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Systemic Deficiencies and Training Solutions
by Nick Padlo, Small Wars Journal
During 15 months in Iraq, I worked with nearly 100 Iraqi intelligence professionals. Throughout the deployment, I noticed systemic intelligence shortcomings existing consistently at all tactical and operational levels. While some of the shortcomings were due to cultural barriers, others were primarily due to previously embedded misconceptions and a lack of formalized training. In either case, the solutions to the problems are attainable through U.S. training and sustainable after an eventual scale down in U.S. operations.
In order to modernize the role of Iraqi intelligence officers, the Iraqi Army must minimize the intelligence officer's (S2s) role in direct source operations, integrate the intelligence officer with the rest of the battalion/brigade/division staff, understand and employ digital systems to consolidate and organize intelligence, and reinforce the link between the Iraqi Army and the legal system. The intelligence component of U.S. Military Training Teams (MiTT) should focus on these specific shortcomings in order to better equip Iraqi intelligence professionals to fight a modern counterinsurgency.