The United States and Iraq are working collectively toward the common goal of a stable, secure, and prosperous Middle East. Iraq is also a vital U.S. partner on a wide range of regional security issues. The United States works with Iraq to increase cooperation on border security, maritime security, arms transfers, cybersecurity, conventional weapons destruction, and counterterrorism.
The United States remains committed to deepening its strategic partnership with Iraq and the Iraqi people. Under the Strategic Framework Agreement between Iraq and the United States, we remain dedicated to building Iraq’s defensive capabilities, providing security assistance, and working with Iraq to improve its stability and security – including through operations to prevent the reemergence of ISIS. U.S. security cooperation activities are enabling Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF), including the Peshmerga forces, ability to respond to threats and conduct counter-terrorism operations, while supporting the long-term development of a modern, accountable, and professional ISF capable of defending Iraq, its people, and its borders while upholding the rule of law.
Since 2015, the U.S. Department of State provided Iraq with $1.25 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to improve Iraq’s long-term sustainment and logistics capabilities and fund ISF professionalization. As ISIS emerged in Iraq, portions of this FMF funding were redirected to urgent counterterrorism requirements. This assistance was critical to the success of Iraqi efforts to defeat ISIS, demonstrating the speed and flexibility of Department of State security assistance programs. This assistance continues to contribute toward the stabilization of liberated areas and improve Iraq’s overall security environment.
The United States invested more than $590 million in Iraq since 2003 toward the clearance and safe disposal of landmines, unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices, and excess conventional weapons and munitions, as documented in this separate Fact Sheet. Since FY 2015, the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) has provided more than $310 million to support conventional weapons destruction efforts in Iraq enabling the following results:
- Deployed more than 100 survey and clearance teams across Iraq responsible for clearing over 132,000 explosive hazards;
- Cleared legacy explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and southern Iraq from conflicts dating back to the 1980s to remove barriers to economic development and enhance security;
- Provided risk education to more than 1.2 million Iraqi men, women, and children, teaching them about potential dangers from ERW in their communities and encouraging safe behavior through a combination of in-person sessions and innovative digital risk education;
- Strengthened Iraqi capacity to clear ERW, manage survey and clearance operations, and manage ERW-related data in order to equip Iraq with the tools and experience needed to address enduring ERW contamination and foster a stable and prosperous Iraq.
The United States Interagency Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) Task Force provides training on MANPADS Recognition and threats to aviation security to border security, aviation security, and defense personnel working on the front lines to fight illicit weapons proliferation. Since 2018, the MANPADS Task Force has provided MANPADS recognition and interdiction training to 74 Iraqi security officials.
Since 2015, the U.S. Department of State provided Iraq with $4.1 million for International Military Education and Training (IMET). To date, over 350 members of the ISF have received training in the United States. IMET provides professional military education and training to military students and is key to establishing lasting relationships with future leaders. IMET courses increase military professionalization, enhance interoperability with U.S. forces, offer instruction on the law of armed conflict and human rights, provide technical and operational training, and create a deeper understanding of the United States.
The U.S. has $16.3 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Iraq under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS cases notified to Congress are listed here, and recent and significant prior sales include: F-16 aircraft and weapons; Cessna AC-208 aircraft; munitions, equipment, and logistics support; Armed Bell 407GX Helicopters; long range radar; pilot training for C-172, C-208, and T-6 aircraft; and equipment for two Peshmerga infantry brigades, two support artillery battalions; and border guard force. Iraq borrowed $3.4 billion via two FMF subsidized Credit Facility Agreements in FY2016 and FY2017, which allowed Iraq to pay for FMS purchases with borrowed funds and repay with interest over time.
Since 2016, the U.S. also authorized the permanent export of over $689 million in defense articles to Iraq via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Iraq include: aircraft, military electronics, and fire control/night vision.
The United States has provided Iraq multiple systems under the Excess Defense Articles program, which offers excess U.S.-origin military equipment to allies and partners on a grant or sale basis, in an ‘as is, where is’ condition. These included: more than 300 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, armored vehicles, High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), OH-58 helicopters, howitzers, and body armor, all of which directly contributed to the fight against ISIS.
Since 2014, the Department of Defense provided an additional $5.0 billion for the fight against ISIS to the ISF through the former Iraq Train and Equip Fund, and the current Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund. This funding was applied to equip brigades with Tactical Vehicles (HMMWVs), small arms, ammunition, and protective gear.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM .