THE COMING MELTDOWN FOR THE DEMOCRATS?
By Ed Morrissey
in the race, Republicans appeared headed to a brokered convention. GOP
primary voters couldn't decide on a front-runner, and it looked like
three or even four candidates could make it to the national convention
with significant numbers of delegates, touching off a floor fight. It
would have been 1976 all over again -- the convention that nominated
Gerald Ford and left the Republicans flat.
Now, however, it's the Democrats who appear to be headed to a 1976 scenario instead. Chris Bowers at Open Left describes the problem accurately:
The polling picture for Super Tuesday is starting to fill
out now. With only 34 hours until polls close in California, it appears
virtually certain that we will have a split decision in terms of
delegates. Currently, by multiplying the average polling margin by the
number of delegates in each state, I arrive at an estimate of Clinton
889 delegates, Obama 799 pledged delegates earned from Super Tuesday
itself. However, in virtually every state, more recent polls show
better results for Obama, which should improve his standing almost
across the board. At this point, a 90-delegate victory for Clinton on
Super Tuesday is probably her best-case scenario, and the margin should
less than 50 delegates in either direction. A narrow Obama victory on
Super Tuesday is even within his reach now.
This one is going beyond Super Tuesday, folks. With only 22 states,
D.C., Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands left to vote after Super
Tuesday, one has to wonder if it is possible for the deadlock to be
broken before the convention. Even though Clinton will probably lead by
100 or so delegates after Super Tuesday, the February schedule favors
Obama. As such, with only 3,253 pledged delegates, and 2,025 needed to
win, it no longer seems possible for either candidate to win without
the assistance of at least some of the 796 super delegates.
Consequently, it is probably time to start discussing the most
democratic way to break the deadlock, such as measuring the measuring
the overall popular vote or pledged delegate totals, and urging super
delegates to line up behind the candidate who leads according to that
metric. A situation like this makes problems such as caucuses not
counting popular votes, as well as the Michigan and Florida situations,
far more severe and troubling. In short, it looks like we have a real
mess on our hands now.
Indeed, and Bowers doesn't mention the real nightmare
scenario. Hillary Clinton has had an edge in the superdelegates, both
in number and in influence. These superdelegates represent the party
establishment, which owes a lot to the Clintons over the last 16 years.
The two have won elections for the party establishment and raised a lot
of money, something Barack Obama has hardly had a chance to do until
What happens if Obama comes to the convention -- and Hillary beats him with the superdelegates?
It could create a huge firestorm in Denver that could consume the
party's oxygen for the next several years. The African-American vote
would see this as a stolen nomination and could walk away from the
Democrats. Rank-and-file voters, especially those who supported Obama's
call for change in politics, would likely see this as smoke-filled-room
maneuvering -- which is exactly what it would be. The bitterness would
extend to the House and Senate members of the superdelegate assembly
who backed Clinton over Obama, and it could threaten the Democrats'
down-ticket races as well as their presidential election chances.
Under that scenario, would Hillary follow Bowers' suggestion and
push the superdelegates to support Obama and concede power? Or will
Hillary and Bill lean heavily on them, call in their chits, and
fracture the party on the chance that they could unite it afterwards?
Given the Clintonian attraction to power, I'd call the latter scenario
a lot more likely. Tuesday, February 5, 2008
By Mike Lester
“There is a real affection for the Clinton
administration and a real familiarity with Senator Clinton,” said
Cecilia Munoz, senior vice president for policy at the National Council
of La Raza. In addition, she said, Clinton “got support of the big
figures in the Latino political establishment quite early. So she has
really terrific surrogates and they have been on board with her for a
The legacy of Bill Clinton’s administration was evident in
yesterday’s exit polls from California, where Clinton beat Obama among
Hispanics by 2 to 1. “There is a lot of name support,” Vargas said.
