and their way of life, nothing we do will stiffen their spine."
Over in Syria, the U.S. has reportedly started training 90 rebels to fight ISIS.