In November, I attended the Counterinsurgency School for Excellence
in Tadji, Iraq. The course focused on various military and
law enforcement strategies to suppress the ongoing insurgent
attacks. The current insurgency appears to be fueled by three
The first, known as the Former Regime Elements (FRE), consists
largely of former members of Saddam Hussein’s Bathist
Party who are trying to regain their lost political or military
The second are the Foreign Fighter Infiltrators (FFI) consisting
of international terrorists from Jordan, Syria, and Iran operating
in Iraq. The overall contention is that these terrorist groups
are using Iraq as a “training center” to develop
sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and coordinate
large-scale terrorist attacks to be used on a global scale.
The third group consists of Organized Crime Elements (OCE)
that commit a wide range of organized criminal activities ranging
from kidnapping for ransom to organized thefts and bank robberies.
The current instability of the police in Iraq make conditions
ripe for criminal activity.
In December, I hosted the Provincial Joint Coordination Center
(PJCC) and Police Chief Conference. Attendees were the PJCC
directors and police chiefs for the respective Iraqi north
central provinces of Salah Ah Din, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Sulamaniyah.
The conference covered a wide range of military, police, and
criminal intelligence information as well as the security plans
for the December elections in Iraq. The intent of the Provincial
Joint Coordination Centers is to link all elements of the Iraqi
Army, Iraq Police, and Department of Border Enforcement into
an integrated effort to suppress criminal, insurgent, and terrorist
Major Gordon Knowles may be reached at email@example.com.