Another 54 battalions were deemed as "partially capable" of conducting
counter-insurgency operations with coalition units. Five battalions were
said to be incapable of carrying out such missions.
The remaining 11 battalions remained in the planning stage, with half of
them expected to begin operations in early 2009. In all, the army plans to
"The ISF continues to rely on coalition enablers, such as intelligence,
signal, engineer, explosive ordnance, and close air support," the report,
mandated by Congress every three months, said. "The quality of operational
planning has shown some improvement, as ISF staffs are increasingly able to
plan and conduct combined and basic joint operations, information
operations, civil-military operations, and some post-conflict reconstruction
The Pentagon said the Iraqi military and security forces continue to be
plagued by an inadequate logistics infrastructure. The report said this has
limited Iraqi operations and strategic planning.
"Logistical and sustainment capability remains a major area of concern
and is essential for consistent ISF self-sufficiency," the report said.
The report said the military and security forces exceed 600,000
personnel, about two-thirds of them police. In 2009, the entire Iraqi
security force was expected to grow to about 650,000, with the army
comprising 14 divisions.
The Pentagon expressed disappointment over the coordination between the
Iraqi military and the Defense Ministry. The report said despite the
development of a joint headquarters, Iraq's command and control architecture
"continues to be poorly defined, which inhibits planning, decision making,
and the ability to execute coordinated operations at all levels."
"In addition, the MoD [Ministry of Defense] and IJF [Iraqi joint forces]
staffs are highly centralized and have almost no authority for decision or
action," the report said. "Senior Iraqi leaders have resisted publishing
formal policy documents, which results in sluggish decisionmaking practices
at all levels. The MoD leadership often disregards the requirements
generated by its subordinate staffs and is resistant to tying capability
requirements to national security documents."
The Pentagon envisioned continued Iraqi army reliance on the U.S.-led
coalition. The report said Iraqi military operations in Amarah, Baghdad,
Basra, Diyala and Mosul demonstrated the limitations of the force.
"These operations also underscored the continuing reliance on coalition
support in the fields of logistics, fire support, close air support,
communications, planning, and intelligence, surveillance, and
reconnaissance," the report said. "The lack of a sustainment funding plan
and a cumbersome centralized decision-making process fundamentally inhibit
improvements in operational readiness and prolong MoD forces' reliance on