21:20 GMT14 April 2021
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    As it has been proved in Iraq, no amount of US military aid can rebuild the Ukrainian army after being reduced to incompetence by its own government following the fall of the Soviet Union, a former Israeli security officer and military expert told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in an interview that the Iraqi army, which the US military helped train following the 2003 invasion, lacked the "will" to defeat the Islamic State militant group that had seized large areas of Iraq last year.

    Cautious support for the Carter statement was provided by White House spokesman Josh Earnest, saying Iraqi army's unwillingness to fight is a significant factor in the territorial gains of the Islamic State.

    Yakov Kedmi, a retired high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, said Iraq’s armed forces had been the best in the Middle East prior to US involvement which very quickly brought them down to the level where they became helpless in the face of half-trained militias.

    "We can draw a parallel with Ukraine in that Ukrainian authorities have managed to reduce it [the army] to the same level over the past 24 years of the country’s independence with no influence from the United States," Kedmi said.

    The expert said that US training had not succeeded in boosting morale in South Vietnam or any other of the many countries in which the United States has taken broad military action.

    "The only thing Americans do now is support the Ukrainian army financially, but even the United States does not have enough cash to rebuild the Ukrainian army today," he said, adding that troop morale is low because they are forced to fight against their own people in the east.

    The US Congress has been considering supplying Ukraine with lethal military aid since the conflict in southeast flared up in spring 2014. The current level of assistance has been reduced to military training and millions of dollars worth of what the US describes as defensive military equipment. A bill authorizing US lethal arms deliveries to Ukraine in 2016 will be put up for vote in the US Senate later this week, after it cleared the US House in May.

    Yevgeny Satanovsky, the president of the Moscow-based Institute for Middle East Studies, told Sputnik that the current government of Ukraine’s joy at the news of possible arms deliveries was premature, considering the detrimental effect that US military training has had on Vietnamese, Afghan, and Iraqi armies.

    "The protection that the US promised to South Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq wasn’t worth a dime either, same as it won’t be worth a dime in Ukraine, Baltics or Poland," the Middle East expert stated.

    In April, Washington redeployed a reported 300 military instructors from Italy to the Ukraine's city of Yavoriv, near the Polish border, as part of a mission to train the Ukrainian National Guard. Kiev is also planning to hold three joint drills with US troops later this year.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    military training, army, Ukraine, Iraq, Vietnam, US
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