Small Wars Journal

SFA Case Study: Mosul, Iraq

Share this Post

Security Force Assistance Case Study: Mosul, Iraq

by Major Rob Thornton, Dr. John Fishel and Dr. Marc Tyrrell

SFA Case Study: Mosul, Iraq (Full PDF Article)

Major Rob Thornton of the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance (JCISFA) in coordination with Dr. John Fishel of the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Marc Tyrrell of Carleton University, and Mr. Mark Lauber also of JCISFA sat down to write the Mosul Case study with the goals of considering the requirements generated in the pursuit of policy and military objectives in complex conditions, and making some observations and recommendations about how DoD might better address those requirements. To this end the Case Study is built around a specific place, Mosul, Iraq over a short period of time, 2006-2007. The Case Study is designed to give the reader both an understanding of content and context of the environment, and of the objective and the subjective nature of the participants.

Within the study we found there are areas across DOTMLPF (Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leader Development and Education, Personnel and Facilities) that might be adapted in such a way that reduces risk at the tactical, operational and strategic levels, as well as risk to the institutions which must consider the broad range of roles, missions and capabilities required of them. Principal to this is the understanding that you can not improve our capabilities to conduct these types of missions by simply addressing one aspect of DOTMLPF. In fact, to attempt to do so usually results in unintended consequences in other areas, some of which may not be known until they have manifested themselves as critical deficits.

The Mosul Case Study raises some questions about the nature of how we see ourselves as an institution, what we value, and how those values translate into enabling capabilities. One of the questions the study considers is the value of individual personalities and skills apart from context of collective leadership. The Case Study and the interviews show that one size does not fit all, cookie cutter solutions and approaches generally produce problems not solve them, and that personality may matter as much or more than other skills and attributes.

SFA Case Study: Mosul, Iraq (Full PDF Article)

About the Author(s)



Wed, 12/03/2008 - 8:03pm

Great job Rob, John and Marc - outstanding product and thanks for all the hard work. Also, thanks for the kind words concerning SWJ - very much appreciated.