View Full Version : Report of the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq

09-06-2007, 04:54 PM
Report of the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq (http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/2007/September/Jones%2009-06-07.pdf)- 6 Sep.
AP summary - Study: U.S. should lower profile in Iraq (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070906/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq_81;_ylt=AoXKE1kJT4EnSw939bO3ibMUewgF).

A panel of retired senior military and police officers recommended Thursday that the United States lighten its footprint in Iraq to counter the image that it's an "occupying force."

The panel said significantly reducing the number of U.S. troops and allowing Iraqi forces to take over more daily combat missions by early next year would be "possible and prudent."

"The force footprint should be adjusted in our view to represent an expeditionary capability and to combat a permanent-force image of today's presence," said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, who led the 20-member commission.

"This will make an eventual departure much easier," Jones told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Jones' report, released Thursday, concluded that Iraqi security forces would be unable to take control of their country in the next 18 months. If Iraqi troops were to be given more of a lead, as envisioned by the panel, it is still expected U.S. troops would still play a substantial role by providing logistics and other support, as well as continued training ...

NYTIMES summary: - Panel Sees Moore than a Year Before Iraq Can Handle Security (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/washington/06policy.html?ref=washington&pagewanted=print).

A report by an independent commission created by Congress says that it will be at least 12 to 18 months before Iraq (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iraq/index.html?inline=nyt-geo)’s army and police can take charge of the country’s security, pushing further into the future estimates of when American forces can step back from their leading role.

The finding is the latest in a series of ever-lengthening predictions by American officials about when Iraqi forces might be able to operate independently. In February, a national intelligence estimate also put the timeline at least a year; since 2005, senior American military commanders in Iraq have said that Iraq’s security forces would soon be able to take the leading security role in parts of the country.

The 20-member commission, headed by Gen. James L. Jones of the Marines, now retired, found that the Iraqi armed forces, especially the army, were steadily improving but still suffering from “limited operational effectiveness,” according to a copy of the panel’s report that was being circulated Wednesday in advance of its formal release ...

09-07-2007, 01:30 PM
Anthony Cordesman of CSIS, 6 Sep 07: The Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq: A Critique (http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/070906_isfcommissioncritique.pdf)

Let me note that I was one of several briefers to the Commission, and provided it with analysis and background detail. I did not, however, participate in the final drafting.

That said, many key aspects of the report and its findings track with my own impressions and analysis. There are few areas where the report raises issues or problems in ISF development that I have not seen independently confirmed by visits to Iraq, discussions with Iraqi and US officers working on these issues, and other reports. I believe the Commission is accurate in saying that ISF development can succeed in many areas if the US is patient, willing to put in years of further effort, and realistic in its goals and efforts.

At the same time, accurate and useful as most of the Commission’s findings are, it does not properly link its recommendations and analysis to the level of civil conflict in Iraq, and the importance of political accommodation as a precondition for the success of the US effort. There also are several other serious problems and issues that it does not fully address.....