A map from October 8, 2014 produced by the State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit depicting territorial gains and other statistics related to the Syrian Civil War and ongoing conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Warfare in the 21st Century necessitates a complete shift in the way we think and the way we fight. More than ever, the use of nonlethal effects is having a profound impact on conflicts. Much of today’s battlefield is in the minds of the public, shaped by the spoken word, cyberspace, media, and other means of strategic communications, as well as by our physical actions. Consequently, melding information with physical operations may very well be decisive in counterinsurgency and other stability operations. By melding information operations with physical operations, the division commander, who is executing a war against an insurgency and simultaneously attempting to pacify a populace, can gain the respect, compliance, and support of the people who may tip the balance in his favor. The enemy has become adept at all means of communications, in particular information operations, and uses his actions to reinforce his message. As a result, he influences not only the indigenous population but also the world as a whole.
The CERP was formally established by the Coalition Provisional Authority in July 2003 to provide U.S. military commanders in Iraq with a stabilization tool that benefitted the Iraqi people. The program supported urgent, small-scale projects that local governments could sustain, that generally cost less than $25,000, and that provided employment. DoD defined urgent as “any chronic and acute inadequacy of an essential good or service that, in the judgment of the local commander, calls for immediate action.” Among other things, CERP funds were used to: build schools, health clinics, roads, and sewers; pay condolence payments; support economic development; purchase equipment; and perform civic cleanup. DoD used CERP as a “combat multiplier” whose projects helped improve and maintain security in Iraq through non-lethal means. The program was considered “critical to supporting military commanders in the field in executing counterinsurgency operations” and its pacification effects important to saving lives.
In January 2009 the Army’s authority to unilaterally apprehend and detain insurgents in Iraq expired. The Army now operates in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq (GOI). The change in the Army’s authority heightens the guiding principle of working by, with, and through the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). The Army must work within the Iraqi rule of law when dealing with insurgents who threaten U.S. forces. It requires the Army to work with the ISF and the Iraqi court system to remove insurgents from the street. The Army must learn how the Iraqi system is structured and how its courts operate. The Army must also help educate the Iraqi courts, particularly the judges, on the science of how Americans collect and process evidence (forensics). Educating the judges on forensics is important to the Army having its day in court and its evidence entered into the proceeding against the insurgents.
(U//FOUO) U.S. Marine Corps Human Intelligence Exploitation Team (HET) Operations in Iraq Lessons Learned Report
HET is viewed as a highly valuable and effective intelligence generating asset which, in conjunction with other intelligence sources, provides a significant amount of actionable intelligence during operations in Iraq. “The HET teams produced more reporting … than any other intel asset we have out there.” “HETs have been the pointy tip of the spear in this counterinsurgency fight. Two-thirds of MNF-W operations are directly driven by HET operations.” Key observations from this collection include the following.
The purpose of this special study is to provide commanders, leaders, and planners at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels a guide that synchronizes strategic-level requirements and outcomes with operational- and tactical-level objectives, therefore providing synergy of effort that will support the Army Force Generation cycle and reset planning timelines. It is our hope that this information will be useful to both sustainment and maneuver commanders, that it will constitute a historical survey of recent drawdown operations, and that it will offer tactics, techniques, and procedures that can be used today and in the future to assist cornmanders at all levels with the planning and execution of the responsible drawdown of forces.
The Multi-National Corps–Iraq logistics staff and the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) support operations cell, an element of the Iraqi Assistance Group, merged at the operational level to publish plans, policies, and procedures that met the strategic aims of the coalition forces, the national goals of the government of Iraq, and the joint campaign plan published by Multi-National Force–Iraq. Corps sustainment planners published operational objectives for execution at the operational and tactical levels in an effort to develop a sustainment-based system for the ISF. Based on experiences and observations over the past 18 months, the partners, advisors, and planners gathered the best practices for advising and assisting security forces at all levels of the sustainment system. This handbook presents partnering considerations in developing a fundamental base for a self-sustaining, host nation security force.
SIGIR audits, inspections, and investigations have found serious weaknesses in the government’s controls over Iraq reconstruction funds that put billions of American taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation. The precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known, but SIGIR believes it is significant. As of June 30, 2012, SIGIR audit reports had questioned $635.8 million in costs, and SIGIR Investigations, working with other agencies, had resulted in $176.84 million in fines, forfeitures, and other monetary results.
(U//FOUO) U.S. Air Force Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) Airpower Lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan
“Enduring Airpower Lessons from Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF)” is one of three lessons learned (L2) focus areas directed by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) at CORONA Top 2008. This report is the third and last in a series of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) L2 reports produced for fiscal year 2009 and focuses on Small UAS (SUAS) capabilities and issues.
On December 20th, 2011, Iraq published its first EITI Reconciliation report, a report which was heralded as “a historic step toward oil sector transparency” by the international community, as the report outlined in great detail the money received from export sales by the Baghdad government. However, as already noted by Johnny, there were many questions raised by the report itself, and over the past couple of days I’ve been seeing how much information already in the public domain can answer just some of those questions.
Most US personnel that are serving in Afghanistan have already served a tour in Iraq and are accustomed to doing things “the Iraq way”. Many people are trying to apply the lessons learned in Iraq to Afghanistan, which in many cases is inappropriate. AF2 wants to provide a product to US units to compare and contrast Iraqi tribal structure and Pashtun tribal structure to prevent future missteps by US forces.
Multi-National Forces West Biometric Automated Toolset (BAT) Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE) SOP and TTP from June 2007.
