SOLLIMS Sampler Volume 10, Issue 1 - Page 26

Combined Security Mechanism: Framework for Security at Disputed Boundaries [Iraq] (Lesson #2549) Observation: The Combined Security Mechanism (CSM), a framework agreement set up in 2009 between the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and U.S. forces in Iraq, helped to prevent tensions along Arab-Kurdish lines in the governorates of Ninewa, Kirkuk, and Diyala. The main features of the CSM were combined patrols and checkpoints operated by the Iraqi Army, Kurdish Peshmerga troops, and U.S. forces (covering disputed boundaries/ areas within the three governorates), as well as coordination centers that served to improve communication and trust between the two groups (Arabs and Kurds). Discussion: In November 2009, Government of Iraq (GoI) Prime Minister Maliki and GoI-Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Barzani gave approval of a CSM architecture consisting of 12 Combined Security Areas (CSAs) throughout Ninewa, Kirkuk, and Diyala; Combined Coordination Centers (CCCs) (3 total; one in each of the three governorates); combined checkpoints (22 were established), and combined security operations. Within the 12 CSAs, no single military force would be allowed to operate independently; security operations within the CSAs were to be tripartite. On 30 January 2010, combined patrols of the CSM were initiated, and the CSM continued to operate over the course of the year. Besides aiming to prevent tensions and enhance residents’ security, the CSM created a coordination process in which the ISF (Iraqi Army and Federal Police) and Kurdish Peshmerga forces could build trust at an operational level in locations where they might otherwise be at odds. By requiring transparency and collaboration on operations, the CSM reduced the chances of violence between Iraqi and Kurdish forces. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, James Jeffrey, testified at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the CSM, which he called “extraordinarily successful,” was “an important tactical tool in the field to suppress possible violence or possible disputes or possible, frankly, sparks that then ignite a confrontation.” (Hanauer et al, p. 8) Members of the combined forces (ISF, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and U.S. personnel) wore the insignia of the “Golden Lion.” Their combined operations were designed to show the populace that Arabs and Kurds could participate in a cooperative security force that operates according to the rule of law. When the CSM was agreed upon, the GoI and the KRG also agreed upon a set of rules (“CSM Guiding Principles”) managing the deployment of their respective troops within the CSAs of the three governorates. Iraqi and Kurdish forces’ collaboration on both operational and mundane tasks, combined with shared quarters and a campaign to portray the “Golden Lions” as an elite unit, helped to build a cohesive unit identity that transcended ethnic differences. The CSM was administered through provincial-level Combined Coordination Centers (CCCs), which brought the parties together to plan deployments and operations in disputed areas. Disagreements on operations or deployments that could not be resolved at a CCC were escalated to higher-level mechanisms, including a Senior Working Group and a High Level Ministerial Committee. Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 25 of 36