Here is a good resource on the ISF Order of Battle. The ISF has traditional military forces – Army, Air Force, Navy, Special Forces. Iraq also has a National Police, local police, and a coast guard.

Iraqi Military

Army: Consists of 10 division; 95 battalions. These are deployed in Anbar, Mosul, Kirkuk, Basra, Baghdad and the Diyala Province.

The Army is performing well. American training and combat experience has increased the capabilities of lower ranking officers and NCOs. There is a skill-gap at the upper-levels of command. The Iraqi Army performs best at battalion level operations.

It takes 10 years to build an army. Iraq’s Army has had 3 years so far. It is not fully self-sufficient, but it is far more capable than the parade-ground armies in the rest of Arab world.

Navy and Coast Guard They have a few patrol and assault boats and a small unit of Marines. They guard the Umm Qasr port – Iraq’s only port in the Persian Gulf. Their primary duties involve guarding oil shipments, port facilities, and anti-smuggling and anti-piracy partols.

There is some conflict between the two branches – the Interior Ministry controls the Coast Guard, the Defense Ministry controls the Navy.

Air Force – The Air Force lost most of its equipment and trained pilots. Today, it provides logistical transport and helicopter service for the Army. It has a recon squadron and may develop tactical air support capabilities in the near future.

Special Operations Forces: The most reliable are Kurdish units. Iraqi special forces were originally drawn from Shia and Kurdish militias. The Shia were less reliable. By 2006, more elite commandos are trained and are capable of engaging in counterinsurgency operations and special forces raids.

Kurdish Peshmerga – Officially recognized militia in the autonomous Kurdish Provinces of Dohuk, Erbil, and Suleimaniyah. Their force deployments include the cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. The Peshmerga are a semi-professional militia force of 150,000. They are guerilla war veterans from the 1980s and 90s, and control the mountainous region. They are an excellent counterinsurgency force that have stabalized Northern Iraq.

Police
National Police: The NP serves as light infantry counterinsurgents and as a national police force. It has nation-wide jurisdiction.

It is under the command of the Ministry of the Interior and is mostly Shia. There are some problems with the National Police cooperating with al-Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi.

Local Police: The IP is a mixed bag. They are corrupt, but apparently less corrupt than they were under Ba’athist rule. Local police reflect their community. Sunni areas have Sunni cops and Shia areas have Shia cops. Some members of the police have deep connections with the local militias and tribes. This is a normal situation across the third world. It is not ideal, but it is not necessarily bad either.

While armed with AK-47s, they are not counterinsurgents. Few are willing to engage insurgent forces in heavy combat.

Border Police: They are primarily focused on anti-smuggling operations. In theory these police forces would secure the borders of Syria, Iran and Turkey. In practice, the Syrian border is a warzone and The Iranian border is more controlled by Shia militias and smugglers than the Border Police.

Conclusion:
The Iraqi military is well organized by Arab standards and are capable counterinsurgents. They have enough armor and heavy weapons to wage a conventional war as well. In a few years, the military should be self-sufficient.

The local Iraqi Police are starting to get good control over the crime epidemic in Iraq. The majority of violence is criminal-related, so the Police take the lead on this critical issue. They have not been of serious help in the war, however.

The weakest spot in the ISF OOB is the National Police. The Ministry of the Interior is corrupt and infiltrated by Shia militias. The National Police has not performed as intended. We may have to restructure the entire Interior branch of government and place the National Police under temporary military command.

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