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Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq

June 2008
Report to Congress
In accordance with the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2008
(Section 9010, Public Law 109-289)


Section 2-Iraqi Security Forces Training and Performance

2.1 Assessed Capabilities of the Iraqi Forces

The Coalition’s four broad areas of emphasis in developing the MoD, MoI and their forces remain unchanged from previous reports. They are: (1) support the force generation and force replenishment of MoD and MoI forces; (2) improve the proficiency of the Iraqi forces; (3) build specific logistic, sustainment and training capacities; and (4) develop ministerial and institutional capacity.

The four near-term areas of special emphasis through 2008 also remain unchanged. The first is to ensure that Iraqi forces are mostly selfsufficient in logistics, maintenance and life support. The second is to ensure that the size, capability and leadership of ISF are appropriate to be able to assume additional security roles from Coalition forces. The third is to enhance the capabilities of Iraqi special operations, and the fourth is to ensure that Iraqi Air Force and Navy growth stays on-track.

The ability of the ISF to support and sustain fielded forces is improving. While work remains, these improvements are likely to achieve the goal of making the ISF mostly selfsufficient by the end of 2008. Specific focus areas for improvement include increasing MoD visibility on materiel status, increasing their logistics, replenishment and supply planning capability and improving the ISF’s ability to procure stocks in a timely manner.

During recent and ongoing events in Basrah, Mosul and Sadr City, the ISF have demonstrated their capability to conduct simultaneous extensive operations in three parts of the country. As expected, in all three operations the ISF continued to utilize Coalition enablers, including intelligence, planning, logistics and close air support. Operations in Basrah revealed both progress and challenges for the ISF. ISF leaders were able to deploy nearly a division’s worth of personnel and equipment rapidly to the city, and the majority of the IA and NP units performed well. However, some local police, and one recently generated and inexperienced IA brigade, proved less reliable. Both the MoD and the MoI are addressing deficiencies identified during these operations.

Extensive shaping efforts preceded intensified clearing operations in Mosul and displayed the maturing ability of ISF leaders to conduct deliberate operational planning. Actions included the construction of a cordon around Mosul and the establishment of JSSs and COPs in the city. Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) and special police units also performed effectively alongside Coalition forces during shaping operations to disrupt AQI foreign fighter facilitation routes, safe havens and support zones in the Jazeera Desert between Syria and Mosul.

Ministerial Capacity

The MNSTC-I reorganization outlined in the March 2008 report continues to mature. It better aligns the skill sets of ministerial advisors to work with Iraqi counterparts in the security ministries in developing the appropriate functions of an institution. It assists the Iraqis in producing better functioning directorates that are capable of conducting thorough and coordinated staff work, both within their respective ministries and with counterparts in other GoI agencies.

The Iraqi Joint Headquarters (JHQ) is developing a nascent capacity to plan and execute at the operational level and to provide advice at the strategic level. Recent events in Basrah have proven this to a point, but poorly defined lines of command and control continue to inhibit planning, decision making and the ability to execute coordinated operations at all levels. Decision making remains centralized at the highest level, often bypassing key elements of the chain of command. The inability of the MoD and JHQ to delegate authority to subordinate organizations hampers overall effectiveness. For example, ministerial approval is still required for MTOE development, international training assignments and materiel distribution.

The JHQ has also had significant success. It was able to move one IA Division HQ, one IA Brigade, two IA Battalions, one tank company, two IA Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) companies and units from three different motorized transport regiments (MTRs) from disparate locations to Basrah. There were 1,250 replenishment troops identified and orders issued to move (600 of these moved via Iraqi C-130s). Other successes during the Basrah operation included ammunition delivery within six hours of initial approval for release. The JHQ delivered significant quantities of small arms and machine gun ammunition, rocket propelled grenades and mortar rounds. The JHQ also succeeded in delivering food and fuel in less than 48 hours notice. Additionally, the JHQ provided 20 five-ton trucks purchased via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program to the 14th IA Division to give it a re-supply capability.

