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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 2-Iraqi Security Forces Training and Performance

Since late 2003, Coalition forces and the Iraqis have trained over 425,000 Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MoD) military, Ministry of Interior (MoI) police and Counter Terrorism Bureau (CTB) special operations personnel. As of January 1, 2008, Iraqi MoD, MoI and CTB forces numbered approximately 531,616 personnel—an increase of approximately 40,000 personnel since the December 2007 report. This increase includes nearly equal numbers of MoI and MoD forces. MoI increases are attributable to continued police hiring to meet new GoI goals, and MoD increases are attributable to the ongoing generation of new Iraqi Army units.

The GoI continues to incrementally assume broader ownership of Iraq’s defense programs. For the second year in a row, the GoI’s security budget (MoD and MoI combined) is greater than the Iraqi Security Forces Fund (ISFF). With passage of the 2008 Iraqi Budget, this trend continues. The MoD and MoI both run their own training bases and academies. These ministries now pay the salaries of recruits and Iraqi trainers and bear the costs of operations, maintenance and life support at the training bases. In addition, to an increasing degree, the Iraqi security ministries are funding much of the initial entry training and unit equipment. U.S. funding is shifting its focus to developing logistics and sustainment capacity, equipment replenishment, equipment for enabler units such as aviation, engineer and transportation units and construction of facilities including bases for new units. The MoD and MoI increasingly contribute to these efforts and programs. Furthermore, the U.S. and Iraqi funding supports ministerial capacity development and provincial and station-level civilian police advisors.18

As noted in the December 2007 report, the GoI has assumed responsibility for personnel requirements determination and accounting, so all authorized and assigned personnel reports now reflect MoD and MoI statistics. Although both ministries track and report the number of personnel trained, they currently focus more on the number of authorized, assigned and present for duty rather than on the number trained. Multi-National Security Transition Command- Iraq (MNSTC-I) advisory teams work with both security ministries to refine the accuracy and frequency of their personnel reporting systems.

The total number of personnel assigned (excluding ministerial headquarters personnel and the MoI Facilities Protection Service (FPS)) exceeds the number of total trained personnel, the result of rapid hiring over the past two years that outstripped training center capacity. The MoD and MoI do not accurately track which personnel are trained as part of U.S.-funded programs, so this number is not reported.

The increase in authorized MoD and MoI end strength from the previous report to 572,844, reflects the GoI’s upward reevaluation of force ratio calculations originally developed by the Coalition in the 2003-2005 timeframe. For the MoD, it represents five new divisions including the previously reported two divisions of the Prime Minister’s Expansion Initiative, as well as three additional planned divisions. For the MoI, requests by provincial governments to increase police authorizations have driven significant growth in several provinces. These increases also reflect the GoI desire to have security forces whose size and capability allow them to assume more security responsibility as conditions permit.

MoI and MoD basic combat and police training facilities continue to operate at or near capacity. Even with programmed training base expansion, the shortage of leaders will take years to close. Furthermore, the possible addition to the Iraqi forces—mainly to the police—of over 19,000 of the 91,000 Sons of Iraq currently working with Coalition forces will exacerbate the challenge of training all police who are on the force.

Previous analyses of future force structure requirements project that the total size of the Iraqi forces—military, police and specialoperations forces—in 2010 could grow to between 601,000 and 646,000.19 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 is projected to grow to a total force of approximately 389,000 employees—Iraqi Police Service (IPS), National Police (NP) and Directorate of Border Enforcement (DBE)—by the end of 2008; this reflects the impact of the changing security situation on the ground. The MoD continues its focus on the first stage of its force generation, fielding the Counterinsurgency (COIN) force. The COIN force will include 13 Army divisions (twelve infantry, one armored) along with supporting forces, a Navy of 1,500 personnel, an Air Force of 4,000 personnel and a 5,750- man Iraqi National Counter-Terror Force (INCTF). The second stage of force generation will focus on the force modernization and transition to a military force capable of defending Iraqi territory against external threats. This second stage is a longer-term effort and not the current focus of activity. Ultimately, the GoI will decide force levels based on national security requirements and its fiscal capacity to sustain a significantly expanded force structure.

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