That is, they have 50,000 soldiers on the books who don’t exist. But what do you want to bet those “troops'” pay came from us? No wonder ISIS is winning.
Iraq’s prime minister Haidar al-Abadi has promised to crackdown on corruption after an investigation uncovered the existence of 50,000 “ghost soldiers”.
“The prime minister revealed the existence of 50,000 fictitious names” in the military, Mr Abadi’s office said in a statement.
The 50,000 jobs were equivalent to almost four full army divisions.
“Over the past few weeks, the PM has been cracking down to expose the ghost soldiers and get to the root of the problem,” Mr Abadi’s spokesman Rafid Jaboori said.
He said the investigation started with a thorough headcount during the latest salary payment process.
Soldiers confirmed that salaries were paid only recently after a two-month delay about which they were given no explanation.
“There are two kinds of fadhaiyin,” one experienced officer in the security forces said, using a word which, literally translated, means “space men”, and refers to the fictitious soldiers crowding the payroll.
“The first kind: each officer is allowed, for example, five guards. He’ll keep two, send three home and pocket their salary or an agreed percentage,” he said.
“Then the second and bigger group is at the brigade level. A brigade commander usually has 30, 40 or more soldiers who stay at home or don’t exist,” the officer said.