DOD Reviewing Iraq Assessments

Senior Pentagon leadership is reviewing Iraq assessments delivered by advising teams, which first deployed to the country in June, said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. However, Kirby said it will be a matter of “some time” before Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his team will analyze the judgments and assessments of Iraqi security forces. Hagel and the Joint Staff will digest the reports before making recommendations, Kirby said on July 14. “It is more important to get this issue right than it is to get it quick,” he added. “We are in a process right now that may or may not lead to follow on specific military advisor missions.” Advising teams remain in Iraq and are providing reports about the Iraqi military and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the terrorist group which has taken control of large swaths of northern Iraq. Advisers are updating their assessments as they gather more information, and the reports now being reviewed at the Pentagon are seen as merely initial findings. The joint operations centers, in Baghdad and Irbil, are up-and-running and US troops are coordinating with Iraq forces from these locations, a large piece of which is to process information from ISR flights the US is operating over Iraq.