So, where did all of Hillary’s Latino votes come from? Well, there’s
another legacy of Bill Clinton’s administration that should not be
forgotten: The corrupted, reckless Citizenship USA program. Rosemary
Jenks of Numbers USA first blew the whistle on the subversion of the naturalization process, pushed by then-VP Al Gore in 1996:
The preliminary results of the INS internal review of
naturalization applications approved during CUSA, as presented to the
Subcommittee by Assistant Attorney General for Administration Stephen
Colgate clearly show that the problems were severe. Of the 1,049,872
immigrants granted U.S. citizenship under CUSA:
* 71, 557 were found to have FBI criminal records, including INS
administrative actions (e.g., deportation proceedings or other
immigration violations), and misdemeanor and felony arrests and
* Of these 71,557, 10,800 had at least one felony arrest, 25,500 had at
least one misdemeanor arrest, but no felonies, and 34,700 had only
administrative actions initiated against them;
* 113,126 had only name checks because their fingerprint cards were returned to the INS by the FBI because they were illegible;
* 66,398 did not have FBI criminal record checks because their fingerprint cards were never submitted to the FBI by the INS; and
* 2,573 were still being processed by the FBI.
As of late February 1997, 168 of these new citizens had been found
to be “presumptively, statutorily ineligible” for naturalization based
on their criminal record, and in another 2,800 cases, it could not be
determined based on available information whether they were eligible or
Former House Judiciary Cmte chief counsel David Schippers followed up on the investigation and published his findings in his book, Sellout. A relevant excerpt:
My staff and I agreed that we needed to focus on the
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which appeared to be
running out of control. By the time we came to the subject,
investigations by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and congressional
committees had already indicated that the White House used the INS to
further its political agenda. A blatant politicization of the agency
took place during the 1996 presidential campaign when the White House
pressured the INS into expediting its “Citizenship USA” (CUSA) program
to grant citizenship to thousands of aliens that the White House
counted as likely Democratic voters. To ensure maximum impact, the INS
concentrated on aliens in key states — California, Florida, Illinois,
New York, New Jersey, and Texas — that hold a combined 181 electoral
votes, just 89 short of the total needed to win the election.
The program was placed under the direction of Vice President Al
Gore. We received from the GAO a few e-mails indicating Vice President
Gore’s role in the plan (which are included in Appendix A at the back
of the book). He was responsible for keeping the pressure on, to make
sure the aliens were pushed through by September 1, the last day to
register for the presidential election.
In our investigation we uncovered a case study evidencing what is
pejoratively known in political science circles as “Chicago Politics.”
Back in the early years of the twentieth century, “Hinky Dink” Kenna
and “Bathouse” John Coughlin were recognized as the very models of the
unsavory Chicago politician. The two once fixed an aldermanic election
in Chicago’s First Ward. To do so, they imported thousands of ward
heelers, friends, associates, and city workers and had them registered
to vote from every building in the ward — from homes (of which there
were few) to taverns and cribs (of which there were many). On Election
Day the recent arrivals stopped at Hinky Dink’s tavern, picked up fifty
cents, ate a free lunch, and went out to vote their consciences. Guess
who won that election?
Essentially, the same tactics were used during President Clinton’s
reelection in 1996. Only this time the Democrats weren’t handing out
sandwiches. Instead, through CUSA, they were circumventing normal
procedures for naturalizing aliens — procedures that check backgrounds
and weed out criminals — and consequently they were handing out
citizenship papers to questionable characters.
The possibility of using CUSA apparently occurred to the White House
in February 1996, when Henry Cisneros, then Secretary of Housing and
Urban Development, forwarded a memo to President Clinton. The memo,
from the California Active Citizenship Campaign (ACC), complained of a
backlog of alien applications for naturalization in Los Angeles. It
contained the magic words: “INS inaction [on the backlog] will deny
300,000 Latinos the right to vote in the 1996 presidential elections
[sic] in California.”
The memo outlined the services that the Industrial Areas Foundation
(IAF) in Los Angeles could provide. The IAF offered thousands of
volunteers to help process voter applications, register thousands of
new voters, conduct 5,000 house meetings, encourage voting by mail, and
get more than 50,000 occasional voters out to vote in the presidential
election. Most interesting were the promises that the IAF would “create
voter interest around issues of Affirmative Action and Minimum Wage, .
. . influence 300,000 voters in the preparation for Nov. 1996, . . .
produce 5,000 precinct leaders and turn out 96,000 voters for the 1996
The White House discovered a problem, however: INS Commissioner
Doris Meissner didn’t want to speed up the naturalization process and
warned President Clinton’s people that such a push might be viewed as
Eventually, she gave in:
The White House wanted any applicant for citizenship to
be naturalized in time to register for the November election, so the
pressure on the INS was constant. On March 21 Elaine Kamarck in the
Vice President’s office sent an e-mail to [National Performance Review
official Douglas] Farbrother saying: “THE PRESIDENT IS SICK OF THIS AND WANTS ACTION. IF NOTHING MOVES TODAY WE’LL HAVE TO TAKE SOME PRETTY DRASTIC MEASURES.”
Farbrother responded, “I favor drastic measures.” If he couldn’t get
what he wanted from the INS, he wrote, he would “call for heavy
In a March 26 e-mail to the Vice President, Farbrother reported that
Chris Sale has indeed “delegated hiring authority to the five cities
and increased their budgets by 20 percent.” But, he wrote, “I still
don’t think the city directors have enough freedom to do the job.” Two
days later Farbrother told the Vice President by e-mail, “[U]nless we
blast INS headquarters loose from their grip on the frontline managers,
we are going to have way too many people still waiting for citizenship
in November.” He added, “I can’t make Doris Meissner delegate broad
authority to her field managers. Can you?”
Gore answered, “We’ll explore it. Thanks.” By the end of March,
Doris Meissner capitulated. On April 4, 1996, Elaine Kamarck, to
prepare the Vice President for a lunch with Clinton, drafted a memo to
Gore briefing him on the INS progress. In time, Newark, New Jersey, and
Houston, Texas, would be added to the list of targeted cities, and in all, more than a million aliens would be naturalized in time to vote in the 1996 election.
The “path to citizenship” leads to Democrat votes. Too bad shamnesty Republicans refuse to learn from history. Wednesday, February 6, 2008
A REWORKED NIE?
By Ed Morrissey
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton wants DNI Michael McConnell to redo the National Intelligence Estimate
to properly reflect the threat Iran poses to the region and the US. The
do-over should emphasize the dual-use nature of its nuclear program,
which Bolton claims got glossed over in the original (via Memeorandum):
Today, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell
testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee (and Thursday on the
House side) to give the intelligence community's annual global threat
analysis. These hearings are always significant, but the stakes are
especially high now because of the recent National Intelligence
Estimate on Iran.
Criticism of the NIE's politicized, policy-oriented "key judgments"
has spanned the political spectrum and caused considerable turmoil in
Congress. Few seriously doubt that the NIE gravely damaged the Bush
administration's diplomatic strategy. With the intelligence community's
credibility and impartiality on the line, Mr. McConnell has an
excellent opportunity to correct the NIE's manifold flaws, and repair
some of the damage done to international efforts to stop Iran from
obtaining deliverable nuclear weapons.
Bolton wants McConnell to commit to three actions in order to
rebuild confidence in future NIEs. First, explain to Congress how this
NIE got distorted and commit to a rewrite that more objectively
reflects the current intel and analysis on Iran. Next, Bolton wants a
commitment to a more professional process in compiling future NIEs,
especially on the unclassified portions. Finally, the DNI has to
enforce operational security by stopping the leaks.
It all sounds great, but can McConnell really commit to this and
deliver? I think McConnell would want to have already made these
commitments to Congress and the nation, but like most government
bureaucracies, turning the ship takes a lot of time and more than a
little strength. If the intel community has been as politicized as
Bolton argues -- and it certainly appears that way -- a housecleaning
would be required to make the kinds of changes necessary.
Needless to say, a purge during wartime is not the best set of
circumstances. Joseph Stalin found that out the hard way in June 1941.
It would get messy, and it would take the focus off of national defense
and counterterrorism at a time when we can least afford it.
