MNF-I “Iraqi First” Program Memo


  • 2 pages
  • September 28, 2008


1. A key aspect of our Economic Line of Operation is the creation of economic expansion, employment, and skills development opportunities for the people of Iraq. The “Iraqi First” program seeks to leverage this command’s resources to accomplish this critical task. I expect all commanders to be creative and focused on supporting this program, and to make sound, riskbased decisions that provide economic opportunities for the Iraqi people, without compromising mission critical logistics capabilities, force protection, or safety.

2. Whenever possible, all acquisition efforts should be sourced under the Iraqi First program. In making this determination, commanders must conclude that sustainable Iraqi economic growth can be achieved and that undue risk is not accepted. Commands must maintain situational awareness of the capacity of the Iraqi commercial sector to reliably supply Coalition Forces’ demand without disruption or shortages. Additionally, commanders and contracting agencies should consult with their Staff Judge Advocate to ensure compliance with applicable arms export and defense trade control laws.

3. To ensure dclivcry of quality products and services, commanders and contracting agencies should partner with Iraqi vendors to help them develop effective production and distribution systems. In situations where quality concerns prevent the awarding of contracts to Iraqi vendors, I highly encourage the use of the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) to provide vocational, trade skills, and business management training to the vendors to remedy the problems. This will not only help us obtain quality products and services, but it will also help build valuable skills in the Iraqi workforce that are critical for long-term economic growth.

4. Procuring Iraqi supplies and services strengthens the Iraqi economy and helps eliminate one of the root causes of the insurgency in Iraq – poverty and a lack or economic opportunity. I challenge all commanders to join me in promoting the Iraqi First program as outlined above. Your efforts in this economic battlespace are critical to mission success and the creation of a stable, sovereign, and prosperous Iraq.

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