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Thread: Building Indigenous Security Forces to match the realities of METT-TC

  1. #1
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Building Indigenous Security Forces to match the realities of METT-TC

    SWC folks,
    I showed this DRAFT (I've still not decided what to do with it) to Dave and Tom and a couple of others. I've attached a draft of something I've been thinking about for the last six months or so and wanted to get out prior to going into the redeployment black hole, leave and PCS to new schools and job. Not all of this is applicable to what we've done here working with the IA, but think of it as an outgrowth ref. thoughts on security forces. If it fosters some useful discussion then its all good - I think we're going to be doing this job awhile (if not here, then in other locations)

    The purpose of this paper is to foster discussion on the organizational design, functions and capabilities of security forces in developing and transitioning states to counter the threats of enemies whose goals, strategies and tactics are opposed to long term security and stability. This is an important question for U.S. security because the expenditure of our own resources is better spent if it requires minimal maintenance and can serve to advance the relationships needed in the generational struggle we face in the Global War on Terror.
    Working as an advisor with the Iraqi Security Forces over the last year has caused me to consider the question of how do you help indigenous leaders to build something that may look and act differently from anything you’re used to seeing, are comfortable with, or is beyond your experience? How do you (you being the agency, command or group tasked) provide the analytical foresight to ensure that the security forces you are helping them build both meet the current needs, but are also adaptable/flexible enough to evolve to meet emerging threats? It is probable that we will be doing this more often in different capacities and on varying scales in different locations around the globe in support of the Global War on Terror (GWOT)......
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 02-09-2007 at 09:46 AM.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Help Rob (and Me) Help You

    All,

    I am currently assembling a Transition Team newsletter. Other folks are working a handbook; I want to provide a companion reader that samples current experiences and thoughts on MiTTs and ETTs. I also am going heavy on the cultural and experience aspects of advisor duty. To that end I am trying right now to boil my book down to 10 pages or less, reflacting my experiences and the insights and lessons I gained along the way.

    Rob has been a real trooper in this effort: he has produced 4 articles and countless emails on this subject. If you have insights to offer based on current or past operations, get them to me.

    But first, look at Rob's work and offer constructive thoughts. He is downrange and he is making the professional effort to assist those who will follow him.

    Best
    Tom

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    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
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    Rob,
    Well thought out paper and I like the fact that you focus on identifying the stengths and weaknesses of the HN forces. We as a US military tend to make everyone and everything look like us, which culturally is a huge mistake. I wasted a good month or two as an advisor trying to bang my head against iraqi military culture trying to shape it like US military culture. After a large headache, I came to the realization that we (our AST back then) needed to work with the organic Iraqi strengths to shape them into their own force, not a "mini-me" approach where they looked and functioned like a US unit.

    On another note, I'd argue that the Iraqi national police and their transistion teams (NPTTs) are trying to get to that exact internal security force you described. Whereas the IPs are more of a local and regional based force, the NP has a broader internal security function very similiar to what you describe in your article. I think the biggest problem right now, however, is the IA and IPs are progressing at a significantly faster pace that the national police. There lies the gap. Without that internal security force well established and led, either the IPs have to step up or the IA focuses internal until the national police is up and running.

    Those of you familiar with the history of the NYPD may remember when the TPF existed. This force was used as a police "QRF" to assist in taming the more dangerous and difficult areas of NYC back in the 60s and 70s. I can see a section of the Iraqi National Police taking over a similar TPF role but in a nationwide arena.

    BTW Rob, where you in 1-63 AR as an LT? If so, I may still owe you some 9mm rounds I bummed from you in Taji when you were with 1 CD!! Stay safe!

    Sully

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Tom and Rob, I just finished reading the article and in general it is fantastic, but I would like to let it soak in some. The parts on LE functions particularly undercover, HUMINT are critical in the long run, but they will also be some of the most dangerous. I will post some thoughts later.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Sully, you don't have anything on the National Police that you could send me do you? There is still a huge break in comms between the different types of TTs. Mostly all we have visible up here are the IPs, and they are understrength and need some love. As for the 9mm rounds, I think that might have been another Rob Thornton, I often get mail for at least three different R. Thorntons - small Army

    Slapout - I was hoping you put some LE thoughts into this - those were the parts I was making some big leaps on.

