BAGHDAD – Military Doctrine has many definitions.
Vasily Sokolovsky, marshal of the Soviet Union, defined it as "scientific points of view adopted by the state for political matters and war," while the contemporary NATO doctrine defines military doctrine as fundamental principles by which military forces guide their actions in support of political objectives.
Iraqi senior military leaders met with U.S. Forces - Iraq and NTM-I representatives at the first Iraqi Military Doctrine Conference in the International Zone Aug. 3 to explore these and other definitions as they begin the process to develop and deliver an Iraqi military doctrine that will endure beyond 2011.
For Staff Lt. Gen. Hussain Jassim Salim Dohi, Iraqi deputy chief of staff for training, the doctrine should facilitate and improve training.
“The eastern doctrine is entrenched in their brains, regardless of the new technology, they still return to the old manuals,” said Dohi, who is spearheading the development of the doctrine. “We have to improve these officers, develop their minds to look at things in a new way.”
Dohi suggested the Doctrine Project must use existing guidance as a foundation while setting the Brigade and Divisional doctrine as its first priority, the second priority is tactical publications. The goal is to finish the project before December of 2011, Dohi said.
Gen. Babakir Badir-Khan, chief of staff for the Iraqi armed forces, agreed that technology can only get Iraq so far.
Iraq has re-equipped its armed forces with state of the art technology, invested heavily in recruitment and training organization and provided the tools necessary for Iraq to defend itself in the face external aggression. However, there is a third, most important, step, he said.
“It binds the moral and physical components of fighting power by providing ideas on how to fight,” Badir-Khan said. “The conceptual component of fighting power is underpinned by military doctrine, but relies on innovation, education and capturing our collective experiences to ensure best practices in all that we do. Military doctrine is simply codification of best practices.”
Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy commanding general for Advising and Training, agreed it’s time to take the next step.
“As we approach 2011, and the focus for the armed forces switches from internal security to external defense, it is necessary to review these conventional capabilities and determine how to employ them in the event of external aggression,” Barbero told the room full of military leaders during his opening remarks. “This is an opportunity to take a huge step forward in ensuring the security of Iraq. Doctrine is a key part of building military capability and because of this I have allocated resources, people, and money from United States Forces-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission-Iraq to support this task.”
Teams from Britain and the U.S. will help support the Iraqi leadership has they develop and write the new doctrine not to dictate policy, he said.
“The doctrine that is produced must be tailored for the Iraqi security force needs,” Barbero said. “The U.S. and British teams are merely here to make suggestions, at the end of the day; it’s doctrine that you, around this table, need to approve of.”
This work, Iraqi Military Leaders plan for the future of Iraq’s Military Doctrine, by CPT Olivia Cobiskey, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.