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Strategic Planning Workshop Held in Baghdad with the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service

ISG Staff

Posted: May 21, 2019
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Dr. Rick Brennan and Mr. Chip Leonard posing with senior ICTS leaders

ISG led a three-day workshop from 23-25 March alongside the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (ICTS), where discussions centered on comprehensive security, capabilities-based planning, and the importance of readiness reporting to the overall capability-based planning process. 

ICTS is a small, elite Iraqi security force that conducts a range of counter-terrorism operations, many of which are coordinated and executed with forces that belong to the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior, thus requiring a broad security perspective and inter-ministerial coordination to optimize strategic planning processes across the Iraqi security sector.  In support of the ICTS mission, ISG workshop facilitators Dr. Rick Brennan and Mr. Chip Leonard (pictured above with senior ICTS leaders) designed day one dialogue around understanding comprehensive security concepts that will enable ICTS to more effectively conduct strategic planning processes in collaboration with other ministries to achieve security priorities in Iraq’s National Security Strategy.  Developing and promoting this kind of understanding will guide high level decisions about future ICTS roles, responsibilities, and force structure.  Senior leaders present at the workshop stated that the topics covered will be useful when approaching upcoming revisions to the Iraqi National Security Strategy by the Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA).

The second and third days of the workshop focused on introducing capability-based planning (CBP) practices to ICTS.  ISG presented a basic CBP model, key principles of which could be tailored to ICTS needs, and refined to suit the budgetary processes used throughout the Iraqi government.  There was particular emphasis in discussions on the importance of security forces first examining non-materiel solutions to address capability gaps—like adjustments to training, doctrine, and maintenance—before turning directly to materiel solutions.  Capability assessment practices were also explored, and the ISG team shared important methods for assessing readiness by examining personnel metrics, equipment on hand, equipment that is operational, training status, and availability of facilities. Readiness concepts will be addressed in further detail during ISG-ICTS engagements scheduled in the coming months.

This ICTS workshop was one element of a broader two-week ISG engagement in Baghdad during early March.  The visit also featured a highly praised workshop that brought together the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Planning.  Read about that event here.