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Media Availability with Lt. Gen. Sharp

Presenter: Lieutenant General Sharp
September 20, 2004

Monday, September 20, 2004

Media Availability with Lt. Gen. Sharp

            SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  There’s been a lot of reporting in the last few days and there’s been a lot of – I think there’s been somewhat of a misunderstanding in terms of some of the numbers in security forces and the situation over there.   So we’ve asked General Sharp and General Schwartz if they would just add clarity.  And so…

 

[Cross Talk]

 

Q.  Sort of a point of order here?  If it’s on the record, we would love to have a camera. 

 

Q:  Why can’t we do this in the briefing room?

 

SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  Well, right now we’re just going to keep it this way for now?  OK? 

 

GEN. SHARP:  OK.  As it was just said, what I want to try to do is lay out where we are with the training of the Iraqi security forces.  Tell you what that really means to train Iraqi security forces and then give you kind of an update on the way ahead that we see over the next several months.  Number one, as I think everybody in here knows, [Lt.] Gen. Dave Petraeus is responsible for two – Gen. Casey and Gen. Abizaid, up to the secretary working with the Iraqis, the training of all Iraqi security forces.  That includes both those on the ministry of defense side and the ministry of interior side.  And I’ll go over the details of that in a minute.  That’s not to say that he, nor the military are doing it alone.  There’s large numbers of folks – trainers that are there from the Department of State INL that are helping on the police training.  NATO, as you know, is onboard now.  They have started already doing some of the training with the ministry of defense itself -- the ministry itself training.  They will grow over the next several months to do some mid-level training equivalent to our command and general staff college and war college and academies as they stand that up over the next couple months. 

 

Gen. Petraeus and the Iraqi security force training organization is responsible for the recruiting, the training, the equipping, the organizing, working with the Iraqis in full partnership all Iraqi security forces.  If we can go back a little bit, Col. Eichenberry went over -- the secretary told him to go over at the beginning of this year, late last year, the beginning of this year, to look across the board, what do we need and what do we – for the Iraqi security forces, given the situation on the ground and what we saw was needed in the long run for Iraq to be able to stand up and provide for their own security.  He came back and briefed the secretary in the springtime.  He’s worked -- continually then worked back and forth between us and Ambassador Bremer and [Lt. Gen.] Rick Sanchez during the springtime.  And as Gen. Casey and Gen. Petraeus came in and Prime Minister Allawi came in, we really started working hard with the government of Iraq to be able to lay out what we think is needed, what they think is needed in the long run.  In fact some changes have been made, based upon those discussions as it came through. 

 

I’ll pass out now – everybody can kind of pass these out.  These are the current numbers that you all have seen that are out there.  These are as of today.  And I did not do these special, just for this meeting.  But the chairman and the secretary have laid out -- every two weeks, Gen. Petraeus comes back in and updates each one of these numbers as it comes in.  And I’ll talk you through here in a couple of minutes what exactly they mean. 

 

SEN. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  This is on our Web site – Defenselink Web site. 

 

GEN. SHARP:  Yeah.  These new ones probably are not are there yet because, literally, we got them in this morning, unless you are a little bit quicker than I thought you were, but they’ll be on there tomorrow, I’m sure.  If you really take a look at it, the priorities that are out there right now, the police is clearly Gen. Petraeus’ primary effort, to try to get police around the country that are manned, trained and equipped. 

 

Now within the ministry of defense, his priority goes to special operating forces and the National Guard and I’ll walk through each one of those, as we go through.  So let me tell you how to read this chart. The first column, of course, is the manning.  And this is what the first column is – that says “authorized” is where we want to go in the long run.  What is the final end state that the prime minister has agreed to.  And the prime minister, if you look at the ministry of interior chart, the first chart, you see the 135K there for the Iraqi police service.  When Gen. Petraeus and Allawi talked about two or three months ago, they realized that that what they needed to get to is – 135, it had previous been 90,000.  So that is a fairly recent change up to 135,000. 

 

Similarly, on the border, it went from 16,000 to 32,000 based upon what the Iraqis believed that they need in coordination with Dave Petraeus.  The other main change is on the next page, the ministry of defense, Iraqi National Guard where you see 61,904.  That is the total number in the Iraqi National Guard.  If you change that to an battalion equivalents, if you will, it went from a total of 45 battalions that were needed and then Prime Minister Allawi and Petraeus have upped that to 65, so that’s what we’re working towards right now.

