3 years ago



The Future of Iraq:

The Future of Iraq: Security.FROM PREVIOUS PAGEmilitias, religious extremists, tribal factionsand criminal gangs all have their ownagendas and espouse violence to a greater orlesser extent to achieve their respective ends.Foreign influences, sometimes wellintentioned,have generally made a badsituation worse. At the sharp end, foreignfighters — invariably Islamic extremists,often with Al Qaeda linkages — have joinedthe fray, bringing higher levels of tacticaland technical expertise plus finance to theinsurgents.[6] Iran has unquestionably beensupporting many of the Shia militia, Syriahas provided safe haven to former regimeloyalists and Turkey has recently conductedDriving in Iraq can still be a challenge and even a danger,particularly from roadside IEDs.724TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY/U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSEcross border military operations against thePartiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK) bases innorthern Iraq. Coalition Forces areinvariably perceived as an occupation forcewith an inability to crush the insurgency andfurther hampered by the domesticunpopularity of the campaign. This situationcreated an uncertainty amongst the pro-Coalition Iraqis whilst providing a sense ofopportunity for the insurgents. This trendhas been reversed in some areas, mostnotably in Anbar where the Sunni-based(and U.S.-backed) Awakening Council hasreputedly removed AZIQ fighters from theRegion. However, as General David Petraeusand Ambassador Ryan Croker have madeclear in Washington, recently, progress is‘fragile and reversible.’ Any U.S. militarydownsizing is very contingent upon thecapabilities of the Iraqi Army and Police totake over their burden. Despite encouragingsigns, it will be some time before eitherorganization will be fully fit to take on fullresponsibility for internal security. Thus,Iraq remains an unpredictable anddangerous place in which to operate in anyrespect – commercially, militarily orpolitically. It is assessed that this is likely toremain the case for years rather thanmonths.From a security standpoint, the dangersare probably well known but are either singlyor a combination of:• indirect fire including mortars androckets;• small arms fire from pistols to heavymachine guns, sometimes using armorpiercing bullets; and• Improvised Explosive Devices, which arethe most deadly element of the insurgent’sarmory, particularly the ExplosivelyFormed Projectiles whichhave penetrated militaryarmor.Attacks have generallybecome more sophisticatedin terms of tactics andtechnology. Furthermore,intimidation of localnationals who work forCoalition Forces or privatesecurity companies hasbecome widespread.Finally, kidnapping hasbeen a common feature of allelements of insurgency. It isestimated that 30-40 Iraqis aday are kidnapped (generallyfor ransom). They are aneasier target thanWesterners, who carryhigher ransom or politicalpotential.In Iraq there are severaldifferent species of ‘roughmen’ who counter thevarious threats posed by theinsurgents – MNF-I and other CoalitionForces, Iraqi Army and Police most notably.These elements can be violent, but there isanother significant element to the securitymilieu, that has provided by civilian privatesecurity companies whose role is to deliverprotection and defensive security. Offensiveoperations are rightly neither expected ofnor sanctioned for private securitycompanies. Defining a ‘typical PrivateSecurity Company’ is elusive, but in Iraqthere are several common characteristics:• Most of the employees are consultants(security operators who are hired forspecific contracts) with an ex-military orfield force police background.• Most provide physical security – forpeople, camps, convoys and equipment.There has been much scrutiny anddebate concerning the use of private securitycompanies in a war zone. Concerns revolvearound the apparent lack of accountability,professional standards, regulation anddiscipline. As ever, the promoters of theseconcerns can always find some evidence tosupport their case. This should not besurprising given that the use of privatesecurity companies in such an environmentis a venture into unchartered waters.However, it is quite clear that thereconstruction program, the resupply ofcoalition forces and the guarding of severalkey installations would not have beenpossible without the huge commitment ofprivate security companies and theiroperators.