    Regards all, Rob
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 02-09-2007 at 03:44 PM.

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Small Wars Journal...

    Rob,

    We are finally getting Small Wars Journal Magazine Vol. 7 up and are already putting together Vol 8. I would like to run your article in 8 - that still gives some time to tweak based on Council members input.

    Let me know and keep on keeping on...

    Dave

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Smile Great!

    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Rob,

    We are finally getting Small Wars Journal Magazine Vol. 7 up and are already putting together Vol 8. I would like to run your article in 8 - that still gives some time to tweak based on Council members input.

    Let me know and keep on keeping on...

    Dave
    Cool

    But I will recycle with CALL as well; I believe we can make this MiTT newsletter something relevant beyond current ops.

    Tom

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    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
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    Rob,
    Let me dig around a little. I was working with the 18th MP BDE last month as they get ready to take over the PTT mission. I'm also working with guys from the Office of the Provost Marshall General as they prepare a "tiger team" to prepart the PTTs and NPTTs. I'll shoot you an e-mail if I find anything worthwhile. The national police definately are the red-headed step children in this training effort, and a good portion of it is their own fault.

    Yeah, must be another Rob Thorton. I'll keep my 9mm rounds then! Stay safe!

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Sully, I am pretty familiar with NYPD in the 70's and I know about their stakeout teams which some consider NYPD's original version of SWAT, but I am not familiar with the TPF. What does that stand for?

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    Default quick thoughts

    Rob,

    I enjoyed your paper and I think it is an important subject. Having worked as an advisor for years in numerous countries, I am very frustrated with the U.S. approach, especially as a tax payer. There are issues we're not going to resolve related to the business end, such as our requirement to push U.S. equipment on our friends, whether it is the best equipment for their military or not (especially when you look at the maintenance tail and price tag associated with it). However, the cultural bias we bring when we feel compelled to train and organize their military forces in our image has been our downfall for years. This is simply arrogance and cultural ignorance.

    Here are some quick (and rough) thoughts on your paper:

    we have to decide first what the desired endstate (there is not an end state, but a transition point, all security force elements will continue to evolve).

    Is there a need to perform every BOS function in the manner we consider them: (whatever it is that “they” decide to implement and resource, it needs to be a complete and functional system). Most of our MTTs have failed long term, because we only establish subsystems. It doesn't matter if you train the mechanic, but there is no mechanism for the mechanic to get spare parts.

    It has proved entirely inadequate because they are too small and too limited to respond to all the IEDs that occur (this implies that this then must become a common task to some extent, so I would think the trick is determining what training is equipment is required at the Squad level to reduce IEDs).

    We should be careful not to push our IO procedures upon the Iraqis, ours is encumbered with a non-functional bureaucracy. The terrorists are running circles around us. Tell the Iraqis what the problem is, then let them solve it.

    Reference your C4I structure, Great in concept, but does it really fit the “Iraqi” reality? This assumes that everyone in the security forces is vetted; therefore, trustworthy, which is far from the reality. We’re damned if we do, and damned to a lesser degree if we don’t.

    Reference structure: I have a lot of thoughts on that, but the bottom line you first have to have a strategy and a C2 structure set up, then design the forces based on allocated missions and strategies. Iraq is a tough nut to crack, because we're trying to dig out of the grave we dug for ourselves.

    I think the paper is great as it is now, and hopefully it will generate a lot of discussion in the ranks.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Well Done !

    Hi Rob, I have read your paper three times and I am really impressed. If you can just get it implemented. The only areas I will comment on are in the CRT company. The undercover/plain clothes details are going to develop large informant networks, at least if they are any good they should. If not something is wrong. This is going to require a special payment capability. Most informants are and should be paid in cash. You will have to have special accounting procedures to account for the money and to protect the identities of the informants. This is a critical process, people lives are at stake and it should be handled care.