At the least, though, the DNI needs to revisit the NIE and explain
how we could go from a high confidence in one year that Iran had
continued its nuclear-weapons program to a high confidence the next
year that it had been dormant for four years. The nation's confidence
in its intel is not even moderate any more, and thanks to over a decade
of bad calls, missing data, and dramatic reversals, it's not likely to
improve much without that destructive housecleaning. Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Click image to view the slideshow of the leadership of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
This presentation looks at some of the major leaders of al Qaeda in
the Islamic Maghreb in the past and present. Al Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM) is the result of Al Qaeda's efforts to unite the various
Salafist terror groups in North Africa. AQIM is made up of the
Algerian-based Salafist Group for Prayer and Combat (GSPC), the
Moroccan Islamic Combat Group, the Tunisian Combatant Group, and
elements of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The GSPC forms the
nucleus of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The GSPC officially merged
with al Qaeda in September 2006 and renamed the group al Qaeda in the
Islamic Maghreb in January 2007. Tuesday, February 5, 2008
BEIJING'S GOLD MEDAL FIREWALL COMING DOWN?
By Ed Morrissey
knows that the Olympic Games will bring great scrutiny this summer, and
no more so than when the athletes of the world arrive. Thousands of
Westerners will expect to have the same level of communications
available to them, and the Beijing government will have to decide
whether to suspend its tight control over Internet access. Unlike their citizens, these Western athletes, reporters, and tourists will leave China and tell their stories:
China is debating whether to relax control of the Internet
during the Olympics, allowing access to banned websites such as the
BBC, a spokeswoman for the organising committee said Tuesday.
Plans to tear down the so-called Great Firewall of China were being
debated and a decision was expected soon, said Wang Hui, head of media
relations for the organising committee.
"We are studying this now based on suggestions of some journalists
and a study of the experiences of other countries, so during the
Olympics there may be some changes," she said. "This is one of the ways
the Olympics may promote progress in China."
China tightly polices cyberspace and Chinese web surfers see a
stripped-down version of the Internet minus some news sites such as the
BBC and those belonging to human rights groups or any other sites
judged subversive by the country's communist rulers.
The firewall does more than just block the BBC. China uses it to
track down subversives who believe in freedom and liberty.
Unfortunately, some Western companies assist China in this regard --
the same Western companies that helped build the Great Firewall. Google
created a separate version of its database for China, only without all
of those nasty websites that promote dangerous ideas like democracy and
freedom of speech -- you know, the ideas that helped create Google in
the first place. Yahoo has collaborated with Chinese authorities to prosecute journalists who have bravely tried to promote freedom.
Now, China wants to present itself as a happy nation of people who
simply choose to live in ignorance of liberty. It can't allow
Westerners visiting for the next few weeks get 404s when attempting to
hit the BBC website and other dangerous sources of real information
about the world. They may -- may -- have to lower the shields
and allow access to the entire Internet for the first time in order to
pull off that little masquerade. That will allow them to win a
propaganda coup, with Olympics participants and tourists going back to
their home countries and telling everyone how remarkably open China has
It might give a window for Chinese activists to report other aspects
of China's rule to the world as well. Of course, with a little more
Western help, Beijing will be able to track them down again -- and
maybe the kind and helpful Western companies that helped build the
Great Firewall can help create the Tiny Firewall Portal that will keep
the rest of the nation locked down during the Games. Tuesday, February 5, 2008
IPT: GOVERNMENT REMINDS COURT OF CAIR/MAS TIES TO TERRORISTS
By Charles Johnson
Here’s an interesting report at the Investigative Project on some
pushback against the Council on American Islamic Relations and the
Muslim American Society: Government Reminds Court of CAIR/MAS Ties to Terrorists.
HAMAS BOMBARDS ISRAEL WITH ROCKETS
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is
demanding that the Air Force Academy alter a panel of speakers slated
for a terrorist symposium this week, saying it’s an unbalanced
presentation dominated by anti-Muslim speakers. But recently, and for
at least the third time, federal prosecutors have called out CAIR as
part of a covert Muslim Brotherhood effort in the United States. First,
CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas-support trial
of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). CAIR was
listed among “entities who are and/or were members of the US Muslim
Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee.” Then, when the group petitioned to
remove its name from that list, prosecutors said such relief “will not
prevent its conspiratorial involvement with HLF, and others affiliated
with Hamas, from becoming a matter of public record.”
