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CALL Newsletter 04-13
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Chapter 2: Civil Military Operations - Civil Affairs
Topic B: Transitioning to Civil Administration

Observation Synopsis

In the IOE, CMO success is largely contingent on the brigade commander's (BDE CDR's) focus, which varies by brigade. While one brigade commander stated explicitly that he was not in Iraq to win "hearts and minds" but rather had a combat mission to destroy "the enemy," other brigade commanders stressed that gaining the emotional and intellectual acceptance of the Iraqi people was the only way that American forces could be successful in Iraq. Within the theater, American operations differ from British operations in that the British integrate CMO with all operations and include a responsive and proactive IO program. In short, CMO is not always given command emphasis in U.S. operations. Lack of emphasis may come in the form of not providing security/escort vehicles to allow DST to function under force protection requirements.

The administration and reconstruction of a country the size of Iraq exceeds the capabilities of U.S. CA forces and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). As a result, it is necessary for major subordinate command (MSC) assets to engage in administering the country. Consequently, it is necessary to leverage assets from division and brigade, such as medical, engineering, and law enforcement. This involves functional specialists within the division linking up with their corresponding Iraqi counterpart. For instance, division medical personnel help to rejuvenate the local hospitals and departments of health, engineers assist in public works, and the provost marshal office (PMO) assists with police forces. However, these specialists and many S5 have never received any training or introduction to CMO. Orientation to CMO is not emphasized in officer basic or advanced courses. In light of the ongoing requirements in Iraq, a greater orientation in CMO to all officers would be helpful. This could occur in the captain's career course.

Furthermore, knowledge of contracting and scope of work (SOW) is critical for all CA forces. CMO activities are heavily reliant on the timely, targeted, and efficient application of funds, particularly CERP funds. Training in contracting, negotiations, and SOW would add significantly to the success of U.S. forces in CMO environments.

A structure to manage civil reconstruction projects within any size task force is necessary to ensure a unity of effort and optimal impact on the overall CMO plan. Given the importance of CMO in stability and support operations (SASO), division and brigade commanders have developed tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to direct the focus of their staffs to address CMO. One such TTP is to use non-lethal effects matrices in the form of an effects coordination cell (ECC) to track individual projects and available funding. Both at the division and brigade levels, the ECC is headed by the fire support officer (FSO), due to the existing staff of the fire support section coupled with the fact that indirect fires are not being heavily utilized currently in Iraq. This additionally capitalizes on the established relations between division and brigade FSOs. Added to this is the fact that most of the battalion S5 are also the battalion FSO. This basically shifts the focus of the artillery structure in the division to accommodate projects and contracts. Once a week, one division ECC conducted a video teleconference with the division commander and all brigade commanders. Also involved are all primary and special staff officers (for instance, the division surgeon briefs on ministry of health issues, the judge adjutant general (JAG) briefs on ministry of justice, the provost marshal (PM) on ministry of the interior, the division engineer (DIVENG) on public works, etc). Inherent in the success of the ECC is timely and accurate "bottom up" information from each sector. This involves the garnering of public sentiment by forces interacting with Iraqis on a daily basis. The ECC allows for an organized, targeted, equitable distribution of CERP funding in the division AO.

Furthermore, it is important to overlay military sectors upon existing geopolitical boundaries in Iraq. Iraq is divided into eighteen provinces and Coalition forces have established military boundaries throughout the country. In some cases, the military boundaries do not correspond with the geopolitical boundaries. This results in the Iraqi governor having to deal with more than one military chain of command, as well as military chains of command having to deal with multiple Iraqi governance and administrative structures. It also necessitates military forces establishing habitual relationships with more than one CPA regional office, since the CPA has aligned itself with existing Iraqi geopolitical divisions. The effects are similar at the battalion level, where town and county leaders are forced to deal with more than one battalion commander. In areas where Coalition forces have aligned their division, brigade, and battalion boundaries with Iraqi geopolitical divisions, there is a greater unity of effort and consistency in dealing with Iraqi governments.

The collapse of the Baath Party and subsequent debaathification efforts resulted in an absence of local Iraqi governing authorities. As a result, U.S. forces appointed governance officials as well as neighborhood, town, and district councils. In the case of Baghdad, this was done largely in concert with the CPA. Outside of Baghdad, this was done by the MSC without guidance from the CPA. The creation of local governments needs to be standardized. Local governance structures are not bounded entities. Rather, they are components of larger governing structures. Expertise must be leveraged and diffused to the lower tactical levels. This expertise includes CA, legal, financial, and interagency.

In order to leverage expertise and create consistency in Diyala and Salahdin Provinces, the MSC created a mobile training team to advise on TTP for creating town, district, and provincial governing bodies throughout the province. This had the result of providing a division unity of effort and creating compatible structures that could interact with each other. This is significant in that the MSC has two provinces in its AOR and that each of the provinces coordinates both with other provinces and with the central government in Baghdad. This is further significant in that the expertise needed to establish local governments is not doctrinally present at the maneuver battalion or brigade level. Under the present environment, that expertise does exist to some degree at the division level by virtue of their association with the CPA and the presence of a CA governance section at the CA brigade level. Failure to incorporate expertise and standardization at this level would result in a variety of different government structures that would eventually have to be modified in order to be in accordance with the national governance plan. This also serves as a mechanism for timely funding of government structures.

Unemployment and security are currently the biggest concerns of Iraqis. Projects are extremely helpful, but should include provisions for the employment of Iraqis. Unemployment, in turn, creates resentment and fertile ground for the recruitment of anti-Coalition elements. There is significant discussion in the MSC concerning the relationship between projects and the creation of a secure environment. In this vein, there are attempts to correlate improvements in the security situation with the amount of money spent in construction/reconstruction projects. Due to the virtually unlimited number of variables inherent to the situation in Iraq, the establishment of a positive correlation within acceptable margins of error is virtually impossible. Nonetheless, the restoration of a nation's economy is a vital element in securing political stability and needs to be the center of constant attention.

Lessons Learned

  • Division and brigade staffs can shift their focus to CMO and SASO. FSOs have existing coordination structures that are conducive to examining non-lethal battle effects.
  • Ensure that military sectors correspond with civil geopolitical boundaries.
  • Unemployment is a key concern and potentially linked to the security situation.
  • There needs to be a uniform process for establishing local governments.

DOTMLPF Implications

Training: Training in contract management and funding sources should be stressed in the CA course.

Leader Development: An orientation in CA and CMO should be provided in the captain's career course.

Table of Supporting Observations


Observation Title CALLCOMS
File Number
CA Operators and S5s Require Training in Project Management 10000-08640
Recognition of Geopolitical Boundaries 10000-16880
Collateral Damage 10001-29730
Area Knowledge and Language Capability is Critical in Iraq 10000-83709
Selection Support Team for Provincial Governments 10000-70200
Surveys of Iraqi Populace 10000-67032
Contracts 10000-20790
Staffing of Contracts 10000-67221

Table of Contents
Chapter 2-Topic A: Integration of the Task Force CMO Effort
Chapter 2-Topic C: Cultural Issues in Iraq




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