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by from Major Gordon Knowles, Military Police Officer (AKA - Dr. Gordon Knowles, Ph.D), associate editor


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 main elements.

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 power.

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 activity.

Major Gordon Knowles may be reached at gordon.knowles@us.army.mil.

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