 

Now let me walk through the number that are on duty, you see in the next column, that does not mean that they are all trained. Those are the numbers that are actually out on duty.  The next column is the untrained you could see.  The “in training” those are in schools and academies and in units around the country and then the “trained” column is shown next. 

 

Now let me talk to you about what exactly “trained” means.  If you look at the Iraqi Police Service, which is the first one you’ve shown, 38,921.  Those individuals are a combination of folks of Iraqis who have been through either the eight-week academies that are around or the three-week transition course for those who have been policemen before.  They are then taken out to the field and work with our forces, work with mentors out in the field to be able to continue, if you will, on-the-job training as it goes through.

 

The Civil Intervention Force, that will stand up shortly.  In fact, the academy for that is about to stand up.  We have not trained any folks yet, but it will be a six-week academy as that completes. 

 

[Cross Talk]

 

Let me go through each one of these, then I’ll come back for questions, OK.  Now, the emergency unit will be a total again, another eight-week academy – four weeks for individual training and then four weeks per unit training.  The border enforcement that you see down there, that is an eight-week academy that the individuals on the border go through. 

 

Now on the next page for the training for each one of the ministry of defense forces, the Iraqi army is really in three different phases.  Four weeks of cadre training, four weeks of basic training and then four weeks of collective training.  And the number that you see out there, the 4789, they have gone through all of those different categories.  As I said, the real emphasis is on the Iraqi National Guard, the old ICDC, the 38,661.  That includes those who have had – all of those have had three weeks of basic training in schools around the country that have stood up.  What they then do is take those individuals that have been trained, 38,000 of them, and send them out to units – Multinational Force-Iraq units – and do on-the-job training with them. 

 

If any of you are familiar with the KATUSA Program in Korea, it’s kind of similar to that.  The individuals are embedded into our units to include coalition units and do on-the-job training there for a period of about eight weeks.  Get some small unit squad-platoon level training, learn leadership skills, which was what was really lacking during the springtime period where we got in trouble and then they form as a unit and start doing the initial operating capability – again, working very closely with ours.  So that has been a very successful program, as we move through. 

 

The Iraqi Intervention Force, four weeks of – again, basically the same as the National Guard – four weeks of cadre, four weeks of basic and four weeks of collective.  Iraqi Special Operation Forces – and these are a combination of forces which are very similar to our ranger battalion.  They feel that they are actually being trained by U.S. special operating forces and working with them throughout.  And then the air force, a very small air force, which is mainly helicopters, eight weeks of basic training, then four months of pilot training, although they have actually started flying some missions.  And then coastal defense is, again, eight weeks, followed by specialized training in Oum Qasr.  So that is the training program for each one of those.  You could see the remainder of the chart lays out the equipment.  Again, total requirements in what is on hand and is being tracked through with each one of the different contracts to go through. 

 

Just a touch on funding portion of it because I know that is what is paying for a lot of this equipment.  As you know, $3.4 billion has been allocated and that does not include the amount that is being reconsidered right now as to whether more needs to be put in out of the IRRF.  Thus far, $2.3 billion have been obligated and $3.2 [billion] committed.  So $3.2 [billion] of the $3.4 [billion] have been committed, $2.3 [billion] obligated.  And the reason the delta between the obligated and the committed is, in some cases, you pay as the items are coming on and you’re able to make sure that they’re to standard.  So when I talked to Dave Petraeus earlier today, he’s very confident on the money and being able to track the equipment as we go through across the board. 

 

            Q:  What’s your definition of the money being committed?  Have you signed contracts yet? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Let me give you just a couple snippets from one of Dave’s weekly reports.  In fact, this is one that accompanied his reports in today as it goes through.  Of the 45 national guard battalions that are out there, 40 are conducting operations on a daily basis now all throughout the country, working sometimes by themselves and sometimes with us. 

 

            The forces in Najaf did well.  And I think if you look at the Najaf operation, it really shows the importance of Iraqi Security Forces being in the lead and being part of this.  And down there, joining Najaf operations, there were two Iraqi intervention battalions, a commando battalion, Iraqi National Guard battalion, counterterrorist force and the Iraqi police.  The commando battalion and the counterterrorist force have executed dozens of missions across the country.  Another example of a partnership that we’re working is Prime Minister Allawi, we originally look at Gen. Petraeus’ plans said we need more mechanized forces.  There’s already a mechanized brigade that’s being formed in John Batiste’s (sp) area with equipment that they’ve been able to get from Jordan and other countries.   So we’ve been able to basicall changed, depending upon the situation that we’re seeing in the country. 

