The Baghdad Order of Battle: February 19, 2007

By DJ Elliott, CJ Radin and Bill Roggio

The Baghdad Order Of Battle. Click map to view.

See the original Baghdad Order of Battle update for background.

Five additional battalions (all U.S. Army) have been identified in the Eastern Baghdad sector, four additional battalions (U.S. Army) have been identified in the Western Baghdad sector and two Iraqi Army battalions (from 3rd and 4th IA Divisions) have combined with 3-4 IA Brigade HQ and deployed to southeast Baghad. The U.S. Military briefings have started to include the 10th sector of the Baghdad province (north of city up to Taji), so those three Brigades have been listed to the region directly north of the city (2 Iraqi Army and 1 U.S. Army brigade). As we’ve noted in the past, only a fraction of the U.S. battalions are currently in place and the full compliment of forces will not be deployed until May. The Iraqi Army has four more battalions to close up and familiarize with thier new areas before reaching initial planned strength.

Fifteen of the 28 (initially) planned Joint Security Stations have been established. We have located five of the stations in Rashid, Karkh, Rusafa, Kadamiyah and Adhamiyah.

Sadr City (or Thawra on the map), while being one of the most densly populated districts in Baghdad, has the fewest concentration of forces, with only two Brigades (one Iraqi Army and one Iraqi National Police) deployed. Sadr City is an overwhelminly Shia district, A look at the map seems to indicate the security plan is designed to secure the mixed neighborhoods, where the large majority of the sectarian violence is occurring, first.

The security plan in Baghdad has yielded some initial results in reducing the incidences of sectarian violence. The number of death-squad related murders have significantly been reduced ove rthe past five days, by upwards of 80 percent. The city also saw a reduction in the large scale bombings up until yesterday’s mass-casualty car bombings in markets in Sadr City and New Baghdad, which claimed 62 lives and wounded over 130. One of the actions being implemented to reduce the effectiveness of car bombs is the conversion of Baghdad market areas into pedestrian only zones.

The death squad activilty can be reduced by better ‘policing.’ A greater presense of police and soldiers on the streets, accompanied by U.S. oversight of the Iraqi units makes the movement of death squads far more difficult. The bombing problem, which is al Qaeda driven, is a much more difficult problem to deal with, and requires a drastic increase in checkpoints and searches of vehicles. As Omar at Iraq The Model noted, the Iraqi and U.S. forces have increased the number of checkpoints and are shifting the locations regularly to keep them from being targeted. This tactic also has the added advantage of preventing the bombers and death squads from divining the locations of security checkpoints and establishing safe, alternate routes.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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18 Comments

  • TS Alfabet says:

    “One of the actions being implemented to reduce the effectiveness of car bombs is the conversion of Baghdad market areas into pedestrian only zones.”
    YES!!!! Sweet vindication, I love thee. And on a Monday, too.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    TS Alfabet
    Thought some people would react to that one.
    MND-B Cmdr mentioned it at the brief on Friday (16 Feb)…

  • DJ Elliott says:

    //www.dvidshub.net/index.php?script=news/news_show.php&id=9180
    Troops Employ Concrete Solution to Market Place Security

  • Anand says:

