Check out this analysis: http://www.vox.com/2014/6/20/5824480/why-the-iraqi-army-cant-defeat-isis
Editors note: 2/20/2015 Since this was last updated ISIS manpower has continued to grow and our best estimate puts the total of organized men under full time arms at +35,000. ISIS has leapfrogged over Egypt and is in Libya.
Editor's note: 6/8/2016 ISIS manpower appears steady at about +35,000 under full time arms. They have recently lost some territory in Iraq, there are some signs of ISIS turning on itself such as greatly increased executions of suspected spies, slow acceptance and mistrust of new recruits. Unfortunately compared to our evaluation of 8/27/14 they are still almost double their starting strength and still solidly hold most of the territory they had on 8/27/2014 and much of the additional territory they gained in late 2014 through 2015. Their steady and outlandish abuse of the civilian populations they hold is diminishing popular support. But so long as ISIS has the ability to terrorize the civilian populations, the populations remain compliant.
Graphic: Julie @MsIntervention
This we know, The ISIS is ruthless, murderous, disdainful of the international law of armed conflict, and frankly scary, but hardly invincible. They have not done so well so far with the better trained defenders of Baghdad, and they've avoided the Kurdish forces, who having faced genocide before, stand and fight. They should be highly vulnerable to the larger, trained, better armed forces they challenge. But the Iraqi Army in early contact has shown a remarkable lack of discipline. With Iraq's superior air support if employed properly the ISIS should be reducible to a scattered annoyance in days. But mounting a counter offensive is difficult for a demoralized army. The Iraqi army needs to know that they have the overwhelming numerical and armament advantage. They need to see and understand the graphic above. They could surely use the morale lift of seeing an in the field tactical victory over the ISIS soon. A combined U.S. / Iraqi air strike breaking an assault against an Iraqi position could do the trick. Every Iraqi soldier needs to understand that national survival is at stake, and to viscerally know that these murdering bands masquerading as some kind of national army of a state that doesn't exist are far from invincible. The Iraqi army has been dealt a series of sucker punches. They've been knocked down but are far from out. Even without any outside help at all, the elected government of Iraq can repel this invasion and punish the invaders if the army has the will. They already have the means.
We have attempted to provide some unique analysis and insight into the situation in Iraq believing early on that that U.S. intervention particularly from a naval task force was imminent. The lack of adult supervision in Washington however always makes such projections unpredictable.The lack of any naval / marine action at the moment requires that we turn our attention once again to our institutional focus, on things maritime in character.Meanwhile if you are looking for a source of almost hourly reliable information on the situation in Iraq we suggest trying this source on Twitter: Julie @MsIntervention
This was the source for our graphic above. We copied it believing that the twitter account linked above twittered in the hopes of spreading the information as far and wide as possible and that there were no copyright impediments to its use and dissemination. If anyone is aware of any copyright issues please alert us via the comments section. We can obtain similar graphics from public domain sources including the CIA. But we highly recommend following Julie @MsIntervention for almost hourly independent views and factual reports on not only the situation in Iraq but also situations through out the Middle East, Africa, and the world involving population segments at risk from tyranical forces. If you are among those who are adverse to placing disiciplined military forces of free societies between victems and murderous scum you might not like the view point of this site. Just stay in your room until the scum arrive for you.
Being an encyclopedic service on maritime subjects we can't provide hourly coverage on any news story for very long and certainly not without a distinct maritime angle. But we do view it as our job to link you to authoritative sources. We followed Julie @MsIntervention for days on this issue as well as a number of other sources including the general U.S. media, the BBC, and our own unique sources that we can never directly link you to, who read and monitor the local media in the native languages with native fluency. We suspect that Julie @MsIntervention has some access to the same type of original sources. The site is not neutral but favors intervention by free societies to protect the weak living under the thumbs of murderous scum. If you don't believe that the oppressed have a right to resistance we think that you simply don't feel threatened yet because they haven't yet come for you. Just remember the words of the current leader of the ISIS...."See you in New York".
HUMAN RIGHTS BOOK SHELF