 

Iraqi Coastal Defense Course has been conducting operations day and night.  The Iraqi Air Force has two recon aircraft that are flying.  The training capacity of the police academies, right now 3,200 are in the basic course.  By the end of the year, we’ll have that capacity up to 5,300.  They have academies throughout the country now in many different locations, nearly 1,000 additional slots will increase in the capacity in Jordan and Baghdad.  International police advisors that State Department INL bringing onboard is now 459 of 500 and that will climb to 500 very shortly.  An example, 1,100 police graduated just this past week alone.  Border enforcement element’s a very critical part. There’s now 440 students in the Jordan academy, supported by trainers from not only the State Department, but the Department of Homeland Security.  The [Inaudible] patrol has got 1,000 new members.  Police and emergency unit has completed training a couple months ago and has conducted dozens of raids around Baghdad and other locations. 

 

A dignitary protection or a PSD has formed and there’s 300 personnel that have been trained and they’re helping secure the senior leaders now.  And 1,000-man special commando unit has been formed in just conducted its first operations two days ago.  SWAT teams have been trained and equipped in most provinces.  And training of their three public order battalions commence this week in training of the special gendarme type of force will also commence this month. 

 

We talked through equipment.  On equipment, just some examples, since 1 July 19 millions of rounds of ammunition, 41,000 sets of body armor, 4,300 vehicles, 14,500 radios, 35,000 rifles, pistols and machine guns and over 200,000 uniforms have been brought onto the force. 

 

            Q:  I’m sorry.  Just 41,000 sets of body armor.  You only have 32,900 listed.  Where are they? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I’m sorry. 

 

            Q:  You said 41,000 sets of body armor.   If you look at the bottom of body armor, the total – 32,000.

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Yeah. 

 

            Q:  Where are the 41?

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Those are the ones that I said have come in just since 1 July. 

 

            Q:  So when is this?  This is as of…

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I’m showing the body armor…

 

            Q:  … 20 September. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  … I’m showing body armor of 48,000 on the…

 

            UNKNOWN:  [Inaudible]

 

            GEN. SHARP:  … on the interior and 32,000 on that, so that’s combining the total of about 70 or…

 

            Q:  I see.

 

            GEN. SHARP:  … or 80 are there now.  Those are the numbers that just since 1 July. 

 

            Q:  So you’re trying to double the amount.

 

[Cross Talk]

 

GEN. SHARP:  Let me finish.  Let me finish.  A couple of other points to hit, I think, that are important.  The Iraqi Security Force recruiting is not a problem.  It continues.  We get many, many Iraqis who I think are really answering to Prime Minister Allawi’s call that security is the responsibility of Iraqis and that’s the only way that it will end.  And they are standing up to that test.  We are working very closely in partnership with Iraqis across the board.  And as I said earlier, that is making a huge difference for Iraqi security forces to stand up and do well these operations where they see their leaders from Allawi all the way down at the local level standing up and taking responsibility.  Gen. Petraeus has started schools.  We’re working very closely with our units to develop those mid and lower level leadership qualities that are needed throughout there. 

 

I guess I’ll just end with the importance of Iraqi security force training in this building to be able to make sure that Gen. Casey and Gen. Petraeus and Iraqis have all they needed.  This is nothing new to us.  We have been pressing this for a long time.  And as I said at the very beginning, the secretary and the chairman, tool Karl Eichenberry who had been in Afghanistan and Paul Handelman , a special team not only from the Department of Defense but a whole interagency team that went over in the beginning and part of this year to see what was needed for Iraqi security forces.  These metrics and many more are briefed to both the secretary and the chairman on a weekly basis and to the deputy who goes through in excruciating pain the funding portion of making sure that everything is needed there on a weekly basis with the idea of what is the glide path?  Where do we want to get?  How are we able to do this at a rate to be able to stand up Iraqi security forces as quickly as possible, but to have learned from the mistakes that were made in the March-April time period where we did not have the leaders there.  We did not have all of the equipment there.  We are now on the path of getting manned, trained and equipped Iraqi security forces into the field and as quickly as possible. 

 

            SEN. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  Any questions?

 

            Q:  Yes.  When you say that, I want to follow up and make sure I understand the terms.  In the column four example, just by way of example – Iraqi Police Service, 38,921 trained. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Right. 

