View Full Version : Warner Hits Lack of Help on Iraq War

02-08-2006, 06:54 AM
8 Feb Washington Times - Warner Hits Lack of Help on Iraq War (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060208-121726-4780r.htm).

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday said federal agencies are not doing everything they could to help the U.S. military win in Iraq, prompting Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to suggest an overhaul of civilian departments to better fight Islamic terrorists.

"What we're not getting," said Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, "[are] the other elements of our government to bring to bear to conclude this conflict and perform the mission and bring our forces back."...

The Pentagon's complaint is that other agencies, such as Justice, State and Treasury, are not always sending over their best people in sufficient numbers and duration to help the Iraqis build democratic institutions such as courts, banks and police.

Pentagon officials say the issue has been discussed at interagency meetings. But because of federal personnel rules, not all needed workers can be forced to go to a hostile place such as Iraq, and they often serve short six-month tours when they do go...

02-08-2006, 11:34 PM
So how would you overhaul all the other civilian agencies, or at least the ones represented at the Cabinet level? First, the Department of State should reorganize along the same regional lines as the DoD COCOMs. However, DoS should have a COM as well, and yes, the military COCOM should be subordinate. Second, the Joint Interagency Task Force needs to be our base warfighting unit, and not the Joint Task Force. Each federal agency needs to identify personnel, either by rotation or career designation, as emergency or crisis response personnel ready to forward deploy. With the JIATF established as the base unit for operations, such as JIATF South (SOUTHCOM), federal agencies will develop a working relationship essential for successful conducting mission such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Third, the militaty needs to refine its planning processes in order to eliminate sequential planning responsible for the infamous "phase 4." By utilizing lines of operation planning, DoD planners will be able to more easily identify gaps to be filled or addressed by other agencies. Just a few thoughts.

02-20-2006, 01:49 PM
I agree with you that for the military the Joint Interagency Task Force should be the base unit. However, I would point out that while an enormous amount of time has been spent, fruitfully, looking for ways to enhance coordination with USAID, State Department, etc. at the theater level, the vast majority of actual on-the-ground work is being done by NGOs. USAID has, in Iraq, attempted to encourage unity of effort with the Partnership for Iraq but because NGOs are independent, unity of effort is based on consent. UNAMI and the Partnership for Iraq are working on parallel tracks, it seems. This makes it important to ensure not only theater-level coordination through JIATF but also to look for ways to enhance coordination with the development/NGO/humanitarian community at the tactical level. It seems to me that the importance of prioritizing JIATF would be to ensure that a message is sent throughout the chain of command that COIN is being fought with an interagency, developmental approach rather than with a military-only approach, and that way avoiding the problems of Phase 4 that everyone has been talking about - unit-to-unit differences in focus, throwing out good programs because of troop rotations, etc.