NATO helps Iraq boost civil-military cooperation in dealing with terrorist challenges
NATO and Iraq have taken another step to enhance coordination amongst different Iraqi military and civilian entities.
Between 31 July and 3 August 2017, over fifty representatives from eight Iraqi ministries participated in a workshop on civil-military relations at the al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies in Baghdad. The workshop was attended by representatives at Directorate-General level of the Ministries of Water; Electricity; Oil; Migration & Displacement; and Public Health, as well as by high-ranking military officers from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior, and the Counter Terrorism Service. It was aimed at bolstering civil-military cooperation in dealing with terrorism and crisis management. As one of the participants from the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service underlined, “What Iraq needs most is trust. Today we set another step in that direction”.
“The quality of engagement, the perspective and the level of interaction by the civilian ministries was extremely high. This helped improve the understanding between the Iraqi Security Forces and civilian ministries noticeably”, said Brigadier General Pierfranco Tria, NATO Senior Military Officer in Iraq. In the long term, connecting key leaders from across ministries will help the Iraqis better define, structure and consolidate their existing national crisis response organizational frameworks and promote civil-military cooperation at strategic level.
The workshop was the third in a series focusing on civil-military cooperation. Alongside civil-military cooperation, NATO provides advice and assistance to Iraq in multiple areas, including counter-improvised explosive devices, civil preparedness, and reform of the security institutions. In-country training was launched in January 2017 when a NATO Core Team was deployed to Baghdad in order to facilitate NATO’s training and capacity building efforts for Iraq.