    Wal-mart logistics. I just love that idea because again your plain clothes people can not use anything that would give them away. Again payments systems are critical. How they pay for their apartments,clothes,cars everything can not give them away or look American in any way. Their weapons, clothes, hair regulations all must blend in completely with the local community.

    The UC's (under cover) should work on mission type orders. So long as they produce results and stay inside the law just let them run at their own speed and time. This is probably going to give any military organization fits, but it is important. If the operations are going well they will probably look sloppy to an outsider, that is the only way I can think of to explain it. However the standard is are they producing good actionable Intel!!! If they are leave them alone, if not then find out why (there may be good reasons) and if you are not satified they should be removed form the unit, promptly!


    That is about all I would change. Later Stay Safe

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Gents,
    I really appreciate the feedback, the discussion has already outweighted the value of the paper. I wanted to take a second and give you a sense of some of the things that are happening (or not) here ref. this weekends comments.

    From Slapout:
    If you can just get it implemented.
    In truth its really more about selling parts of it to CF and senior IA types (although the paper was more general and hopefully wil extend beyond Iraqi Security Forces - maybe as Tom had mentioned -" thoughts beyond current ops".) Some senior IA types (06 and above) are making a transition between: what they remember from an old Iraqi Army (manyof whom say they have more credibility because of the "red stripe" ndicating the old staff officers course), what they think somebody else wants to see, and finally in some cases what they might rather be doing - to -what the BN and below level leadership are finding works in this fight right now. There are however some good BDE CDRs who understand - I saw a BDE CDR from across the river on local TV a few night ago who understands very well, but he may have the opposite problem with his BN CDRs - hard to tell. In many ways this reminds me of our Army (or any large institution) where change feels like "geological time". In Iraq's case it will have to be them that make any real changes that are more then just one BN's TTP -

    (From Bill)
    we have to decide first what the desired endstate (there is not an end state, but a transition point, all security force elements will continue to evolve).
    however CF are in a position to influence in a number of ways - but first we'd need some consensus on what that is. The advisory effort is still a work in progress with many TTs left to refine what right looks like. This probably could be a seperate thread, but it might be a good idea to reconsider the relationships between TTs and MSCs (probably attach them right to the DIV HQs (not OPCON or ADCON but attach). It would close the loop between truth on the ground and truth at the higher echelons, give the MSCs more flexibility to apply resources to fix problems and bring problems like "combined interoperability" to light much sooner so solutions can be resourced. A big part of the problem here is communication (SA/SU) between the TTs and MSCs and communications between the various TTs of all flavors who need to share, but are on a myriad of different comms platforms. OK - it was a digression, but I hope it highlights how we might set ourselves up so we can better assist the host nation force to understand its problems and implement solutions.

    From Slapout:
    The undercover/plain clothes details are going to develop large informant networks, at least if they are any good they should.This is going to require a special payment capability. Most informants are and should be paid in cash. You will have to have special accounting procedures to account for the money and to protect the identities of the informants. This is a critical process, people lives are at stake and it should be handled care.
    We are working this. The biggest problem here is there is either not enough money, or because of fear of corruption or someother reason, we've made getting the money into the hands of informants difficult. The enemy however does not have the same inhibitions/restrictions - he is able to use extremes that oscillate between payoffs and murder. Money right now is the currency that will get the average guy on the street to talk, particularly if provided by the Iraqis - the target audience is the desperate guy (who might otherwise plant an IED), or could be used to turn a lightweight detainee into a snitch. The IA understand it, but currently rely on mostly CF funds to pay detainees. Future (and current) may need to relook how such funds are used and how we might use some different metrics to justify larger expenditures - example - there is a psychological and information aspect to the use of money that we (the conventional folks) don't fully grasp - because we are not nearly so desperate to understand how a man will risk his life for $25 -$100 to plant an IED. My Dad was a police officer in Nashville for 25 years, he worked as a patrolman, a detective and for the last few years before he retired running the evidence room. Large sums of $$$, drugs, weapons, and other confiscated high value items were there - there is not really anything like that here. If there were, it might be put to use financing operations, outfitting special units, etc. I think all the TTs and ISF cells could really benefit from having some senior big city experienced LE types to help shape the emerging security environment.
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 02-12-2007 at 07:55 AM.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default continued