Now, in a federal court filing from December, federal prosecutors
have described CAIR as “having conspired with other affiliates of the
Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.” The government also stated
that “proof that the conspirators used deception to conceal from the
American public their connections to terrorists was introduced” in the
Dallas Holy Land Foundation trial last year and the Chicago trial of
the Hamas men in 2006.
The government also stated that another organization, the Muslim
American Society (MAS) was “founded as the overt arm of the Muslim
Brotherhood in the United States.” This appears to be the first time
the US government has officially described the true origins and
ulterior agenda of the Muslim American Society.
By Charles Johnson
The Israeli Air Force struck at Hamas today, killing seven
terrorists in Gaza, and Hamas retaliated with yet another barrage of
rockets into the Israeli town of Sderot: Three people wounded in latest rocket barrage on Sderot.
Three people were wounded and several suffered from shock early Tuesday evening as ten Kassam rockets hit Sderot.
One of the rockets hit a house, moderately wounding a 14-year-old
girl and lightly wounding two other people. The house itself was also
reported to be heavily damaged. Power outages were also reported in
some parts of the city, apparently a result of one of the rockets
hitting electricity infrastructure.
The latest barrage came shortly after seven Hamas operatives were killed in an IAF strike on a Hamas post in the Gaza Strip. Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Iraqi & Coalition forces Order of Battle as of Jan 31, 2008.
The February 2008 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB homepage. The significant changes to the Order of Battle that occurred in January are summarized below.
Anbar is the next scheduled Iraqi province to transfer to provincial Iraqi control (PIC). Anbar is planned to go PIC in March 2008,
with the official ceremony to be held in April. Prior to this, an Anbar
Operational Command is expected to be formed in order to coordinate
security throughout the province. On January 21st, the DhiQar Operational Command was ordered stood up in DhiQar province and, on January 22nd, the Ninawa Operational Command
also became active in Ninawa province. These "Operational Commands" are
the interim stage to forming the future corps and army group
Of note: The Iraqi Army unauthorized absentee (AWOL) rate, has fallen to 1.2 percent over the last six months and the current goal is 601,000-640,000 Iraqi Security Force (ISF) members.
Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraqi (MNSTC-I) has
clarified the command and organization of the newly forming
Presidential Brigade. The Government of Iraq has not yet determined the
subordination or organization of the Iraqi Army’s Presidential Brigade.
It is under orders and being formed with forces generated. Resources
have been allocated for the brigade's formation but, as of January
2008, it has not been determined who the Brigade will report to.
"When completed, the Presidential Brigade will be a
five battalion force responsible for the immediate local security of
key government facilities and leaders, as well as ceremonial functions,
within Baghdad. It will operate under MoD [Iraq Ministry of Defense]
control, though exact command-and-control lines have yet to be
determined. It does not yet have an approved MTOE [military table of
organization and equipment], but will consist of a mixed armor,
motorized and light infantry force. The brigade is now undergoing
Logistics, Training, and Equipping
The Iraqi Army continues to expand its logistics support.
"Ten new logistics centers, to be completed in May, are designed to
speed up the transition by giving the Iraqi military a place to
warehouse parts and equipment and to send hardware that needs repair."
This represents the expanding divisional base support units, which are
gaining maintenance battalions. The five existing regional support
units are also adding maintenance battalions, and the Taji National
Depot has already stood up fourth level maintenance depots for wheeled
vehicles, tracked vehicles, small arms, and support equipment. That’s a
de-facto maintenance brigade. Iraqi Army became life-support
self-sufficient as of November 25, 2007. This means they supply their
own basic supply items for their own units. Also, to alleviate the bureaucratic delays in
ammunition issue, second and third level ammo issue is a push system
now. In a push system, the higher support automatically issues ammo
based on the expected needs. Previously, ammo was issued under the pull
system, in which units have to request resupply.