Currently, Coalition advisors continue to dominate planning at the strategic and operational levels of the IA. Coalition and Iraqi staffs are conducting combined planning to increase Iraqi capacity for operational and strategic level planning and execution. MNF-I and the JHQ are collaborating on a strategiclevel COIN plan, with the intention of involving other government agencies. The Coalition is also examining how combined planning can be conducted to ensure that Coalition reposturing is transparent enough to allow for ISF occupancy of redundant bases as required. The recent security operations in Basrah required Coalition intervention to ensure proper sustainment of deployed ISF units. Following Coalition advice, the JHQ formed a combined operational planning team that prioritized requirements. Once formed, the Iraqi MTRs, elite units, and the Iraqi Air Force performed well in Basrah.

Iraqi Forces Proficiency

As of May 1, 2008, 139 IA combat battalions are conducting operations—an increase from 123 in the last report. Another eight battalions are currently in force generation, and MNSTC-I plans an additional 14 for force generation in 2008. Four Special Operations Battalions are capable of conducting operations with minimal Coalition support; another two are in force generation. Of the 17 infrastructure battalions identified for redesignation as infantry units, eight are already capable of conducting operations with varying levels of Coalition support, six others are complete and beginning to conduct operations and three are waiting for transition training. Among the formed IA combat battalions, 67% are rated as being able to plan, execute and sustain operations with minimal or no assistance from Coalition forces. Since March 2008, nine additional battalions have improved their proficiency and can now conduct COIN operations with Coalition support.

Both the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) and the Iraqi Navy (IqN) are gaining proficiency as well. Over the past nine months, the IqAF sortie rate has increased almost 750%. Their proficiency to schedule and control sorties continues to improve, as the Air Operations Center (AOC) currently coordinates 200-300 flights a week, with a mix of training and operational sorties. In that same nine-month period, the number of IqN patrols has grown by approximately 250%. The IqN conducts an average of 35 patrols per week in Iraqi territorial waters.

The NP also continues to increase its proficiency. There are now 44 NP battalions authorized, including the National Emergency Response Unit. There are 11 battalions capable of planning, executing and sustaining operations with Coalition support.

The three intelligence institutions continue to build capacity and improve performance, making significant progress toward developing a nationwide secure intelligence communications architecture that enhances intelligence reporting and sharing among different agencies. Ministerial-level approval of organizational structures and recent hiring initiatives improved manning levels across the intelligence community and helped establish infrastructure in Baghdad. While challenges remain in the technical equipping area, development of intermediate and advanced intelligence training continues.

Logistics, Sustainment and Training Capacities

Developing logistics and sustainment capabilities remains an essential task for the ISF. The ISF have become more competent and self-sufficient over time. However, requirements for Coalition assistance during Basrah operations highlighted ISF limitations in planning and conducting expeditionary life support, and the ISF are making the appropriate organizational adjustments.

The MoI is also taking on greater responsibility for life support and the operation and maintenance of its existing communications networks. During this period, the MoI continued to support the Iraqi Command and Control Network by awarding a follow-on operations and support contract. On January 17, 2008, the MoI signed the life-support FMS case for the Baghdad Police College. Furthermore, on March 15, 2008, the MoI signed several additional FMS cases for life support, including Camp Dublin, Numaniyah, Habbaniyah, Al Kut and Basrah. However, until the Finance Ministry makes funds available to pay FMS contract costs, these required MoI life-support needs remain unmet.

The MoD is in the process of developing a nationwide supply and distribution network. The MoD will have one Location Command (previously known as a Base Support Unit (BSU)) in direct support of each Iraqi Army Division. Additionally, the MoD has plans to co-locate divisional logistics assets at these sites in order to synchronize logistics activities. Eight of the bases to support these Location Commands are either complete or under refurbishment. The MoD has scheduled the remaining five bases for completion by the end of 2008.28

Work is progressing on the Taji National Depot Complex and is scheduled for completion by mid-2009. The MoD scheduled the first component, the Small Arms Repair Facility, to reach initial operating capability in May 2008. Remaining components will follow until the entire facility reaches full operating capability in mid-2009. The Taji National Depot Complex is the centerpiece for national supply and maintenance services to the ISF. Manning and training of supply depot personnel continue to improve, and the Iraqi Army manages major end item, medical and sustainment supply distribution. Work on the Taji National Maintenance Depot is progressing, and separate components will reach initial operating capability as construction, equipping and training are completed.