    It appears that all 8 active INP (Iraqi National Police) brigades (minus one battalion in Sammara) are deployed in Baghdad, including two that have completed Quicklook II Retraining. Presumably, the 3-1 (currently going through retraining) will deploy to Baghdad within a month.
    DJ had earlier speculated after Quicklook II, some INP brigades would deploy outside of Baghdad (to pick up the slack for many of the IA brigades being redeployed to Baghdad; partly because the INP doesn’t have as sectarian a reputation in the provinces).
    My hunch is that PM Maliki will initially deploy the INP to Baghdad because success in Baghdad is politically essential for Maliki (Petraeus probably also agrees with a Baghdad first strategy).
    Is there any indication how the two INP brigades that have completed Quicklook II retraining are performing on the ground. More importantly, do sunni arab Iraqis now view the two “retrained” units as less sectarian than the INP brigades that haven’t gone through Quicklook?
    My second question regarding Baghdad is how the local Baghdad IP are doing. Stories I read suggest they aren’t doing as well as IP in the North or even in most of Al Anbar.
    From a macro level, I am concerned that the Baghdad first strategy risks the slow but continuing progress in the provinces (excluding Baghdad, Diyala and Al Anbar) since 2004. [There has also been modest progress in Al Anbar after hitting bottom a year ago. But per capita, Al Anbar (with only 4% of Iraq’s population) remains by far the most problematic province in Iraq.]
    I agree with DJ’s general point and feel that atleast 4 of the INP brigades should be deployed outside of Baghdad for this reason.
    I also think that the newly forming 3-4 (I presume 4th IAD will be built back up to three brigades–unless one of 9th IAD’s brigades is loaned to the 4th IAD’s division HQs) should stay in the North.
    I think the new IA will have:
    -3 Brigades in 1st IAD (mech, mobile strategic reserve) in Al Anbar
    -3 Brigades in 2nd IAD in Ninevah and Kurdistan
    -3 Brigades in 3rd IAD in Ninevah
    -3 Brigades in 4th IAD in Salahadin and Al Tamin
    -3 Brigades in 5th IAD in Diyala
    -3 Brigades in 6th IAD in Baghdad
    -3 Brigades in 7th IAD in Al Anbar
    -4 Brigades in 8th IAD in the upper 5 provinces of the South
    -4 Brigades in 9th IAD (mechanized, strategic reserve) in Baghdad, Al Anbar and lower Salahadin
    -3 Brigades in 10th IAD in 4 Southern provinces (I think either 10th or 8th IAD loses a brigade HQs and that the binary brigades are expanded to three combat battalions)
    between 11th, 12th and 13th IADs
    -3 Brigades Division (mobile strategic reserve formed partly from 3rd IAD’s HQs) in Baghdad, but might migrate to Al Anbar within a year
    3 Brigades Division in Baghdad
    3 Brigades Division in Al Anbar
    For a total of 41 IA combat brigades, not including atleast 8 Strategic Infrastructure Brigades. DJ, how many Strategic Infrastructure Brigades do you see at end state?
    I also think that the SOF brigade (under Iraqi Joint Force command rather than part of the IA) will be expanded to atleast 4 combat battalions and 2 noncombat battalions, if not the division size force that DJ predicts.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Anand:
    Presumably, the 3-1 (currently going through retraining) will deploy to Baghdad within a month.
    – Probably graduated QLII 15 Feb. Looking for confirmation and ID of Bde going to Numiniyah next.
    DJ had earlier speculated after Quicklook II, some INP brigades would deploy outside of Baghdad (to pick up the slack for many of the IA brigades being redeployed to Baghdad; partly because the INP doesn’t have as sectarian a reputation in the provinces).
    – Not speculation. That was PM’s announced plan in Jul. Then Baghdad got worse. Four of the INP Bdes were to be Regional QRFs. Other five were to remain in Baghdad.
    Is there any indication how the two INP brigades that have completed Quicklook II retraining are performing on the ground. More importantly, do sunni arab Iraqis now view the two “retrained” units as less sectarian than the INP brigades that haven’t gone through Quicklook?
    – Good question. Too soon to tell. Easy to ID them since they get the new uniforms. 4-1 is in Adhamiyah and 8-2 is in Sadr City.
    DJ, how many Strategic Infrastructure Brigades do you see at end state?
    – I think the original 20 SIBs were training cadre for SI Brigades. Three have had cmdrs relieved. Remaining 17 growing to Bdes of which (at least) 9 are now established. Rest by end-2007. May be more if they start drilling in Anbar.
    I also think that the SOF brigade (under Iraqi Joint Force command rather than part of the IA) will be expanded to atleast 4 combat battalions and 2 noncombat battalions, if not the division size force that DJ predicts.
    – Division equivalent but, not a Division. One Bde of SOF for each Military Sector (Corps). Anbar, Mosul, Kirkuk/Baqubah, Baghdad, Mid-Euphraties and Basrah Sectors.

  • Anand says:

    DJ, is it certain that Iraq will have 6 corps? Do you think that some of the IAD HQs might have their Special Forces Companies expanded into Special Forces Battalions? Or do you think that the SOF battalions will report to the SOF HQs.
    What are your views on Iraq’s end state OOB?
    17 Strategic Infrstructure Brigades amount to about 50,000 troops at end state (assuming they each have 3 or 4 combat 825 soldier strenght battalions and about 250 troops per brigade HQs)
    Within two or three weeks, with the next “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq”

  • DJ Elliott says:

    DJ, is it certain that Iraq will have 6 corps?
    – Sector Identification used in ISF OOB was not speculation. MoD press releases identified them by name prior to Jun2006. So far, only the Baghdad Sector has a formal Corps HQ: Baghdad Operational Command.
    Do you think that some of the IAD HQs might have their Special Forces Companies expanded into Special Forces Battalions?
    – I think the planned Divisional QRF Bns will become SF Bns when they get done with them and may be built using the Scout/SF Companies as cadre. Think Ranger/Recon Bn in a US Div.
    Or do you think that the SOF battalions will report to the SOF HQs.
    – I expect the I SOF subordinate units to remain nationaly commanded. Think SOCOM and those subordinates that deal with NCA.
    What are your views on Iraq’s end state OOB?
    – Very powerful neighbor next door. Depends on how they build their reserve. Minimum 18 Divs active with equal reserve. May use SIB as reserve cadre for static Divisions.
    17 Strategic Infrstructure Brigades amount to about 50,000 troops at end state
    – 3400-3500 is standard SI Bde reported on so far. Four 750-man Bns plus a 400-man BSTB (includes ESU for fire-fighting, EOD, repair, etc, that IA normaly does not.)
    are there any indications on how the Iraqi Border Enforcement Police are shaping up? They haven’t recieved the same priority as the other parts of the ISF and their logistics/ payroll is a mess (Interior ministry is light years behind the Iraqi Defense Department).
    – Least reported on of all the ISF is the DBE and Customs service. And you should not give the MoI so much credit, they are worse than that…

  • Ciro Morales III says:

    Gentlemen,
    Thank you very very much for the great information. I never such details from the MSM.
    Please keep up the great work. It is needed in these times.
    Thanks
    Ciro

  • Murdoc says:

    I mean, do you guys ever SLEEP?
    Top notch, gentlemen. Top notch.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Murdoc
    I learned speed-reading on the CMEF I&W watch in ’87-88. It was that or not sleep…

  • Anand says:

    DJ, what’s your view about the year-end OOB I guess at above.
    How will the Iraqi government pay for an 18 Division active force, and an 18 Division reserve force? [Rumsfeld wanted a 10 division active force for our own army . . . although the rumor is that he was gunning for 8 divisions longer term. I’m cheating by ignoring the Marine Corp.]
    Iraq still hasn’t fully completed its national debt workout, accessed international credit markets in a big way or entered into major long term contracts for developing its energy resources.
    Translation; Iraqi oil production won’t cross 3.5 million barrels a day for the next 3 years. This means the Iraqi government is atleast 3 years away from serious current revenue generation and more than a year away from being able to borrow serious money on favorable terms from credit markets.
    Simply put, the Iraqi government is about 2 years away from considerably increasing government spending.
    Electoral politics will force Iraqi politicians to spend a lot on social services, special interest groups and good old fashion pork. (This is before long term development spending.)
    The Iraqi department of defense and the department of interior will have to live on a lot less than $20 billion in 2008 unless oil prices really rocket, and or the security situation in Iraq really improves, allowing Iraq to borrow on favorable terms in 2008. [Excluding any grants they get from the US Congress.] The Iraqi government will have to wait until 2009 to seriously ramp up spending on the ISF.
    The only countries that have managed large militaries on the cheap are India ($25 billion this year for a peace-time 34 division army, airforce and navy), Pakistan (22 division army, airforce and navy) and North Korea. But they pay their soldiers a fraction of what the ISF pay, have a large existing stock of high quality officers and NCOs as well as defence equipment, are generally at peace, and are orders of magnitude more efficient at spending money than the Iraqi Defence and Interior ministries.
    Regarding the 6 Corp OOB, it hasn’t been repeated recently (although there are 5 RSUs and one national depot that correspond with the old OOB).
    Baghdad and Al Anbar will get corp commands. The two Southern commands have one IA division each. It might make sense to merge them into a single corp command for Iraq’s bottom nine provinces. SCIRI might support this because it meshes with their desire for a semi-autonomous regional grouping in the South. As you point out, right now there is only one field corp command in Baghdad.
    Is it possible that 5 of the corp will be regional field commands, and one will be a mobile strategic reserve corp? They also might create a logistics corp for Iraq (I think this likely). I don’t think that TRADOC (Iraqi Training and Doctrine Command) will be large enough to merit a corp.
    How big will each of the field Corp HQs be in terms of personnel? And how big are the IGFC and JFC in terms of people?