    Bill
    Is there a need to perform every BOS function in the manner we consider them: (whatever it is that “they” decide to implement and resource, it needs to be a complete and functional system). Most of our MTTs have failed long term, because we only establish subsystems. It doesn't matter if you train the mechanic, but there is no mechanism for the mechanic to get spare parts.
    The fielding of the HMMWV is a great example that has both benefits and drawbacks. The fielding of the armored HMMWV has made a huge positive impact on the effectiveness of the IA (IPs continue to use unarmored Chevys and Fords). I have witnessed the number of IA lives saved because even with Level II armor, it still stops the basic IED. However, CL IX is a constant problem. Slowly we are getting their system up, but the pain we went/are going through makes you wonder if it might not have been a better idea to have gone with something more user friendly then the HMMWV. The question may not be so simple though as we are now very aware of the problems with our aquisition process (take the order of Cougars, Buffalos and RG 32s we are trying to procure). We have 2 types of heavy transportation trucks the IA are using - the first is the 7.5t Russian Kraz. A beast of a truck, but it has a split transmission and a weak clutch. We're replacing all the Russian clutches with German ones (thicker), but its still a bear to drive. The other truck is a 2.5t RIO (a copy of our old deuce and a' half) a great truck for the IA, but there is not enough of them. So I guess it comes back to understanding that although you might get forced into a short term procurement to fill an immediate need - you have to understand the long term consequences of field the wrong pieces of equipment and have somebody to stay on top of it. I've got other examples - an 8mm Yugo M76 Sniper rifle ( a slightly larger variant of the Dragunov) that is hard to get CL V for, and many others. We might get forced into short term solutions, but that does not eliminate the long term consequences.

    Bill:
    It has proved entirely inadequate because they are too small and too limited to respond to all the IEDs that occur (this implies that this then must become a common task to some extent, so I would think the trick is determining what training is equipment is required at the Squad level to reduce IEDs).
    This one is only going to get more important. I view IEDs as a growing threat. The technology and TTP will proliferate. It will go far beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. Stan could probably talk quite a bit about that. Indigenous Security Forces are going to be hard pressed to deal with IEDs the way we do. They can not (and neither can we) afford to resource them the way we resource our own EOD teams or the protective measures we use to harden our vehicles and reduce our risks (although in the case of Iraq you could argue that once their petroleum industry gets up and running they may be able to afford higher end technology in the long term). I don't even think CF has as much EOD capability as we'd like. The IA rather then tie up a patrol waiting for hous on a cordon will dump a belt of PKC into it from afar - not the preferred technique - but they don't have many other choices. To expand on what Bill had mentioned - maybe the way to go is echeloned capability - where BNs have several EOD techs that while not rolling out in a mine resitant vehicle, could respond in a bomb suit - if the IED looks to large or complex, they call in the next echelon. Again, aspiring terrorists and insurgents cannot help but notice the benefits of the IED - it ties up resources and has incredible IO effect for a small investment. I think we will see IEDs almost any where we go in GWOT now.

    Bill:
    We should be careful not to push our IO procedures upon the Iraqis, ours is encumbered with a non-functional bureaucracy. The terrorists are running circles around us. Tell the Iraqis what the problem is, then let them solve it.
    Concur - Host nation/Indigenous forces will almost always have a much better feel for what appeals or sinks in then we will - however that may still not always be in line with what we'd like to portray since our own actions have impacts outside the immediate area. Maybe a combined IO cell initially, then when the Host Nation security force is well established, they run an independant one while we concern ourselves with "state external" IO.
    ours is encumbered with a non-functional bureaucracy
    - the word backwash comes mind as ideas and initiatives get pulled out of the current, pushed to the side, trapped behind rocks and filled with flotsam. I blame our culture which likes the quantitative results that can be measured in a year long tour over the qualitiative which may extend far beyond the tour - we've discussed IO on a few other threads, but another reason for the indigenous forces to run the IO is they actually do have a long term stake - they will not rotate home in a year.

