BAGHDAD, Iraq –
With the transition from a combat role in Iraq complete in early December 2021, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve has issued a new Campaign Plan that will chart the course for the future of the command.
While the full plan is classified according to policies enacted by the 77-member Coalition, highlights from the plan are that the Coalition continues its core mandate to maintain the enduring defeat of Daesh; by, with, and through partner forces that is made possible by Coalition advice, assistance, and enablement.
Advise: Developing trust and confidence through relationships
“Advise,” according to Coalition leadership, establishes personal and professional relationships between the Coalition and its Partner Forces where trust and confidence influence the effective employment of security forces at the operational level.
The most visible forms of the “advise” mission are conducted at the Joint Operations Command – Iraq in Baghdad, and at the Kurdistan Coordination Cell in Erbil, said Brig. Gen. Nick Ducich, director of the Military Advisory Group.
“At both locations, advisors from different Coalition countries… diverse backgrounds, different walks of life, work side-by-side with Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga, to help solve challenges in a complex environment,” said Ducich. “We advise the ISF and KSF senior leadership and commanders at the operational level on a daily basis. Territorially, Daesh is defeated and incapable of holding large swathes of land. However, that doesn’t mean the absence of a persistent Daesh threat. They are much smaller and highly mobile, and still seek vulnerable targets. That is why the emphasis is on sustaining the focus on defeating Daesh through advising. The importance of this phase is to advance the ISF and KSF’s capabilities and operational reach to maintain the enduring defeat of Daesh.”
Assist: Transferring equipment to aid the fight
“Assist,” according to the command, means the physical transfer of military resources, such as divestments, to Partner Forces. Although military assistance is principally funded through the U.S. Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund (CTEF), it is also provided by other Coalition nations.
The types of vehicles transferred consist of armored military security vehicles, ambulances, wreckers, and fuel tankers. Communications equipment ranges from radios to air traffic control systems, and the firearms and ammunition include a variety of weapons to assist partner forces to maintain Daesh’s enduring defeat.
CJTF-OIR managed CTEF funding of $710 million appropriated last fiscal year, which assists the ISF and partnered forces in Syria in conducting the defeat-Daesh mission under OIR. Once transferred to Partner Forces, the equipment is in their care, and take the upkeep, maintenance and overall care of equipment very seriously, said U.K. Brig. Karl Harris, CJTF-OIR deputy commander.
“Our partners have shown great dedication and commitment to defeating Daesh, and are conducting increasingly complex operations, independently, with the equipment, ammunition, weapons, and vehicles, that our Coalition has provided as assistance. This helps bring stability to conflict-affected areas and lays the foundations for enduring partnerships. It is what fuels their fight and capability to provide regional stability. We are happy to continue using this important program that supports our mission to enable our partners.”
Enable: Ensuring the enemy is overmatched with unique Coalition capabilities
“Enable,” according to the command, is effects-based capabilities provided by the Coalition that are not possessed by Partner Forces, to ensure overmatch of the enemy. These capabilities are provided at the explicit request of the Iraqi Government and our partner forces in Syria, said Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan, Jr., CJTF-OIR commander.
One common form of enabling that the Coalition provides is through Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platforms, a capability that Iraqi, Peshmerga, and SDF partners rely on to assist in real-time decision making by operational commanders.
“Enabling goes well beyond kinetic means,” said Brennan. “Enabling means providing partners with fires intelligence, surveillance, and the fusion of these capabilities. While we no longer operate at the tactical level, and we no longer operate from our own bases in Iraq, our Coalition brings a tremendous amount of capabilities that can enable our Partner Forces to overmatch Daesh and ensure it never again regenerates to threaten the region.”
This new phase Operation Inherent Resolve consists of advising, assisting, and enabling at the operational level and is a natural and planned progression, added Brennan.
“The Coalition answered the call for help back in 2014, when Daesh ravaged the region, controlling hundreds of thousands of miles of territory, and 8 million innocent civilians were victims of its brutality. At the invitation of Iraq, the Coalition degraded, dismantled, and ultimately destroyed Daesh’s territorial ‘caliphate’ in 2017. While it is militarily defeated, Daesh remains an existential threat to the region. This threat is manifested in the makeshift prisons and IDP camps in Eastern Syria, where Daesh is clearly attempting to refill its ranks. At the invitation of the Republic of Iraq, we will continue to advise, assist, and enable our partner forces to ensure Daesh is unable to regenerate within Iraq or Syria.”
CJTF-OIR is the military component of a Global Coalition of 77 nations and five international organizations who are operating in Iraq at the request of the Government of Iraq, and in northeast Syria in support of our partners in the region, as they secure the enduring defeat of Daesh. CJTF-OIR works closely with local, regional, and international actors in designated areas of Iraq and Syria, and remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining the enduring defeat of Daesh, preventing its re-emergence and protecting our homelands.