Operation Iraqi Freedom:

Preliminary Observations on Iraqi Security Forces' Logistics and Command and Control Capabilities

GAO-07-503R: Published: Mar 28, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2007.

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In light of the broad congressional interest in Iraq, we have undertaken this engagement under the authority of the Comptroller General to conduct evaluations at his own initiative to provide information on the status and challenges of developing Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) support capabilities. Specifically, our objectives were to determine (1) the current state of the logistical, command and control, and intelligence capabilities of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense; and (2) the current state of the logistical, command and control, and intelligence capabilities of the Ministry of Interior. Additionally, during the course of our work Coalition officials provided us with information on the status of coordination and communication between and within the ministries. On March 7, 2007, we issued a classified report to Congress containing our preliminary observations. This report is the unclassified version of that classified report. Certain specific information and data about the current state of ISF's logistical, command and control and intelligence capabilities was classified as secret. On March 9, 2007, we testified before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, on the development of the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior's logistical capabilities for the Iraqi army and police. We expect to provide a follow-up report later that will examine in more detail the progress in the development of these capabilities, the level of U.S. support being provided to the ISF, and the linkage between the development of the ISF's support capabilities and the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq. This report is one of a series of products that GAO has produced since June 2004 addressing the security situation in Iraq and Iraqi security forces.

Progress has been made in developing the logistics and command and control capabilities of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MOD). For example, there is a logistical concept in place for the MOD, and Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I) is fielding many of the units required by the concept. Furthermore, the Coalition and MOD have established a training base at Taji, where Iraqi logistical and communications specialists are being trained. However, significant challenges remain in order for the MOD to achieve self-sufficiency. For example, although the ministry has a logistical concept, implementing that concept is hampered by a lag in the development of national and regional logistics centers, impediments to training of Iraqi logisticians and mechanics, and maintenance shortfalls. Similarly, the establishment of a command and control capability in the MOD faces training challenges as well as a shortage of military leadership; the lack of a communications doctrine; and the lack of clearly defined policies and procedures at the ministerial level have further undermined efforts to develop this capability. Progress has also been made toward developing the logistics and command and control capabilities of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior (MOI). For example, a logistics concept for the MOI is being worked on, the ministry has fielded communications technology, and a National Command Center is in operation. However, the MOI also faces challenges, such as supplying its forces and maintaining its vehicles. Furthermore, the logistics concept may not fully include the forces that are based in the provinces. With regard to command and control, maintenance and procedural challenges limit the capabilities of the MOI's communications technology.

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