Iraqi Civil Defense Corps
The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) "soldiers are Iraqi citizens who remain in their communities and are integrated into the coalition military units." As of the end of October 2003, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps stood at about 4,700 trained soldiers. In September, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Dundes Wolfowitz said that number would be expanded to about 15,000 by the end of January 2004.
"Iraqi Civil Defense Corps soldiers 'can do things we can't. ... They can communicate with people with the speed that our people can't do working through translators. They can read the local situation (and) the population in ways we can't,' [Wolfowitz] said. 'Iraqis come forward to them with information much more readily than they do with us.'"
"New recruits receive three weeks of intensive combat training. They first learn basic commands in English, the rules of engagement, and how to set up a control point. From there, they practice troop-leading procedures, crowd and riot control, and squad movements. During the final training week, trainees qualify on their AK-47 rifles."
The formation of the ICDC counterterrorism battalion
On December 3, 2003, it was announced that "The U.S. civilian and military leadership in Iraq has decided to form a paramilitary unit composed of militiamen from the country's five largest political parties to identify and pursue insurgents who have eluded American troops and Iraqi police officers, U.S. and Iraqi officials."
Approximately 750 to 850 militiamen will be used "to create a new counterterrorism battalion within the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps that would initially operate in and around Baghdad. ... U.S. Special Forces soldiers would work with the battalion, whose operations would be overseen by the American-led military command here."
"The five parties that will contribute militiamen are Ayad Alawi's Iraqi National Accord, Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, the Shiite Muslim Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and two large Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Kurdish members will be drawn from the ranks of pesh merga fighters who defended autonomous Kurdish areas from former president Saddam Hussein's army, officials said.
"A senior official with the U.S. occupation authority insisted the plan was still 'very fluid.' But a senior U.S. military official said there was agreement in principle among senior American civilian and military leaders in Baghdad to implement the plan. ...
"The parties had wanted the paramilitary force to be significantly larger than a battalion and fully under the control of the country's Interior Minister. American officials rejected those demands, saying they wanted to start with a small group under U.S. control. ...
"Backing for the force has gathered momentum since a Nov. 15 agreement between the Governing Council and U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer that calls for the occupation to end by summer. Top officials of the parties insisted an independent Iraq will need a security force other than the three that already have been established: the police, the civil defense corps and the new army."
Other Related SourceWatch Resources
- Coalition Provisional Authority
- Iraqi Governing Council
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom II
- Post-war Iraq
- Post-war Iraq/NATO
- U.S. Central Command
- Joshua B. Bolton, Rebuilding Iraq. What U.S. taxpayers are paying for, U.S. House of Representatives, March 9, 2003.
- FYO4 Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (Dollars in Millions) (As of November 8, 2003).
- Ambassador Paul Bremer Interview on CBS Face The Nation, New York Jewish Times, July 21, 2003: "...we are going to be raising an Iraqi civil defense corps, made up of Iraqis who are going to be working with us directly in this military part of the operation." Also in same edition: Iraqi Militia to Seek, Destroy Saddam Fighters.
- U.S. Recruiting Hussein's Spies. Occupation Forces Hope Covert Campaign Will Help Identify Resistance, Washington Post, August 24, 2003.
- Gerry J. Gilmore, Iraqi Forces Assisting Security/Stabilization Efforts (according to Army Gen. John P. Abizaid), usmc.mil, September 25, 2003.
- Matt Kelly, Chalabi pushes for Iraq defense forces, September 30, 2003: "In an interview with The Associated Press, Ahmad Chalabi said the best way to end the daily attacks on U.S. troops is to have Iraqis take over patrolling Iraqi cities and hunting for terrorists and Saddam Hussein loyalists. ... The United States has so far trained only about 6,000 members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, although some of them already are patrolling and doing other security work with American troops. The civil defense forces are among about 60,000 Iraqi police and other security forces trained by the Americans."
- Coalition Official Explains Why Iraq Needs a New Army (Op-ed column by Walter B. Slocombe, CPA director for national security, defense), Washington Post, November 5, 2003.
- Scheherazade Faramarzi, In Samara, Iraqi looters fill void after soldiers withdraw, AP, November 18, 2003.
- Kenneth R. Timmerman, Details of the Postwar Master Plan, insightmag.com, November 24, 2003.
- Anthony Shadid, Iraqi Security Forces Torn Between Loyalties Work for U.S. Leaves Recruits Uneasy, Washington Post, November 25, 2003.
- U.S. Officials Describe Plans for Iraqi Counterterror Battalion, U.S. Department of State, December 3, 2003: "Iraqi militiamen would serve as individuals, not as party or militia representatives."
- Rajiv Chandrasekaran, U.S. to Form Iraqi Paramilitary Force, Wasington Post, December 4, 2003: "The [Iraqi political] party leaders regard the formation of the paramilitary force, which had initially been resisted by the occupation authority, as an acknowledgement that the Bush administration's strategy of relying on Iraqi police officers and civil defense forces has been insufficient to restore security. The leaders contend Iraq's municipal police departments and civil defense squads are too ineffective to combat resistance fighters."
- Robert Burns, Rumsfeld Mulls Bigger Iraq Security Force, AP, December 7, 2003: "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he wants senior commanders in Iraq to consider whether the Pentagon underestimated how many U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces would be needed before a sovereign Iraqi government can take over next summer. ... Rumsfeld,... said he alone has raised doubts about whether the current goal of about 220,000 Iraqi security forces would be adequate, but he asked commanders to review their estimates."