(U//FOUO) Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance Iraqi Federal Police Advisor Guide
As the U. S. Defense Department scales back operations in Iraq, one of the most significant questions that remains is whether the Iraqi security forces will be capable of maintaining civil order on their own. This manual was produced by the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance (JCISFA) to help prepare deploying advisors, trainers, and partner forces that will work directly with Iraqi police. The intent is to provide a basic understanding of the country of Iraq and a solid understanding of the current organization and utilization of the Iraqi police. This manual also provides guidance on what it means to work ” by, with and through” a counterpart, and includes observations and insights learned by your predecessors.
This is the Final Edition of the USF-I Base Transition Smartbook. Updated from the October 2010 edition, it provides a single-source, quick reference guide for the base transition process, and captures/de-conflicts updated and additional base transition guidance through the use of bold and strike-through text. The information in this Smartbook summarizes base transition Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), published US Forces-Iraq (USF-I) orders/ guidance, and lessons learned from past base transitions to facilitate honorable and successful transitions of remaining non-enduring bases and enduring sites. The USF-I Base Transition Smartbook is the guiding document for transitioning USF-I bases in the Iraq Joint Operations Area (IJOA) to the Government of Iraq (GoI). Guidance is intended to be flexible enough to fit a range of situations, and to ensure a base is transferred properly, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The Base Transition Smartbook is located on the USF-I J7 website. Revisions are summarized below and highlighted throughout the text.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report in May 2011 titled “Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk” that details Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention and supervision of aliens. The report includes a list of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that are said to “promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members”. The report states that ICE uses a Third Agency Check (TAC) to screen aliens from specially designated countries (SDCs) that have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members and that the purpose of the additional screening is to determine whether other agencies have an interest in the alien. ICE’s policy requires officers to conduct TAC screenings only for aliens from SDCs if the aliens are in ICE custody.
FOUO Iraq Improvised Explosive Device Smart Card from October 27, 2004.
Amateur footage recently posted on the internet shows American troops firing live ammunition on Iraqi prisoners during a riot in a US detention facility in Iraq back in 2005. The footage shows US forces using disproportionate force and live rounds against prisoners at the US prison facility Camp Bucca located in Iraq. The Iraqi detainees were protesting the American troops’ desecration of Islam’s holy book, the Qur’an. At the time, the US military tried to cover up the bloodshed, saying the riot happened when the prisoners confronted a search for contraband in the prison. But the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) later revealed that the real cause of the riot was the desecration of the Holy Qur’an by US troops.Four prisoners were shot dead and five others wounded during the violence.
Human terrain teams (HTTs) consist of five to nine personnel deployed by the HTS to support field commanders. HTTs fill the socio-cultural knowledge gap in the commander’s operational environment and interpret events in his AO. The team, individuals with social science and operational backgrounds, deploys with military units to bring knowledge about the local population into a coherent analytic framework. The teams also assist in building relationships with the local community in order to provide advice and opportunities to commanders and staffs in the field.
Iraqi security forces detained about 300 people, including prominent journalists, artists and lawyers who took part in nationwide demonstrations Friday, in what some of them described as an operation to intimidate Baghdad intellectuals who hold sway over popular opinion. On Saturday, four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest of thousands at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit. “It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists,” said Hussan al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet, who described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. “Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq.”
Roads, canals and schools built in Afghanistan as part of a special U.S. military program are crumbling under Afghan stewardship, despite steps imposed over the past year to ensure that reconstruction money is not being wasted, according to government reports and interviews with military and civilian personnel. U.S. troops in Afghanistan have spent about $2 billion over six years on 16,000 humanitarian projects through the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, which gives a battalion-level commander the power to treat aid dollars as ammunition. A report slated for release this month reveals that CERP projects can quickly slide into neglect after being transferred to Afghan control. The Afghans had problems maintaining about half of the 69 projects reviewed in eastern Laghman province, according to the audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
An initial comparison of a few documents redacted by WikiLeaks to the same documents released by the Department of Defense shows that WikiLeaks removed more information from the documents than the Pentagon. CNN accessed the Department of Defense versions from the official U.S. Central Command website, where it posts items that have been released under the Freedom of Information Act. The first incident examined by CNN was the case of a car that drove toward a group of soldiers moving on foot through Tall Afar on January 18, 2005. The version of the “significant action” (SIGACTS) report released by the Pentagon said the unit involved was the A/1-5 and it was a patrol (abbreviated PTL). When the car failed to stop after a single warning shot, the patrol “engaged the car” and killed two civilians. The same document released Friday by WikiLeaks does not include the unit, the A/1-5, or that its members were on a patrol. In a summary of the incident, WikiLeaks redacted the number of killed civilians, but the accompanying narrative included the number.
The Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) is a tethered aerostat-based system that has been in use by the U.S. Army since 2004. According to the PTDS is equipped with multi-mission sensors to provide long endurance intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to information provided by the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the PTDS “leverages a wide-area, secure communications backbone for the integration of threat reporting from multiple available sensors. The system’s sensor integration architecture supports the automated interoperability between tactical/theater surveillance assets and the dissemination of threat data to operational forces to aid interdiction of hostile fires and unconventional threats.”
Nick Clegg was tonight forced to clarify his position on the Iraq war after he stood up at the dispatch box of the House of Commons and pronounced the invasion illegal. The deputy prime minister insisted he was speaking in a personal capacity, as a leading international lawyer warned that the statement by a government minister in such a formal setting could increase the chances of charges against Britain in international courts. Philippe Sands, professor of law at University College London, said: “A public statement by a government minister in parliament as to the legal situation would be a statement that an international court would be interested in, in forming a view as to whether or not the war was lawful.”