View Full Version : Commitment to the ISF
05-21-2007, 03:09 AM
I have been following the site for a while, and at the same time been reflecting/AARing my last two OIF tours and how we trained and partnered with the ISF. I truy believe that we have done some good work, but we have never totally "bought in" to the idea that training the ISF is our biggest priority. (or at least top 3) I have been messing around with my personal AAR on training and partenring with ISF but wanted to see what the rest of the forum thought about our commitment to our Iraqi partners.
05-21-2007, 03:43 AM
As far as training the Iraqi Army is concerned, I know that there has been a whipsawing of the view of the importance of the MTTs in Anbar. At certain points the MTTs have been told that they are the most important effort, but at other times, the way things are being done or the priorities that are being followed suggests otherwise. Beyond Iraq, I know that there is interest to get Marine MTT personnel into Afghanistan.
Bottom line, I think the commitment to the training/advisory mission is a bit schizophrenic right now. It will be interesting to see whether the advisory mission will become more or less valuable over the next few years.
05-21-2007, 11:49 AM
I'll agree that our commitment can seem suspect, but not so much from the perspective of will, but more from the area of resource allocation. We can want to do a lot of stuff for/with them, but until we can crack the code of getting all of the ISF fed, watered, and equipped to the same standards with IZ ministries doing all the heavy lifting, we shouldn't lie to ourselves.
Most here will be very pleased to see additional AARs from folks like yourself on these matters, especially those who have the FID/MTT experience firsthand.
05-21-2007, 01:47 PM
I would submit that there is no alternative to building the ISF. Train & Equip doesn't work. We will be successful only if we continue to actually partner and embedd with ISF units. The issue, touched upon tangentially here, is "how soon are we willing to do it right?" and how will we develop, protect and promote the brave souls who conduct the advisory missions?
05-21-2007, 02:07 PM
Old Eagle, I agree with you 100%. Right now I'd say there are two major efforts going on in terms of ISF development to support the "Alone and unafraid" MiTTs in Iraq. They are Transition Team Enhancement Packages (TTEPs) or Parterning. Both add value to the MiTTs and increase the training of ISF.
Transition Team Enhancement Packages basically adds a maneuver platoon to a MiTT. For example, 1st BDE decides they want to augment the MiTTs now attached to their Brigade. The Commander decides to commit one of this battalions to the TTEP mission. That battalion HQ serves as 1) the coordination cell for all the MiTTs and TTEPs and 2) conducts assistance training with the Brigade and Division level MiTTs. The platoons, however, is where the real benefits come from. As we discussed numerous times on this board, the current BN MiTTs are woefully undermanned. With only 11 soldiers on a team, every time they leave a FOB on patrol, almost the entire MiTT has to go along for the ride. Additionally, the 11 man MiTT does not have the personnel or resources to conduct both systems level training (logistics, personnel, planning, etc) AND the tactical level training of squad/platoon actions. With a 40 man platoon attached, the MiTT not only gains the value of additional security, but a robust, cohesive unit well versed in most levels of tactical actions. The MiTT then can focus on training the staff functions while the platoon can work with each line company.
A true Partnership relationship marries up one coalition battalion with one ISF battalion. In order for the partnership to pay off, there must be constant joint training, planning and execution of missions between the two. The MiTTs serve as the conduit between the two units providing communications and an honest assessment to the US units of what the ISF forces need work on. Everything from joining battalion staff training, to joint patrols at the platoon level. The ISF gets the benefit of watching/learning how the US forces conduct their operations and US units gain both the incredible HUMINT prowess and local understanding of the situation only an indig force can provide in a COIN fight.
Both methods can be effective, especially with the right leadership. Each has the potential to greatly enhance the utility/effectiveness of the ISF.
We (JCISFA) have an unclass paper floating around the BCTs and Divisions explaining in a little more detail the two approaches to partnering with the ISF, benefits and costs. Hopefully once I get some more feedback, I can throw the updated version here for all to see.
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