Building Civil Capacity in Iraq
ARMY ENGINEER SCHOOL FORT LEONARD WOOD MO
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On 14 February 2008, the United States Army s XVIII Airborne Corps assumed command of Multinational Corps Iraq MNC I from III Corps. Operation Iraqi Freedom was at a critical turning point, nearing the end of the surge of more than 25,000 troops. From April to August 2008, the five surge brigade combat teams BCTs departed the Iraqi theater of operations. With improved security and a refined approach to counterinsurgency operations, the new operational environment was characterized by vast economic growth opportunities and an explosive demand for essential services. Against this backdrop, MNC I focused on deliberate planning and execution of its third line of operation LOO building civil capacity. The holistic approach to developing civil capacity involved coordinating and synchronizing the capacitybuilding efforts of multiple stakeholders, including coalition forces, provincial reconstruction teams PRTs international organizations and most important, local, provincial, and national Iraqi government agencies. This article documents MNC I s processes, best practices, and lessons learned in coordinating the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational initiatives necessary to successfully transition civil capacity development to a capable Iraqi government with support from PRTs and international organizations.
- Government and Political Science