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by Kasey Leavitt, staff writer

The threat of international terrorism and religious extremism continues to permeate the globe and destabilize nations. Training and equipping indigenous police and military forces to engage these threats is an essential component in stabilizing emerging democracies abroad. This article examines the role of the U.S. Army in creating a unique and integrated public safety concept to sustain an environment of secure elections, suppress terrorism, neutralize insurgencies, and control organized crime.

An integrated public safety concept
A Joint Coordination Center (JCC) is an emergency management center and public safety system designed to integrate all elements of the Iraqi security forces (ISF). The elements within the ISF include the Iraqi army, the Iraqi police services (IPS), and the Department of Border Enforcement (DBE). JCCs coordinate security operations and emergency responses by:
- Providing communication links to all public safety services such as police, fire, and ambulance.
- Establishing an emergency “911-style” call center to receive requests for assistance from the public.
- Conducting operational planning to counter or respond to terrorist, insurgent, or criminal activities.
- Creating a joint intelligence cell (JIC) to collect, analyze, and disseminate information and intelligence provided by the local community.

A JCC includes an operations center, an emergency call center, a planning room, and a JIC. JCCs are operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week by representatives of the ISF, as well as other public safety organizations (such as fire and ambulance services). The intent of the Provincial Joint Coordination Centers (PJCC) is to link all elements of the Iraqi army, Iraqi police, and DBE into an efficient and integrated efforts to suppress terrorist, insurgent, and criminal activities.

Strategic operations and management
Most JCCs are collocated with provincial police station headquarters, and JCC directors are usually senior members of the IPS. The JCC concept is considered essential in stabilizing Iraq by integrating the security operations of the Iraqi army and the IPS to suppress terrorist, insurgent, and criminal activities. DBE representation is essential in the JCC to prevent foreign terrorist or insurgent infiltrators; deter human trafficking for purposes of cheap labor or sexual exploitation; and hinder black market smuggling of livestock, gasoline, cigarretes, and weapon. A thriving black market is considered to be counterproductive in stabilizing Iraq’s fragile economy. Also, border enforcement is an key element in stemming the flow of illegal weapons and explosives, a task that is essential to defeating the insurgency.

A three-pronged attack
The current instability in Iraq appears to be fueled by the following three main elements:
- Former regime elements. These are mostly former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist Party who are trying to regain their lost political or military power.

- Foreign fighter infiltration. These consist of international terrorist from Jordan, Syria, and Iran operating in Iraq. It is believed 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 use on a global scale. The IEDs are homemade bombs made from a variety of explosives ranging from simple gunpowder to artillery shells pilfered from former Iraqi army bases. These devices are frequently detonated via wireless communication devices such as cell phones or car alarm remote controls.

- Organized crime elements. These groups commit a wide range of criminal activities ranging from kidnapping for ransom to organized theft and bank robberies. The current lack of an effective police force in Iraq has made conditions ripe for criminal activities. Building and sustaining a reliable police force has been deemed essential in stabilizing the country.

Collection, analysis, dissemination of intelligence
One successful tool used to gather intelligence and information on terrorists, insurgents, and criminals has been the JCC telephone tip line. Using a wide range of broadcast, televised, and printed media, the JCCs urge Iraqis to report suspicious information to the tip line. The tip line initiative stresses that the safety

 

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