The expansion of the maintenance elements has also been accompanied
by additional maintenance schools. A mechanic school has recently stood
up at Taji. This is the fourth maintenance school the Iraqi Army has
formed. This is very timely since the ISF are receiving 8,500 HMMWVs
by 2010 from the US Iraqi fund. The HMMWVs are used vehicles, and their
refurbishment will probably be used to train Iraqi maintenance
"The goal is to transfer 4,244 vehicles to the Iraqi security forces by the end of 2008. The refurbishment process is a 13-month program,
which includes light maintenance and painting. The contract can be
extended by an additional six months. This contract will generate more
than 500 jobs and has the potential to serve as an on-the-job training
mechanism for Iraqi soldiers who have completed their initial training.
It’ll serve as a mechanism to ensure the long-term capability to
maintain this fleet of vehicles by the Iraqi army. Officials aim for
the program to complete the transfer of more than 8,000 vehicles to the
Iraqi government by the end of 2009."
A new Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy has
been established at Forward Operating Base Kalsu. Combined with the
existing commando training there, this could be the start of converting
Kalsu to an Iraqi Army Training Base. All other NCO training is
conducted at established Iraqi Army training centers and bases. Iraqi
leadership is improving. "We're at 68 percent fill in officers and 64
to 65 percent fill in sergeants."
This almost doubles the number of NCOs in the Iraqi Army, but the
army’s expansion means even more NCOs are needed. "The maneuver side is
the most mature, because that is the choice that we made," Lieutenant
General Dubik said. "In the last six months we established two division
headquarters, three brigade headquarters and 10 battalion headquarters.
That’s a huge growth in their size -- about 40,000."
In addition to the 8,500 HMMWVs, the Iraqi Army is working to get heavier armor. A total of 35 EE9 Caravels
transferred to 4-9 Brigade. "More than 90 civilian contracted
mechanics, many of whom are former soldiers in the Iraqi Army, have
worked more than 11 months to completely refurbish these vehicles
including, replacement of key drive shaft components, body work,
suspension systems, and electrical wiring. They are very proud of their
contribution to the Iraqi army." These 90mm gun armed scout cars will
provide 4-9 Brigade with heavy direct fire support that their BTR80s do
The donation of T72s from NATO to fill out the 9th Iraqi Army
Division continues to be a work in progress. According to MNSTC-I's RFI
reply: "The potential Slovakian T-72 donation is in the pre-inspection
phase. Iraqi/NATO team will inspect the T-72s in April or MAY." While
NATO Training Mission-Iraq's reply was:
"The status of the 70 T-72s Iraq request is that the
donation is being validated. A team made up of members of the Iraqi
military, NATO Training Mission-Iraq’s Training and Equipment
Coordination Cell members and Multinational Security Transition
Command-Iraq members will travel to Slovenia to validate the equipment.
The team will inspect and validate the equipment in April or May.
Please note that the transportation of the equipment into theatre and
refurbishment of equipment-up to standards is not always funded by the
donating nation. The cushion of time between the announcement to fulfil
the request and the receipt of equipment is used to request funding
from other nations, NATO’s Partnership for Peace members or the Iraqis
for transportation and refurbishment."
Also, the Iraqi Minister of Defense is testing the waters and looking to buy M1 tanks.
MTLB Armored Personnel Carriers that formerly belonged to the 9th
Division have shown up in Adhamiyah with bumper markings indicating
they are in the 1-1-11 Battalion.
This is the second battalion in the new 11th Division to get tracked
armored vehicles. The 3-3-11 Battalion received BMP1s when it formed at
Besmaya. Combined these factors with the New York Times report that the
new 2-11 (graduated
Besmaya on January 2nd) and 3-11 Brigades were only 2,000 personnel
each while the Iraqi Ground Forces Command spokesman was saying they
were 110 percent manned.
