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Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq

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

Section 1-Stability and Security

1.4 Transferring Security Responsibility

In support of the U.S. Government strategic objective to strengthen the Iraqi forces and transition primary security responsibility to the GoI, Basrah Province transitioned to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC) on December 16, 2007, bringing the total number of provinces for which the GoI has lead security responsibility to nine of 18 provinces.

The GoI continues to take responsibility and enhance central control for security. In 2007, Prime Minister Maliki activated several operational commands. The intent of these operational commands is to improve coordination between the Iraqi Army and National Police in conducting security operations and to assist the local police in maintaining security until they are capable of assuming full responsibility.

In PIC provinces, Iraqi forces demonstrate varying abilities to maintain domestic order and prevent a resurgence of terrorism. An example of this is the decrease in violence in Basrah Province that continues to be maintained effectively by the Iraqi Army and Police. Iraqi forces in Basrah have demonstrated their capability to provide an Iraqi solution to provincial security challenges. The Basrah Police Chief implemented a force-wide reeducation program and expelled hundreds of personnel with ties to militias in January 2008, promoting security and decreasing overall levels of violence. The preparations and prompt response to the threat posed by the Soldiers of Heaven cult during the Ashura holiday further demonstrated the growing effectiveness of Iraqi forces in the PIC provinces of Basrah, Muthanna, Najaf and Karbala.

Only two of the nine PIC provinces (Basrah and Irbil) have PRTs located in them. PSTs that operate from established bases located outside of the provinces they support, service the other seven PIC provinces. Due to travel and security issues, the five PSTs that operate in southern Iraq (Najaf, Karbala, Qadisiyah, Muthanna and Maysan) have had limited ability to directly interact with the governorates they support. The PSTs that operate out of regional embassy office (REO) Hillah in Babil Province and support Najaf, Karbala and Qadisiyah Provinces are in the process of moving permanently to those provinces; this should increase their ability to interact with provincial officials.

Forward Operating Base Turnover Status

The current basing footprint supports the counterinsurgency efforts of MNF-I’s Joint Campaign Plan as it transitions from 20 to 15 BCTs. MNF-I continues to seek opportunities to co-locate Iraqi forces on existing Coalition FOBs, as Coalition forces transition from leading to partnering to overwatch. On FOBs where a reduction in operating forces is expected, MNF-I is actively seeking partial base turnovers or partial base closures for areas that are no longer required for Coalition support. As of January 2008, MNF-I has closed 63 of 125 FOBs.

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