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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

Since late 2003, Coalition and Iraqi forces have trained more than 478,000 Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MoD), Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Counter Terrorism Bureau (CTB) personnel. As of May 30, 2008, Iraqi MoD, MoI and CTB forces numbered approximately 559,000 personnel—an increase of over 27,000 personnel since the March 2008 report. This continuing expansion is a result of three major factors. The first is an opportunity to take advantage of operational successes that set the conditions to recruit from local “tribal awakenings.” The second is the consolidation of units from various government agencies and ministries under the command and control of the Iraqi security ministries. The third factor is a GoI reassessment of the size of an Iraqi force necessary to assume more responsibility for security as the situation allows. MoI increases are attributable to continued police hiring to meet new GoI goals as well as the hiring of new police from the Sons of Iraq program. MoD increases are attributable to the ongoing generation of new Iraqi Army (IA) units and capabilities.

With a 33% decrease from the FY 2008 request, the $2 billion Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I) 2009 Iraq Security Forces Fund (ISFF) budget submission reflects a continued reduction in ISFF spending while supporting a necessary and timely shift in training Iraqi forces. The focus will shift from fielding core Iraqi military and police units to pursuing key capabilities that underpin and reinforce units already generated. Additionally, the budget will address continued logistics and sustainment capacity development, replenishing equipment and fielding equipment for aviation, engineer and transportation units. Key components of U.S. and Iraqi funding also support ministerial capacity development and provincial and station-level civilian police advisors. The Iraqi Government is showing an increasing fiscal commitment to its security forces and MoD and MoI programs. The GoI approved a $9.0 billion budget for the security ministries for CY 2008. With Iraqi supplemental funding, the Iraqi security ministries’ budget projection for 2009 may approach $11 billion.

The MoD and MoI both provide life support to their own training bases, centers and academies. These ministries also continue to pay the salaries of recruits and Iraqi trainers and bear the costs of operations and much of their own sustainment. In addition, the Iraqi security ministries fund, to an increasing degree, much of their initial entry training costs and unit equipment requirements.

The GoI continues exercising responsibility for personnel requirements determination and accounting. All authorized and assigned personnel reports reflect statistics that MoD, MoI and CTB provide to the Coalition. MNSTC-I advisory teams continue to work closely with both security ministries to refine the accuracy and frequency of MoD, MoI and CTB personnel reporting systems. The total number of MoI personnel assigned continues to exceed the number of total trained personnel, as rapid hiring outstrips training center capacity. Currently, there are over 80,000 MoI personnel assigned and on the payroll, but not fully trained. MoI and ISFF jointly funded efforts to expand the MoI training base will help remedy this.

To accurately reflect the authorized strength of the ISF, MNSTC-I continually assesses the categories used to account for authorized personnel. The decrease in IA authorized numbers, from 186,352 in the previous report to 154,598 in this report, reflects a reevaluation of a previous initiative, adopted at the Prime Minister’s direction, to staff all IA combat units to at least 120% of their modified table of organization and equipment (MTOE). Previously, MTOEs yielded the IA authorizations and included the 20% Prime Minister’s directed over-manning increases. MTOEs still produce IA authorizations, but to achieve greater accuracy and consistency, MNSTC-I counts the Prime Minister’s directed personnel over-manning increases as assigned rather than authorized personnel. This change makes ISF reporting consistent with standard military personnel accounting practices of the United States and other countries. It also aligns IA reporting with that of the Iraqi Air Force, Navy and Special Forces and provides a clearer representation of total ISF structure.

As previously reported, total ISF structure requirements—military, police and specialoperations forces—should grow to between 601,000 and 646,000 by 2010.26 Ultimately, the GoI will decide force levels based on national security requirements and its fiscal capacity to sustain a significantly expanded force structure. The MoI predicts growth to a total force of approximately 389,000 personnel in the Iraqi Police Service (IPS), National Police (NP) and Directorate of Border Enforcement (DBE) by the end of 2008.27 The MoD continues to focus on fielding the Counterinsurgency (COIN) force. The COIN force will include 13 Army divisions (12 infantry, one mechanized) along with supporting forces, a Navy of 2,500 personnel and an Air Force of 6,000 personnel. Additionally, a 5,400-man Iraqi National Counter-Terrorism Force (INCTF) will contribute to the COIN effort. By the end of 2008, MNSTC-I expects total ISF—military, police, and special operations forces—to grow to at least 588,000 personnel.

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