A standard Iraqi infantry brigade has 2,750 troops at 110 percent
manning. An armor brigade would be approximately 2,000 and the 3rd
Brigade has received a mechanized battalion. The 11th Division is
apparently organizing as an armor division with its 2nd and 3rd
Brigades being future armor brigades while the 1st and 4th Brigades are
Iraqi Ground Forces Command (IGFC)
With the open acknowledgement that operational commands are future
corps headquarters, a request for information was sent to MNSTC-I as to
how many corps are to be formed. "No firm decision on number of IA
Corps to be formed. J-3 recommendation is five." This compares to the
seven already formed operational commands and another planned for
Anbar. The additional headquarters probably are future army command
headquarters (Northern and Southern Army) and a future sixth corps
Iraqi units are becoming much more capable. "With less than a week's
notice the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Iraqi Army Division was alerted to
deploy from Anbar province to Diyala province to support combat
operations in the Diyala River Valley. This was a good Iraqi decision
and was executed solely by the Iraqis. Within 36 hours upon arrival,
the 3rd Brigade uncovered two sizeable caches, gathered significant
intelligence and aggressively hunted down al Qaeda in tough terrain and
demanding climatic conditions." The experienced 3-1 Brigade
will probably cover Diyala until the newly formed 4-5 Brigade is
operational. The 1st and 9th Divisions are operating as national
quick-response forces in practice, although only the 9th Division is
acknowledged in this role.
Ninawa Province is also being reinforced for major operations. Elements of the 9th Division arrived January 27th in Mosul. Also the Ninawa Operational Command was stood up under the command of the 9th Division's general.
The Iraqi Ground Forces Command will probably gain three more divisions in 2008. According to MNSTC-I:
"The Minister of Defense recently directed a study for
the generation of an additional IA division (15th IA). However, IA
force generation remains conditions-based subject to the security
situation on the ground, as well as decisions undertaken by the GoI.
Other than what has been expressed in reports from OSD [Office of the
Secretary Defense] to the Congress which are matters of public record,
such as the calendar year 2007 9010 Reports which addressed Government
of Iraq (GoI) consideration of adding two Peshmerga divisions, there
are no official orders to force-generate additional Iraqi divisions."
The 15th Division is probably envisioned for south Baghdad and Babil
Provinces. "...the army is clearly capable in our area, with the 8th
Iraqi Division and the one brigade from the 6th Iraqi Division, very capable
commanders and capable units. And they're growing five more battalions
in the 8th Division over the next six months." The area south of
Baghdad and north of 8th Division areas is covered only by the five
battalions of the 4-6 Brigade, two brigades of Iraqi National Police
and coalition forces. Major General Lynch has said he needs seven more
Iraqi Army battalions for that area and that he expects to get them.
The five battalions of the 4-6 Brigade and the additional seven
battalions that he is getting would equal the strength of a new
division. Of note: The 6th Division is five battalions over-strength.
Reporting on budget negotiations in the Government of Iraq has
confirmed that the transfer of two Peshmerga divisions is still in the
works. Overall Peshmerga
strength is at 101,000 active, of which 25,000 are to be in two IA
Divisions while 76,000 remain under the Kurdish Regional Government. An
additional 90,000 are to be retired from Peshmerga. While the ISF
budget was hung up in negotiations, those have ended with the original
deal still in effect.
The expansion of the Iraqi Army's line brigades has delayed forming
fire-support battalions for Iraqi brigades into 2009. According to
"The force generation of artillery units is addressed
as part of the existing Iraqi Army Service plan. As part of that plan,
MoD intends to field one direct-support artillery battalion per Iraqi
Army brigade. However, current estimates, given other priority areas
and commitment of available resources, are that force generation of
Iraqi Army artillery units will not start fielding until sometime in
Ministry of Interior
The Iraqi National Police is establishing North, South, Central, and Western Regional Commands as part of phase IV.
These will probably be de-facto divisions. The Iraqi Police is
establishing regional maintenance facilities as well. Mosul Police plan
to add 3,000 personnel, of which 1,000 are to be from families of
victims of violence and formed into an Emergency Response Battalion.
The National Police forces to be deployed to Mosul are unidentified at
For further details, graphics, organizational data, and definitions of terms, go to the ISF OOB homepage. Tuesday, February 5, 2008
By Chuck Asay