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Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq

September 2007
Report to Congress
In accordance with the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2007
(Section 9010, Public Law 109-289)


Section 1-Stability and Security

1.4 Transferring Security Responsibility

A strategic objective for the USG is to transition security responsibility to the Iraqi government. A few provinces are likely to take longer than previously expected to assume responsibility for security, given the increase in violence in some parts of Iraq. So far this year, the Coalition transferred security responsibility in Maysan, Dahuk, Irbil, and Sulaymaniyah Provinces, making Iraqis responsible for security in a total of seven of 18 provinces.

Status of Provincial Iraqi Control

On May 30, 2007, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) assumed security responsibility for the three provinces that make up the Kurdish region of Iraq: Dahuk, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah. Transfer to Iraqi control is a conditions-based process; any date-based projection is subject to change as conditions evolve. Karbala is the next province projected to assume Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC) in September 2007. The current projection is all provinces could transition to PIC as early as July 2008. If, for example, violence worsened significantly in any of the provinces yet to transition to PIC, the likely dates for transition of those provinces would be reevaluated by the Iraqi government and MNF-I. The principal impediment causing the delay in transitioning security to Iraqi control is a lack of capability in the Iraqi Police Service (IPS), which prevents them from being able to manage the provincial security situation. In addition, MNF-I and the GoI recognize that security must be addressed comprehensively before transition to provincial control can occur; this may cause some delays as political and economic environments are evaluated for their ability to support the security situation. As FAQ has resulted in an influx of terrorists, insurgents, and members of illegal militia into some provinces, the civil security forces have been unable to handle these threats alone. To assist in dealing with these threats, the GoI has created and manned joint operations commands in several provinces (Baghdad, Basrah, Karbala, Diyala, and Salah ad Din). In order to enhance the capability of the IPS, it will be necessary to increase MoI manning and equipping levels and to reduce the influence of corruption and militia over the local police forces.

Transition to PIC is a necessary but not sufficient condition for withdrawal of Coalition forces from a given province. Once a province has transitioned to PIC, the posture of MNF-I forces changes to security overwatch. The force disposition will depend on the extent of the continued security challenges in that province. In some cases, Iraqi forces are able to deal with security incidents without Coalition assistance, and procedures are in place for the Iraqi forces to call on assistance if required. MNF-I is working with the GoI to develop ways of improving situational awareness and of assessing indications and warnings of problems that may develop in provinces that have transitioned to PIC to help prepare provincial leaders to manage security problems.

Forward Operating Base Turnover Status

The turnover of Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to the GoI has slowed due to increased force levels as part of FAQ. As the security situation permits, MNF-I will continue to reduce its presence in major cities while maintaining the ability to support PRT and Transition Team expansion. MNF-I has transitioned to the Iraqi government or closed 61 FOBs out of a total of 125; since the previous report, an additional three FOBs were established to support the increase in force levels.

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