The armed forces of Iraq have a long but not particularly successful history. They were initially formed in the early 1920s. Six military Coup d'états were mounted by the Army between 1936 and 1941. The armed forces first saw combat in the Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941. They fought against Israel in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, in the 1967 Six Day War, and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Two wars with the Kurds were fought in 1961-70 and 1974-75. A much larger conflict was the Iran-Iraq War, initiated by the Iraqis in 1980, which continued until 1988. Thereafter Iraq began the Iraq-Kuwait War which led to the Persian Gulf War of 1991, which led in turn to confrontations over the Iraqi no-fly zones during the 1990s, and finally the Iraq War of 2003. The Iraqi armed forces have had mixed success at the strategic level but consistently poor tactical performance during most of their history.
The armed forces are administered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which toppled the Saddam Hussein regime, the Iraqi Armed Forces have been rebuilt with substantial assistance from the United States armed forces. Since the implementation of the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement on January 1, 2009, the Iraqi Armed Forces and the forces of the Ministry of Interior (Iraq) are responsible for providing security and upholding law and order throughout Iraq.
The Iraqi Army, in particular, is one of the most trusted national institutions of Iraq. While generally capable in an internal security role, Iraqi deficiencies have been identified in enabling functions, such as, e.g., logistics and military intelligence. In high-end conventional operations, Iraqi capabilities are currently limited by lack of artillery and air power. There are also concerns regarding corruption and sectarian agendas within the force.
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