U.S. Security Cooperation With Iraq
The United States is committed to building a strategic partnership with Iraq and the Iraqi people. Under the Strategic Framework Agreement between Iraq and the United States, we remain dedicated to helping Iraq improve security, maintain sovereignty, and defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups. U.S. security cooperation activities are increasing the Iraqi Security Forces’ capability to respond to threats and conduct counter-terrorism operations, while supporting the long-term development of a modern, accountable, and professional Iraqi military capable of defending Iraq and its borders.
The United States continues to work with our Coalition partners along multiple lines of effort to defeat ISIS. Our strategy requires a well-equipped and trained partner on the ground. With effective training, equipping, command and control, and Coalition firepower, Iraqi forces, including the Kurdish Peshmerga, have seized the initiative and removed ISIS from nearly all of Iraq’s major population centers while preventing ISIS from retaking any territory in the process. In 2016, the ISF liberated Fallujah, Ramadi, Haditha, Hit, Rutbah, Makhmour and scores of towns and villages in between and have now made significant progress in a determined campaign to liberate Mosul. U.S. training and equipment have been critical in preparing Iraqi Army, Police, Kurdish Peshmerga, and local tribal forces for this watershed battle.
Foreign Military Sales (FMS)
- Since 2005, the Department of State has approved more than $22 billion worth of FMS to Iraq. The Iraqi Government has financed the vast majority of these government-to-government transfers of military systems and equipment using their own national funds. Iraq values the FMS system because of its transparency and reliability. By purchasing a wide range of U.S.-origin military equipment, Iraq has demonstrated its commitment to building a strong and enduring U.S.-Iraq defense and security relationship.
- In 2016, Iraq used FMS to purchase an F-16 munitions package (including Paveway tail kits, AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, and AGM-65 Maverick missiles) and Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) packages for various air and ground platforms. Additional high-profile Iraqi FMS purchases include 146 M1A1 Main Battle Tanks, 36 F-16 fighter aircraft, 24 IA407 helicopters, and 9 C-130 cargo aircraft.
- Transfers of U.S. equipment, training, and support have been funded through other U.S. security assistance programs, including Foreign Military Financing (FMF), Excess Defense Articles (EDA) grants, and Presidential Drawdown Authority overseen by the U.S. Department of State, and Building Partner Capacity grants administered by the S. Department of Defense in the form of the Iraq Security Forces Funding (ISFF) and the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF).
Foreign Military Financing (FMF)
- Iraq’s FMF program began in 2012 following the end of the ISFF program, which ran from 2005-2011. Since then, Congress has appropriated over $2 billion in FMF funding for Iraq. These funds were originally intended to build up Iraq’s long-term sustainment and logistics capabilities, and for Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) professionalization and other essential training.
- Starting in 2014, as ISIS moved into Iraq, portions of FMF funding were redirected to urgent counterterrorism requirements, including critical resupply of Hellfire missiles, 2.75-inch rockets, tank ammunition, small arms/ammo, and equipment sets. These funds were critical to the Iraqi effort to blunt ISIS’s advance while the Department of Defense’s ITEF authority was being stood up, demonstrating the flexibility and speed of Department of State security assistance programs.
- FMF also allowed Iraq to purchase body armor, transport and refurbish Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected tactical vehicles (MRAPs) provided under EDA, and funded contract logistics support for systems critical to the counter-ISIS fight, including M1A1 tanks and Cessna attack aircraft.
2016 FMF Loan
- Iraq’s FY 16 FMF allocation of $250 million was applied to the subsidy cost for a $2.7 billion FMF loan. FMF loans allow countries to pay for FMS purchases through borrowed funds, which will be repaid over an eight-year period. The FY 16 FMF loan is being used to fund a wide range of Iraqi FMS cases, including F-16 sustainment, munitions, CLS for several current platforms, an Air Force training academy, and training and equipment for the Kurdish Peshmerga, all critical to ensuring a strong, viable Iraqi military.
International Military Education Training (IMET)
- IMET-funded courses and training for Iraq, conducted at U.S. military institutions in the United States, support professional military education and courses on topics such as the law of armed conflict and human rights, as well as technical and operational training. Approximately $1 million in FY 16 IMET funds for Iraq are currently being implemented, with ten Iraqi students participating in basic and advanced English language training, Command and General Staff courses, military intelligence courses, and senior non-commissioned officer courses.
Excess Defense Articles (EDA)
- The Excess Defense Articles program is a mechanism coordinated by the Department of State through which the Department of Defense disposes of excess military equipment by providing it to allied and friendly nations on a grant or sale basis. In addition to over 300 MRAPs, the United States has granted Iraq numerous systems under the EDA program, including Armored Tactical Vehicles, Howitzers, OH-58 helicopters, soft-skinned High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), and individual body armor for use in the fight against ISIS.
Presidential Drawdown Authority
- In 2014, the President used his drawdown authority to grant Iraq $25 million worth of defense articles and services directly from U.S. defense inventories. Drawdown was used to provide urgently needed counter-IED equipment, including Bangalore torpedoes, Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching Systems (APOBS), AT-4 anti-tank weapons systems, MaxxPro Plus MRAPs, MRAP mine rollers, and mine roller kits.
Iraq Train and Equip Funding (ITEF)
- In contrast with FMF funds administered by the Department of State, ITEF is Title 10 funding, administered by the Department of Defense, specifically Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. ITEF is intended to fill immediate capability gaps and support ongoing counter-ISIS operations. In 2015, Congress approved FY 15/FY 16 ITEF appropriations totaling approximately $1.62 billion to equip and reconstitute the Iraq Security Forces, Peshmerga, and Tribal units utilizing existing FMS mechanisms, specifically the Foreign Military Sales process. An additional $715 million in ITEF was appropriated for FY 16/17. Iraq has also received a FY 17 ITEF CR of approximately $289 million, which has an expiration date of 28 April 2017.
- Materials provided under ITEF as of March 10, 2017 include military transportation vehicles, small arms, heavy weapons, ammunition, anti-tank rounds, body armor; mortar systems, mortar rounds, and Counter Improvised Explosive Device equipment including APOBS.
- Through hundreds of airlift missions and in coordination with the Iraqi government, the coalition has provided Iraqi Kurdish forces with ammunition and equipment, including small arms, machine guns, mortars, radios, and vehicles donated from more than a dozen countries. Many of the U.S. contributions were purchased using ITEF.
- Through ITEF, the United States has also trained more than 18,000 Iraqi Kurdish Forces, with several hundred currently training at the Erbil Building Partner Capacity site. Units trained under this program will receive the same weapons, vehicles, and equipment as the Iraq Army forces, including small arms, mortars, HMMWVs, cargo trucks, trailers, and radios.
The United States is leading a Coalition of 68 partners that has played a critical role in enabling Iraqi forces degrade and defeat ISIS and liberate over 60 percent of the territory in Iraq once held by ISIS. U.S. security cooperation has contributed to Iraq’s significant progress in reversing ISIS’s momentum and eliminating the majority of terrorist safe havens in Iraq since 2014.
For further information, please contact PM-CPA at PM-CPA@state.gov.