 

            Q:  Is that, by your definition of terms here, “fully trained.”  Have they completed – they’ve completed? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Those 38,921 are a combination of folks who have been through the eight-week training academy for the people who were not policemen before and a three-week academy for people that have been policemen before.  They are now out doing -- you know, they’re basic recruits that are now out in each one of the police stations that are continuing their – if you will -- their advanced training.  And the way that we’re doing that with them is we have people that are helping doing joint patrols with the police, were in the police station mentoring.  While we see that we have problems with them not performing, they are released. When we see that we’ve got a natural leader that’s standing out, we’re making them into leaders, as we go through. 

 

            Q:  So how could we get possibly the best numbers you have in each of these categories on how many are fully trained and fully equipped? 

 

            UNKNOWN:  Define what you mean by “totally trained.”

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Let me – and I don’t mean to be smart about this because I think this is a very important point.  United States Army, let’s take for an example.

 

            Q:  Well, let me answer it.  Fully trained and fully equipped, by the standards of any global military force or global law enforcement force anywhere in the world. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  OK. Let’s take the military side, what I know best.  I considered myself trained when I came out of my basic course as a second lieutenant.  I went out to our unit at that case, and became a platoon leader in that unit.  Was I continuing to be trained?  I’m continuing to be trained to this day.  But as far as the school trained, what is needed in the academies and all, what I’m showing here on the chart is what we’ve considered and what the Iraqis considered as school trained to be able to get out there, to start doing their job…

 

            Q:  On the street. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  … to go on the street.

 

            Q:  OK. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Now that’s not out by themselves, obviously, just like my battalion commander would have never sent me out all by myself to do a real operation in combat.  He would have made sure that I had enough people that had been in the military for a long period of time to be able to continue that as we go through.

 

            Q:  But as we know, many Iraqi security forces have said – it’s been acknowledged openly in some areas shortfalls of equipment.  So what are the numbers, now that you’ve given us the trained to be on the street, to be on duty, are all of these people in the trained category also, do they have, each of them have the equipment to do their job? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  No. 

 

            Q:  How do we get the numbers…

 

            GEN. SHARP:  The numbers that are showing on the right there, are the numbers for each one of the vehicles and all that are out there.  So for example, there’s…

 

            Q:  Are you on police force?

 

            GEN. SHARP:  OK. Either line.  Yes, for example, the vehicles – if you look in the police force, the Iraqi security, the Iraqi police force, total requirement of vehicles, 22,400 – 395.  What’s out there right now on the streets is 5,985. 

 

            Q:  All right.   So not meaning to belabor the point, but for the 38,000 trained, ready-to-be-on-the-street troops, you have 6,000, roughly, vehicles short versus the 22,000 requirements.  So what does this say when we try to report and assess how trained and equipped these forces are?  What’s your overall conclusion? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  The…

 

            Q:  The reason I ask, sir, is recently, many, many months ago, Gen. Swannack, of course, when he was in-country.  He was one of the first to say, hey, here’s a problem.  We’ve got to get more of everything out there. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.  Not what we’re trying to do, what we are actually doing is already some of the numbers of what’s coming in there.  I’d have to think through how you do a metric of equating a person who is trained with police stations that have enough – you know, for example, vehicles and commo.  I can tell you how much we need total and how much is out there percentage wise now to equip the total of 135,000 different forces.  I can tell you how many are – that’s what on the chart. I can tell you how many are trained by the academy’s standards that are out there.  Now when you have linked the two together, the priorities end up going to where Gen. Casey says I need to put the majority of the equipment in the training in there to be able to do that.  I think that is a pretty good indication, if you just take a look at across the board, the percentage, the rough percentages that are out there to be able to do that.  You know, for example, right now if you look at the number of trained police, 38,000 out of a requirement of 135,000.  So that’s – what -- roughly, 40 percent, 35, 40 percent across the board.  Well, we’re above that in weapons.  We’re not quite there with about a quarter in vehicles.  We’re about a quarter in comms and we’re about a quarter in body armor.  Am I answering your question? 

 

            Q:  Well, I guess the bottom line is will Iraqi security forces – when will you have enough trained and equipped Iraqi security forces to take over the local control that we’ve talked about in Iraq to achieve their goal of getting the insurgents out of this mess?  Will it be by December?  Will it be by the elections in January? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Gen. Casey has taken a look at the plan to what we believe the equipment delivery will be and the training schedule. And he believes that, based upon that, he will be able to be at what his definition of local control is for the majority of the country, not the entire part of the country.  There’s going to be areas out there that we’re not going to be able to get the local control by the end of December. 

 

            Q:  Sir, does that mean that at that point, he’ll be able to shift troops around in-country to concentrate on areas of particular trouble in Iraq?

 

            GEN. SHARP:  He’s doing that right now.  And it’s not only U.S. nor, it’s Iraqi forces also.  He’s moving national guard battalions around, moving other battalions around to focus on areas that he wants. 

 

Let me go back to your question.  We track on a weekly basis a chart which shows, here’s what the plan is for comms,  all these things that are on here – weapons, vehicles, and body armor.  Gen. Petraeus has a detailed plan which lays out equipment delivery that’s going to come in on each one of these different items.  He then utilizes, based on what he has on ground, what’s he’s lost through battles and prioritizes where this equipment at all needs to go, so that you can have fully functional elements as it goes through.  And in some cases, he even moves it between type of units.  You know, for example, he may move some between the ministry of defense, the ministry of interior to be able to speed that through.  But that is assessed on a weekly basis, as they go through over there.  And as I said, based upon the planned schedule of delivery, the planned training, he believes that he can be at local control by the end of December in the majority of the country.

 

            Q:  General, can you define what “majority” means in this case – 70 percent or 80 percent – 80 percent territory or the population? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I’m not going to give you a percentage.  I think that he has said that he will take – where he is able to stand up with both Iraqi security forces, the governance in the local area is starting to function, that reconstruction is starting to come along, so the economy is starting to stand up.  It’s not just security forces that take you to local control.  We have worked very closely with State Department Ambassador Negroponte to establish metrics that look in each one of the different cities, the major cities and provinces throughout the country.  And based upon a lot of metrics that they look at, but the final metric is a combination of Gen. Casey and Ambassador Negroponte looking across all of the sectors to determine whether or not an area is ready to go to local control. And again, as I’m sure you know, local control doesn’t mean we just say thank you very much and you’re abandoned and left.  Local control means that Iraqi security forces, Iraqi governance, reconstruction, the primary – the responsibilities that Iraqis with us there to be able to assist when they call upon us. 

 

 

            Q:  Gen. Sharp, a fact-checking question?

 

            Q:  Local control then can be as little as 51 percent? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  That’s true.  He believes that if you look both population en masse wise, it will be a lot larger than that. 

 

            Q:  Just a fact checking question.  Is it accurate to say that 35,000 police are uniformed, but not one has completed a 24-week field training program?

 

            GEN. SHARP:  That’s a six month training program.  No.  I would say that that is not accurate.  As I described, the police training program that’s out there, is either an eight-week or three week one depending upon whether you were there before.  There’s then a 26-week field training program that is beyond-the-job training.  You’re out doing patrols with the forces.  So the police that had completed the three-week courses -- this is what, this is September – by March, there are many of those who are continually being monitored and trained out in the country so I would say that those have completed the entire process going through.  I can’t give you the number off the top of my head. 

 

            Q:  General, going back to your other statement, are you saying by the end of December, a majority of the country will be under local control.  What is that figure now? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  What I said was that if Iraqi security forces are able to stand up and take responsibility and be prepared, the security situation goes according to what we believe that it can, based upon Iraq security forces -- the governance in the area, the economy is moving forward – that Gen. Casey is working towards having local control by December. 

 

            Q:  And how would you assess the situation now today? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I would say that there are areas within Iraq that are at local control right now.  You know, primarily up in the north and down in the south where Iraqis are maintaining security and responsibilities for their areas.

 

            Q:  Can you give us any better indications, so we can be more accurate? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I wouldn’t want to characterize right now because I don’t have off the top of my head…

 

            Q:  OK. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  … you know, how many cities in areas that he has the local control now versus we believe he will in, you know, what he’s aiming towards. 

 

            Q:  And would you believe any additional areas will be brought under local control between now…

 

            GEN. SHARP:  Absolutely.

 

            Q:  … and the end of December?  Now do you have any estimate on that?

 

            GEN. SHARP:  He will go to the point where he will assess each city, each province by December and he’s doing it really on a weekly basis.  I mean, we’d rather not set a goal.  We want to set conditions as to what other requirements in order for an area to become local control.  Those are assessed on a weekly basis in a meeting that Gen. Casey and Ambassador Negroponte have on a weekly basis over there.  They take a look at that and have the conditions been met, then they go to local control. 

 

            Q:  Is one of those criteria whether elections can be held in that area and if an area isn’t under local control, what – you know, what happens in terms of the election?  