    Bill: Reference your C4I structure, Great in concept, but does it really fit the “Iraqi” reality? This assumes that everyone in the security forces is vetted; therefore, trustworthy, which is far from the reality. We’re damned if we do, and damned to a lesser degree if we don’t.
    I don't know - most of my time spent here has been looking for Iraqi sustainable solutions to Iraqi Problems. The IA have shown that with some training they can sustain certain levels of IT - in fact with Blutooth and cell phones they are in some ways more sophisitcated then we are - so I'd say the best solution may be to employ something similiar to what they are already comfortable with. Ref. the vetting - double edges on that one - however, I'm not sure it matters - the bad guys already have ways of getting their info out fast (if our guys snag somebody important we have what is called the "sheik test" meaning that a sheik calls within the first 2 hours) - consequently we have a sheik drill . I guess it goes back to weighing out the value and risk of bringing the good guys up to speed vs. greater risk. This, like the IED questionis one we will see again and again because IT is prolific and the enemy seems to get more out of it then we do - consider the preference by US forces to use closed networks - while it protects our information, it also keeps us from information and may even influence our decisions about IO? I do think that each solution for the different security forces we find ourselves assisting needs to be evaluated and may require different solutions - we at least (like the discussion on logistics) need to go trough the long term analysis.


    Bill
    Reference structure: I have a lot of thoughts on that, but the bottom line you first have to have a strategy and a C2 structure set up, then design the forces based on allocated missions and strategies. Iraq is a tough nut to crack, because we're trying to dig out of the grave we dug for ourselves.
    I really like this comment because like this one
    we have to decide first what the desired endstate (there is not an end state, but a transition point, all security force elements will continue to evolve.
    it starts with analysis and consideration of secondary and tertiary, long term type effects. We need to help the state we are assisting to see not only their immediate and short term security needs, but also their long term. This way they can better understand the transition points in their own evolving security environment - they are the real continuity. Its good for us and good for them.

    I appreciate the discussion and the comments greatly. I look forward to sharing a beer with some of you in the future.
    Regards, Rob
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 02-12-2007 at 07:50 AM.

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    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Sully, I am pretty familiar with NYPD in the 70's and I know about their stakeout teams which some consider NYPD's original version of SWAT, but I am not familiar with the TPF. What does that stand for?

    Slapout, TPF was the tactical patrol force. There were handpicked officers who basically were "flexed" to the precients which were having the most trouble to augment the guys in the station house. This was all pre comp-stat times but when, for example, if the 42d PCT was having a hard time dealing with an increase in drug related violence, the TPF could basically "flood the zone" to help out the local PCT commander. A link about the TPF is below:

    http://www.policeny.com/TPF1.html

    My Dad started out working in the Bronx then moved to the TPF. From there he was promoted to detective and worked with the Bronx DAs office. He did polygraphings and Hostage negotations on the side as well. Hence my interest in the NYPD and law enforcement tools we can use in COIN!

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Rob, I like your emphasis on "sustainable" and internal trans solutions for the IA.

    I would be willing to bet that anything based on the basic Mercedes truck design would be usable to the IA. A locally-produced mine-resistant vehicle based on the UNIMOG might be the ticket. the Iraqis I knew in OIF were extremely cognizant of what it takes to keep Mercedes trucks running.

    I know that Germany has a current surplus of them; perhaps a deal could be worked.

    Alternatively, the US is transitioning to the LMTV family of vehicles; what are they doing to all the newly remanufactured M35A3/A4 variants? A lend/lease kind of arrangement could surely be worked out, in lieu of selling them for a few hundred bucks at OUSPFO auction....

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