  • Anand says:

    Regarding SOF:
    “- Division equivalent but, not a Division. One Bde of SOF for each Military Sector (Corps). Anbar, Mosul, Kirkuk/Baqubah, Baghdad, Mid-Euphraties and Basrah Sectors.”
    If you’re right, assuming binary brigades . . . we are talking about 12 SOF combat battalions and 6 noncombat support battalions. At 750 per battalion and 350 per brigade HQs, that’s 2600 per brigade or 15,600 total (assuming no Division HQs as you suggest).
    That strikes me as too large, if we are to assume that there will be 13 SOF combat battalions reporting to IA division HQs. I suspect that many IA Brigade HQs will also get one SOF combat company each. Not to mention the Iraqi Navy’s SOF. (The Iraqi airforce will probably get at least one SOF company too).
    I think it more likely that the SOF command will deploy 6 combat battalions across Iraq, with several noncombat support battalions (or battalion equivalents) to support them. As you are aware, the Alaska army brigade use to have 14 thousand troops (now graduated to division status). So there is a precedent for large brigades.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    – Budget is the issue. ISF was budgeted by GoI at 7-8 Billion. Plus what US helps out with. But, they can field a Junji for 1/3rd what we spend on a pvt. I am not talking heavy Divisions. Active will be predominatly motorized Infantry and the reserve would be leg-Infantry.
    Remember they do not have a Navy by US standards and the Naval SOF is the Marine Bn (took responsibility for the platforms over a year ago). Total planned end-strength (incl Marines) is 2500 personnel. Largest vessels were paid for by Saddam and have been kept in Italy since 1980 due to arms embargo/sanctions.
    They need a large enough SOF force that they can det them thruout the country. The problem there is not funding or equipment. It is training and experience. Minimum five years to grow those six Bianary Bdes…
    Scout/SF plt at Bn level, and Scout/SF Co at Bde and Div level already exist. Expanding the Div Scout Co to Bn would be doable.
    “Regarding the 6 Corp OOB, it hasn’t been repeated recently.”
    – Nov2006 was recent in my vocabulary.
    They referenced the Sectors affected by name when MoD announced the impact of adding the new formations.
    I expect the southern Divisions to become 4x 3Bde Divisions vice 2x 4Bde Divisions in time.
    Too big and vital area(oil Fields) to leave as light as is. Ninawa has as many IA Bns as the southern third of Iraq…
    The expensive part is the Aviation. I do not expect them to build a “real” AF before 2009. Not enough of a budget for Aircraft…

  • DJ Elliott says:

    P.S. Rummy had an 10 Div Army (33 Bdes).
    He was expanding it to 12 (48 Bdes).
    (reserve of 8 Divs)
    USMC is three more active and one reserve Divs.
    The expensive part is the Aviation
    (USAF is 3rd largest in airframes and most powerful in real firepower)
    and boats (USN has more bluewater operational capacity than the next eight navies combined).
    And overhead: Our senior ranks are almost as large as when we had 12mil in uniform in WWII.

  • Anand says:

    Rummy was brought around to a 12 division army kicking and screaming. He fought against it tooth and nail.
    DJ, what is your sense on 1.1.08 Iraqi OOB. I think 11 three brigade divisions and two four brigade divisions (9th and ?). Which division will be the other four brigade division?
    How large will the field corp headquarters units be?

  • DJ Elliott says:

    1st is otherwise known as “Iraqi Intervention Force” for a reason.
    And 1st’s AOR is not adjacent to 9th’s for fun.
    1st IIF and 9th Mech are the initial light/heavy QRFs.
    I also suspect all IA Divisions will be four Bdes each: Five new Bdes for the five Divisions that had only three Bdes.
    The three new Division HQs are the Baghdad Command structure.
    INP is OPCON IA for Baghdad and 18 Bdes(+) need four Div HQs.
    9 total INP Bdes + 5 IA Bdes = 14 minimum Bdes in Baghdad proper after this.

  • Anand says:

    DJ, you think that the IA will have 13*4 = 52 combat brigades total. Or that the IA will create 11 more brigades than the 41 they have declared publicly.
    I think that the department of interior will eventually create two division HQs for the INP.
    Two new IA division HQs (one static and one strategic mobile reserve), plus the 6th IAD, will be based in Baghdad, I suspect. One new static HQs is likely headed to Al Anbar to free up the 1st IAD.
    The long term plan is to base two static divisions (the 6th IAD and one new) in Baghdad or a minimum of six to eight IA Brigades in Baghdad proper, with some back-up from the 3 Strategic Mobile Reserve Divisions as needed.
    I think that 8th and 10th IADs are enough for the south if they are upgraded to four brigades with 3 combat battalions each, plus an SOF battalion reporting to each division HQs, and an SOF company reporting to each brigade HQs. (26 combat battalions + 8 SOF companies for the bottom nine provinces).

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Baghdad’s four divisions will be joint.
    Baghdad will require that for at least a year, probably two.
    OPCON of INP in Baghdad is IA for the duration.
    Nothing is more permanent than a Goverment’s temporary transfer of authority.
    INP may becom MPs…
    The other nine divisions probably will be four IA Bdes each.
    As to expansion: 2008 is year of Artillery expansion…

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