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Describe the Greatest Challenge to Coalition Success for OIR

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In the U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the center of gravity remains the coalition network of allies and partner nations, the commander of U.S

Central Command told Pentagon reporters today. The coalition of 77 nations and international organizations remains committed to achieving the lasting defeat of ISIS and its pervasive and negative ideology, Votel said. And as major combat operations near completion in Iraq, the fight to defeat ISIS is not over, he added.

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Although often used synonymously, various terms like ‘standardization’ and ‘interoperability’ actually have different meanings. While different organizations may use some of the terms differently, the major interoperability forums discussed here have fairly common usage, and their definitions will be used throughout this essay. ‘Standardization’ refers to the overall, multilevel goal of increasing the operational effectiveness of coalition military forces through various similarities. Standardization is applied primarily to the areas of doctrine, procedures (‘tactics’), and logistics (‘defense materiel and battlefield equipment’). It is ranked into the following four levels of increasing standardization. The ability of allied military forces to fight together effectively has been increasingly valued this century due to the increased use of combined (or coalition) warfare, initially during the two world wars. Many of the modern forums and methods of improving this standardization were initially put in place in the period after World War II (WWII)

The American, British, and Canadian (ABC) Armies’ ‘Plan to Effect Standardization’ came about in 1947, to continue the close cooperation begun during WWII. The initial plan’s purpose (to ensure the three armies could eliminate any obstacles to full technical and materiel cooperation, allowing the most effective use of their pooled resources) has remained constant, while the framework has expanded a number of times. The latest Basic Standardization Agreement (BSA) gave it the new name of the ABCA (American, British, Canadian, and Australian) Armies’ Standardization Program (or just ABCA) in 1964.

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Although many challenges exist within the ISF there are lost opportunities because of poor information sharing initiatives between the U.S

and ISF. The U.S. military has the capability to analyze electronic devices such as cellular telephones and computers captured from insurgent groups. The ISF routinely conducts raids of suspected insurgent locations and captures these devices (D’Ippolito, Andrew S., 2007). Because the U.S. is not aware of the captured devices intelligence is lost because these devices are not analyzed for information. In addition to electronic devices, basic documents such as captured identification cards are not turned over to the U.S. The U.S. has an initiative to collect and store biometric and other identification data of potential insurgents. Because the U.S. is not aware of the ISF capturing the documents the opportunity to expand this data is lost. This is just a single example from a single brigade of lost opportunities due to gaps in information sharing. If these information gaps were closed it would surely aid in the defeat of the insurgency within Iraq. One suggestion made to facilitate information sharing is a combined tactical operations center (TOC). COL Senters suggested if U.S. units combined TOCs with ISF units the information gaps could be closed. The information collected by both U.S. and ISF units would be shared and intelligence would not be lost as it is currently. Operational situational awareness would be enhanced and unity of effort would be achieved. This relationship would also serve to allow the ISF to be treated more like a coalition partner. This idea comes with challenges such as operational security but there are enough trusted soldiers within the ISF to make this idea work (Herring, Terry W., 2006).

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All things considered, ''the ISF continues to prove their capabilities as a cohesive force, even in complex operations,'' he said, citing how the Iraqi Joint Operations Command recently wrapped up the fourth phase of the Heroes of Iraq Campaign

They showed outstanding cooperation among the Iraqi army, Federal Police intelligence service and anti-terrorism troops in clearing ISIS hideouts in remote areas.

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D’Ippolito, Andrew S., Major, U.S. Air Force, ―Coalition Information Sharing: The Global War on Terrorism Requires Global Partnerships.‖ April 2007.

Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Fact Sheet, Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System Overview (CENTRIXS), June 2007.

Herring, Terry W. ―Network-Centric Warefare – Effective or Information Overload,‖ April 2006, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL.

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