[7] Military forces could not havesustained these demands at the prevailinglevel of their operations.Private security companies would preferto develop a system of self regulation, whichis usually better informed and morepragmatic than that which is externallygenerated. To this end, a number ofassociations have been created.This whole topic warrants far moredetailed examination than can be afforded inthis article, which is a self declared snapshotbut non-partisan hitherto. The final sectionis unreservedly partisan but is intended togive an illustration of the work typicallyundertaken by one of the many privatesecurity companies that has been operatingin Iraq since 2003. Hart Security Limitedhas been heavily involved with providingsecurity for a number of large andchallenging reconstruction projectsthroughout Iraq. Most of this has beenwithin the electrical sector. These tasks havetypically required that Hart provide staticguards for camps and power lines plusmobile teams for work parties, VIPs andconvoys.Hart has always employed as manyIraqis as possible on its projects – the mostat any one time being 3,000. This hasencouraged local communities to buy intoour projects and brought them much neededemployment and income. Hart has alsobenefitted from local knowledge andinformation.In addition to these major projects Harthas consistently provided a number ofConvoy Escort Teams (10 at the most andcurrently four) to protect the resupplyconvoys for the U.S. Military. This hasproved to be the most dangerous work. TheCompany provided a high profile PersonalSecurity Detail for Dr. Allawi for a year andalso was responsible for the provision ofsecurity in parts of Baghdad and the Basraarea for the elections in early 2005. All ofthis enabled clients to work in a more secureenvironment but, as for all Private SecurityCompanies, there has been a significantprice to pay in ‘Blood and Treasure’.Typically Private Security operators areexperienced, brave and work without thesame level of support as they were used to inthe military. To be certain, all are there bychoice but their contribution to operationsoverall in Iraq should be duly recognized.18JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE OPERATIONS — — VOLUME 3, NUMBER 6 : May-June 2008

The Future of Iraq: The International Perspective.THE U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003is unlikely to enter the annals ofhistory as a triumph formultilateralism. In spite of American claimsto have secured widespread global supportfor the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime,the so-called ‘Coalition of the Willing’ wasderided as illusory, constituting a list ofpoor, weak and military insignificant statesthat had ‘joined’ the campaign at the behestof Washington.Indeed, at the beginning of hostilities inMarch 2003, 98 percent of the combat forcescommitted to battle hailed from the UnitedStates and the United Kingdom, with thefinal 2 percent coming from Australia,Poland and Denmark. Thus, the 48-member‘Coalition of the Willing’ seemed, in practice,to be nothing more than an Anglo-Saxonalliance left wanting of serious globalsupport. However, in fairness, at thebeginning of 2004, the newly constitutedMulti National Force in Iraq (MNF-I) wascomprised of relatively large deployments ofDutch, Georgian, Italian, Japanese, SouthKorean, Spanish and Ukrainian troops aswell as a whole host of smaller contributionsfrom some 30 other countries.The majority of these military personnelfrom the smaller contingents were engagedin non-combat activities such as manningcheck-points, organizing reconstruction anddistributing aid. But, the rise of theinsurgency led many of the risk-aversemembers of the MNF-I to reconsider theirpresence in the country, particularly as fewEuropean politicians seemed willing tosacrifice their soldiers in the name of adeeply unpopular cause.It was the terrorist attacks of March 11th2004 in Madrid that precipitated the largestdrawdown in non-U.S. service personnelfrom Iraq. These al-Qaeda inspired attackswere seen by many as a direct result ofinvolvement in the war and consequently awave of popular disenchantment forcedsome governments to reconsider theirmilitary commitments to the MNF-I.Thus, between mid-2004 and 2006several large contributors, including Italy,Japan, the Netherlands and Spain allwithdrew their contingents and by December2007 only 7 percent of the MNF-I was drawnfrom non-U.S. sources. Those that did notcompletely extract their forces initiated aprocess of phased withdrawal, meaning thateven previously enthusiastic members of thecoalition, such as the Australia, Poland andthe U.K., significantly reduced their militaryfootprints.J OSEPH LACEY-HOLLANDThe Coalition of the Whoever is LeftThe U.S. is Not Quite the Only Force in Iraq.The United Kingdom, which devoted45,000 personnel to the initial invasion, haseffectively disengaged from major combatoperations. After proving inept at combatingthe