Prime Minister says Iraqi army has 50,000 'ghost soldiers' on payroll

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Prime Minister says Iraqi army has 50,000 'ghost soldiers' on payroll

Published December 01, 2014

June 25, 2014: An Iraqi volunteer force chant slogans against the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant during training in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad. (AP Photo/Ahmed al-Husseini)

Iraq's Prime Minister said Sunday that the country's army has been paying salaries to at least 50,000 soldiers who do not exist, the latest sign of corruption in a force that the U.S. hopes to help contain the Islamic State militant group.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the country's Parliament that the practice was revealed as part of a preliminary investigation, and that further probes would likely show "more and more" false names.

"Ghost soldiers" refer to people whose names appear on military rolls and who are paid salaries, but are not in military service. The Washington Post reported that the practice is often carried out by officers, who pretend to have more soldiers on their books then they really do and pocket the extra salary.

The Post reported that an entry level soldier in the Iraqi army receives a salary of approximately $600 per month. If the 50,000 figure is accurate, the "ghost soldiers" are costing Iraq's treasury at least $350 million per year. However, Iraqi officials say that the true number of false names could be far greater than al-Abadi reported.

"It could be more than triple this number," Hamid al-Mutlaq, a member of the parliamentary defense and security committee, told the Post. "The people who are responsible for this should be punished. Iraq’s safe has been emptied."

Widespread corruption and mismanagement in the Iraqi army under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been blamed for the collapse of four of its divisions this summer in the face of an Islamic State offensive that overran Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul.

The Pentagon has already requested $1.2 billion from Congress to better train and equip Iraq's army to improve its performance against the militants. U.S. officials told the Post earlier this week that the military hoped to build up nine new brigades that could work with Kurdish and Shiite fighters against the Islamic State.

Prime Minister says Iraqi army has 50,000 'ghost soldiers' on payroll | Fox News
 
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The most corrupted incompetent government is that of Iraq. Al-Maliki and his party screwed up the whole country. What a sad state of affair.
 
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It is not even funny.
America finances ISIS soldiers by its own money.
We already pour into Iraq campaign billions of money and for that? And without any results.
In my opinion, we have more hot problems to solve than democratization of Middle East.
 
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Prime Minister says Iraqi army has 50,000 'ghost soldiers' on payroll

Published December 01, 2014

June 25, 2014: An Iraqi volunteer force chant slogans against the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant during training in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad. (AP Photo/Ahmed al-Husseini)

Iraq's Prime Minister said Sunday that the country's army has been paying salaries to at least 50,000 soldiers who do not exist, the latest sign of corruption in a force that the U.S. hopes to help contain the Islamic State militant group.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the country's Parliament that the practice was revealed as part of a preliminary investigation, and that further probes would likely show "more and more" false names.

"Ghost soldiers" refer to people whose names appear on military rolls and who are paid salaries, but are not in military service. The Washington Post reported that the practice is often carried out by officers, who pretend to have more soldiers on their books then they really do and pocket the extra salary.

The Post reported that an entry level soldier in the Iraqi army receives a salary of approximately $600 per month. If the 50,000 figure is accurate, the "ghost soldiers" are costing Iraq's treasury at least $350 million per year. However, Iraqi officials say that the true number of false names could be far greater than al-Abadi reported.

"It could be more than triple this number," Hamid al-Mutlaq, a member of the parliamentary defense and security committee, told the Post. "The people who are responsible for this should be punished. Iraq’s safe has been emptied."

Widespread corruption and mismanagement in the Iraqi army under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been blamed for the collapse of four of its divisions this summer in the face of an Islamic State offensive that overran Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul.

The Pentagon has already requested $1.2 billion from Congress to better train and equip Iraq's army to improve its performance against the militants. U.S. officials told the Post earlier this week that the military hoped to build up nine new brigades that could work with Kurdish and Shiite fighters against the Islamic State.

Prime Minister says Iraqi army has 50,000 'ghost soldiers' on payroll | Fox News
I'm not sure when Iraq is going to be stable again. The aftermath of war could be worst then the war itself. It's a real mess at the moment.
 
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In my opinion, we have more hot problems to solve than democratization of Middle East.
Agreed. What do we lose if we leave them to solve their own problems? Make a dent in our image as a global policeman? Being involved there is not making things any better for them or for us. Let's get out while we still can. Home is where we should be. We have lots of problems at home waiting to be solved.
 
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Agreed. What do we lose if we leave them to solve their own problems? Make a dent in our image as a global policeman? Being involved there is not making things any better for them or for us. Let's get out while we still can. Home is where we should be. We have lots of problems at home waiting to be solved.
Your right on point again. We can't even solve simple problems like police brutality and issues dealing with race, how can we solve major problems for other countries? It just doesn't make sense. A country should always focus on cleaning up their own backyard first.
 
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It is not even funny.
America finances ISIS soldiers by its own money.
We already pour into Iraq campaign billions of money and for that? And without any results.
In my opinion, we have more hot problems to solve than democratization of Middle East.
I completely agree, and all that money could most definitely be used on some other things.
 
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I completely agree, and all that money could most definitely be used on some other things.
I can think of one immediate use for all that money which is now wasted overseas. Invest that money in providing better education for the children. Use the money to provide nutritious food for every child who goes to school. Use the money to make it possible for every child to access the internet. Use the money to give better benefits to the teachers. The list goes on and on. But, at the bottom of it all, don't waste the money fighting other peoples's wars.
 
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So they're paying tons of men to be a part of their army just so it makes them look like their army is a lot bigger than it is, but they're not actually fighting?! If they're going to pay them, they might as well get them to help fight the war, right? I never even knew that "ghost soldiers" were a thing. This concept just doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. Isn't it sort of a waste of the countries resources and budget for the war?
 
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Corruption, corruption everywhere. From the looks of things, it'll take nothing short of a miracle to clear out all those corrupt officials and leaders in their government so they can start rebuilding and even contemplate of a future for their country. Sad to think that after all their people had gone and are going through, things are still the same or even worse.
 
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Corruption lingers everywhere. What can we do to eradicate this? Corruptions stem out from lack of values. But where do lack of values stem out from? Are values only a thing for those who already have well-enough and already living a satisfying life? Do we blame the lack of values from poverty?
 
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The level of corruption here is incredulous. If the government leaders of the country and the ones in charge of defending it do not even care about the welfare of the state, how will there ever be stability in Iraq? Why even bother wasting lives and money trying to prop up this regime?
 
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There's something we might have overlooked. A government which does not know that it has ghost soldiers on its payroll may have lost it credibility as a government. Such things cannot happen without the knowledge of people in high places. You cannot just have 50,000 ghost soldiers and claim that this is the work of low-level quartermaster in a remote army camp.
 
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This just proves that Iraq has no government. They would have dealt with ISIS quickly if they had these soldiers. I hope Iraq can become a peaceful country some day.
 
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I hope Iraq can become a peaceful country some day.
I hope so, too, but, from the looks of it, I think Iraq is going to undergo a lot more unrest before they reach that stage. In the meantime, unfortunately, a lot more people are going to die. And I would say, in the case of US soldiers, they will be dying for nothing.
 
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