The Bayji National Ammunition Depot is on schedule for full operating capability under Iraqi Army control by October 2008. Bayji National Ammunition Depot is the centerpiece for national ammunition supply to the ISF. Programmed force generation for the Bayji National Ammunition Depot support battalion is underway. Once completed, the support battalion will collaborate with Coalition-funded operations and security personnel currently on site to continue training and gain needed experience before assuming responsibility for security and operations.

Iraqi forces remain partially dependent on Coalition support to move supplies to Location Commands and police warehouses. However, this dependency is diminishing with the fielding of motor transport regiments. The Iraqi Army has fielded nine motor transportation regiments and will field three more in 2008 to allow for divisional level distribution. The donation of a number of German transport trucks and the FMS purchase of medium and heavy cargo vehicles have accelerated generation of a theater-capable General Transportation Regiment (GTR). The GTR is in force generation and scheduled to have an initial operating capability by September 2008.

The refurbishment and distribution of 8,500 high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) is underway, following a distribution plan developed by the MoI, MoD, CTB and Coalition that allows revised distribution priorities to respond to operational priorities. The GoI accepted 166 M1114s as of April 15, 2008. The goal is for a steady-state transfer rate of 400 per month by May 15, 2008. The main obstacle to achieving such a transfer rate is that Iraq will be competing among worldwide priorities for HMMWV spare parts. In addition to enhancing capabilities for ISF protected mobility, the HMMWV refurbishment program has proven to be an effective capacity building initiative. Rather than simply transfer HMMWVs to the ISF, the Coalition has taken a unit set fielding approach that links ISF driver training, mechanic training and radio installation and training to the fielding process.

The Iraqi Army and Police expansion of basic combat and police training facilities has led to noticeable increases in the overall percentages of assigned unit strength. In the first quarter of CY 2008, the IA trained over 31,000 soldiers in its basic combat, specialty and re-joiner leadership training courses. In that same time, the MoI provided basic recruit training to over 20,700 Iraqi Police Service, National Police and Directorate of Border Enforcement personnel.

The leader-to-led ratio throughout the ISF is also improving. From June 2007 through March 2008, the Iraqi Army has added over 2,200 officers and 14,500 NCOs. With that growth, the Iraqi Army can presently fill 69% of its officer authorizations and 65% of its NCO authorizations. However, those fill capability percentages have declined slightly since the last report due to increasing officer and NCO requirements as the IA force structure grows. In that same period, the Iraqi Police Service has added over 1,400 officers, the National Police have added 551 and the Directorate of Border Enforcement has added over 106. This growth enables them to fill 69%, 42% and 68% of their respective officer requirements. Leader development will remain a key area of focus for both security ministries throughout this year.

Foreign Military Sales

Since its inception for Iraq in late 2006, the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program delivered, or is in the process of delivering, approximately $1.3 billion worth of equipment or services to include $978 million to the MoD, $223 million to the MoI and $129 million to the Ministry of Justice. Iraqi ministerial execution of the FMS process hinders force generation efforts in Iraq. While Iraqi purchases of military equipment and equipment deliveries under FMS have grown, a substantial amount of the Iraqi FMS budget remains unexecuted. The MoD has $1.4 billion in FMS cases offered and awaiting MoD signature, while the MoI has $210 million offered and awaiting signature. The MoI also requires the deposit of additional funds in its Federal Reserve Bank account to pay for Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs) currently awaiting full implementation.

Although improving, the processing of FMS Letters of Request (LOR) and LOAs within the MoD takes too long. The FMS Task Force, headed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, has appreciably improved the processing of Iraqi FMS cases. Delivery of Iraqi FMS equipment has also improved dramatically since this Task Force has begun. While FMS processing issues exist within the MoI, the fundamental FMS issue with the MoI is an inability to move funds from the MoF central account to the MoI’s FMS account. Currently, the MoI has approximately $656 million in FMS-related requirements with inadequate funding from the Finance Ministry. However, in an encouraging development, the Finance Ministry completed the transfer of $374 million to the MoI’s FMS account on May 21, 2008, and the MoI immediately began to spend the money.

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