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I can’t answer that.  I mean, we will have elections throughout the country so, you know, it’s not a criteria.  Well…

 

            Q:  What do you mean, if you don’t have them throughout the country?  Kofi Annan said that they can’t unless the security is better and they’re in charge, aren’t they -- the U.N.?

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I’d say Iraqis are in charge. 

 

            Q:  Well, the U.N.  will administer them, won’t they, and run them and sanction them.  And he said that at this level, they cannot be held or he doubts they can be held. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I didn’t see that quote. 

 

            Q:  He said the last week.

 

            GEN. SHARP:  As I said, I didn’t see that quote. 

 

            SR. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  We’ve got time for about two, three more questions, so

 

[Inaudible]…

 

            GEN. SHARP:  It is one of the elements that they look at.  Absolutely.  And I think the way they look at it is what is the security like in the area and it’s both from a standpoint of being able to maintain normal law and order and the other elements that I talked about also. 

 

            Q:  Sir, are you telling me you’re in $3.2 billion most of the chart is red and I think that’s what the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was reacting to last week in what Kerry was making reference to.  Can you explain that on this chart that’s reproducing USA Today in full color?  How do you explain that to people?  You had a year to do this and…

 

            GEN. SHARP:  I’ll tell you a couple things.  Number one is that as I said at the very beginning, we’ll work closely with Iraqis since they took sovereignty at the end of June to define actual requirements with them as to what is sustainable.  Some of the numbers have increased significantly as far as Iraqi security forces, what the total requirement is.  That, in and of itself, will change some of the numbers from a higher percentage to a lower percentage.  Secondly, there are losses that we had back in the springtime period and some contract issues that you all are aware of that we had back in the springtime period.  Those have been corrected and we are pushing as hard as we can, as quickly as we can to develop and train Iraqi security forces and have them equipped across the board.  It is a matter of making sure that we have, again, trained, equipped men and leadership out there for Iraqi security forces. 

 

            Q:  General, you said that at the time, unless you want to correct the records and misinformation out there, maybe I’m just misunderstanding?

 

SR. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  This information has been out there for quite a while.  

 

Q:  Well, but my question is, you know, maybe I’m not listening close enough, but I don’t hear anything in here that’s correcting anything that I’ve been hearing before we came in this room.  I mean, what’s the misinformation that’s out there? 

 

SR. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  I think we just want to bring greater clarity to the security situation.  And there’s been a lot of discussion about it.  But we haven’t ever really pulled together this kind of a briefing to give people this kind of information.  It’s been on Defenselink continually.  As you can see, there was a story that was in the Early Bird today that suggested there’s been a lot of progress that’s been made.  Well, we needed to define that progress a little bit. 

 

Q:  General, well, why did the police and I think you said it was the border enforcement department – why were they increased by such great numbers and does that reflect the specific issues or will they be deployed during any particular areas of concern? 

 

GEN. SHARP:  The assessment that when Karl Eichenberry that Gen. Eichenberry went in and Dave Petraeus working with Prime Minister Allawi is they took a look at historical norms across the region, other countries.  They took a look at the security situation that was in the country at the time -- and still is -- as we move.  And based upon that analysis, they decided that what was originally developed for a number way back.  I mean, this was, you know, right at the end of major combat operations, was not sufficient and where they really needed to put emphasis in was the Iraqi police and the border element.  And so those numbers with Prime Minister Allawi agreeing completely were increased and that’s where the emphasis is right now, as I said. 

 

SEN. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  Maybe one more.

 

Q:  Could you say how many Iraqi security force members of all kinds have been killed or are casualties at this point?

 

GEN. SHARP:  It’s over 700 since the 1st of January. 

 

Q:  I’m sorry?

 

Q:  700 killed?

 

GEN. SHARP:  It’s over 700 since the 1st of January. 

 

Q:  Killed this year? 

 

            Q:  Is that on the 1st of January? 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  The first of January, correct. 

 

SEN. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  OK, folks. 

 

[Cross Talk]

 

GEN. SHARP:  Iraqi security police and the National Guard.  That’s all Iraqis who are security casualties. 

           

            Q:  Any kind of [number] for wounded?

 

            SEN. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  This has got to be it.  These guys have got to get moving.

 

            Q:  Gen. Sharp, that was 135 versus 100 thousand police?

 

SEN. DEFENSE OFFICIAL:  OK, thanks a lot. 

 

            GEN. SHARP:  90.

 

            Q:  90.

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