Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has said the country could need three years to rebuild and restructure its military.
Abadi said making the task even tougher is Iraq's ongoing battle with Islamic State militants.
U.S.-led air strikes have helped Iraqi military forces and their Shi'ite militia allies as well as Kurdish fighters seize back territory from Islamic State.
Abadi, however, criticized what he called the "slowness" of international forces to aid the Iraqi army, although he noted an "acceleration" in such assistance over the past two weeks.
Abadi was speaking in Egypt on January 11.
In Cairo, Abadi discussed regional efforts to wipeout militancy and other issues with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Egypt is also facing Islamist militant insurgents based in the Sinai Peninsula who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.