growing influence of Shiite militiamen inthe south and facing mounting casualties,the British government announced that theU.K. would completely withdraw from BasraCity and maintain just over 4,000 troops atthe regional airport instead. This number isexpected to dwindle further to 2,500sometime during 2008. Those that remainwill perform ‘security sector reform’ duties,or ‘overwatch’ as it is euphemistically termedby the U.K. government.Likewise, the new Australian Laboradministration of Prime Minister KevinRudd has indicated its intention to removeall remaining Australian armed forcespersonnel from Iraq. Mr. Rudd’s ardent antiwarstance contributed to a landslide victoryat the recent general election and reflectedpopular discontent at Australia’s continuedmilitary commitment to the MNF-I. Mr.Rudd has stated that the remaining 900Australian Defence Force personnel shouldbe withdrawn by the end of 2008.Poland’s government also wantscomplete disengagement by the end of 2008as well. Its command of the Multi NationalDivision-Central South is facing scrutiny bythe recently elected Prime Minister DonaldTusk, who believes that the remaining 900Poles in Iraq (down from 2,500 previously)should be brought home as soon as possible.However, this waning commitment ofcoalition members to the counter-insurgencyand reconstruction effort is not wholesale. Anumber of countries, particularly from theformer Soviet Bloc, have retained and insome cases increased their numbers in Iraq.Georgia, for example, has a quarter ofits army deployed to Wasit provinceconducting operations along the Iranianborder and also providing security at severalForward Operating Bases (FOBs). Georgiancontingents have also been involved in theprotection of the United Nations AssistanceMission to Iraq (UNAMI) in Baghdad.Similarly, Romania has around 400troops in southern Iraq engaging inreconnaissance missions and prisonerinterrogation, whilst its neighbor and NATOally, Bulgaria, has a company of soldiersguarding facilities in Ashraf City andrunning the Temporary Interview andProtection facility at the same location.Although deploying significantly smallernumbers, both Macedonia and Albaniamaintain deployments that are sizableundertakings considering their more limitedmilitary capabilities. Service personnel fromboth countries conduct combat operations inBaghdad and Mosul, supporting U.S. SpecialForces in their fight against the insurgency.This concentration of forces from theformer Soviet bloc is by no meanscoincidental. Many analysts regard suchdeployments as politically motivated movesby countries intent on solidifying theirclaims to NATO membership. Georgia,Albania and Macedonia are all chasingMembership Action Plans (MAPs) from thealliance, whilst both Romania and Bulgariaremain in the infancy of membership andare eager to prove their mettle.Beyond these European forces there is anotable contingent of South Koreansstationed in Iraqi Kurdistan and aMongolian infantry company supporting thePolish-led division out of Diwaniyah. The933-man strong ‘Zaytun Division’ fromSouth Korea is a significant contributionfrom a country that generally shies awayfrom international engagement. Howeverthe division it is strictly confined toreconstruction projects and Seoul has flatlyrefused to consider expanding its role toinclude combat.Outside the U.S.-led Operation IraqiFreedom there are international forcesparticipating in the NATO training missionfor the Iraqi police force and UNAMI. Theformer draws on personnel from 16countries but has comparably few numbersof boots on the ground, with the entiremission consisting of no more than 250military instructors and support staff.UNAMI has around 300 employees basedinside Iraq and another 300 in supportingroles at various locations throughout theMiddle East, but the majority of these arelocally employed, civilian staff.The U.S.-led coalition is far from analliance of equals. Despite the somewhatdiverse representation of nation-states, thenumbers of non-U.S. service personnelinvolved are negligible. Although thestaunchest allies of the U.S. have provenfairly resilient in their ‘staying power’ veryfew contributors have allowed their troops toengage in high-intensity operations, whichreflects global governmental hesitationabout taking casualties in Iraq. The MNF-Ireached its peak in early 2004 but since thispoint has been in terminal decline and onlythe persistent attention of U.S. diplomatshave prevented its complete collapse.E-mail jlaceyholland@ipoaonline.orgThe author is a Research Associate at IPOA.JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE OPERATIONS — — VOLUME 3, NUMBER 6 : May-June 200819

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