Training Iraqi forces is 'vital' in the war against IS
There is no alternative to providing training for Iraqi forces if the West wants to achieve its objective of containing the threat from Islamic State, an expert has claimed.
"Achieving the objective of containing and removing the IS threat in Iraq will only be possible with action on the ground, air power will not be enough," according to Professor Malcolm Chalmers, of think tank Royal United Services Institute.
"That will require more competent Iraqi and Peshmerga forces than we have at the moment, so the Americans and others are already engaged in supporting that. How long it will have to last is not clear."
He said one of the questions raised was whether the British would be providing training only in centres, or in the field.
"The most effective training and mentoring for armed forces, particularly when you've got forces like the Iraqi army who are not in a good state, is to deploy experienced personnel with them when they are out on operations.
"That brings a possibility of putting British troops in harm's way, but it is not clear if that is going to happen."