Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq

The Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq has released its report

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Commission Information

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) provided support to an independent commission appointed by Congress to conduct an assessment of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Chaired by General James Jones, USMC (Ret.), the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq reported to Congress in September 2007 on the readiness of the Iraqi Security Forces, their capabilities, and how support and training by U.S. forces contributes to the effectiveness of the ISF.

Comprised of 20 former senior military officers, defense officials, and law enforcement officers, Congress required the Commission to examine the readiness of the ISF to assume responsibility in maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq; deny terrorists a safe haven; bring greater security to Iraq’s 18 provinces in the next 12-18 months, and bring an end to sectarian violence in order to achieve national reconciliation. As part of its assessment, the Commission also examined the training, equipping, command, control and intelligence capabilities and the logistics capacity of the ISF. The Commission traveled to Iraq to meet with key Iraqi and U.S. leaders and to assess ISF capabilities.

In accordance with the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007, the Commission conducted its independent assessment and reported back to committees in the United States House of Representatives and Senate. As mandated by the act, a private, non-profit organization with national security expertise was required to support the Commission. CSIS served that role. Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) co-sponsored the original amendment which led to the creation of the Commission. The Commission has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.


General James L. Jones USMC (Ret.) – President and CEO, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and 32nd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

General John Abrams USA (Ret.) – Board of Directors, Virginia National Defense Industrial Authority. Former Commanding General, Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Lt. General Martin R. Berndt USMC (Ret.) – Former Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces.

General Charles G. Boyd USAF (Ret.) – President and CEO, Business Executives for National Security. Former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command.

Command Sergeant Major Dwight J. Brown, USA (Ret) – Former Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Central Command.

The Honorable Terrance Gainer – Sergeant at Arms, U.S. Senate. Former Chief, United States Capitol Police.

The Honorable John J. Hamre – President and CEO, Center for Strategic and International Studies. Former Deputy Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).

Colonel Michael Heidingsfield, USAF (Ret.) - President and Chief Executive Officer of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission. Former Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Emeritus, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, USN (Ret.) – Founder, Snow Ridge Associates. Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe and Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe.

General George Joulwan, USA (Ret.) – President, One Team, Inc. Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

Lt. General James C. King, USA (Ret.) – President and CEO, Athena Innovative Solutions. Former Director, United States National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland – Assistant Chief Constable, Urban Region, Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Lt. General Gary S. McKissock, USMC (Ret.) – Board of Directors, Sapient Corporation. Former Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics, United States Marine Corps.

Sergeant Major Alford L. McMichael, USMC (Ret.) – Founder, The 4-DREW Foundation. Former Sergeant Major, United States Marine Corps.

Brigadier General Richard Potter, USA (Ret.) – Sierra Nevada Corporation – Integrated Mission Systems. Former Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Special Operations Command.

Major General Arnold Punaro, USMC (Ret.) – Executive Vice President, SAIC. Former Director, Marine Corps Reserve and Commanding General, 4th Marine Division.

Chief Charles H. Ramsey – Consultant, United States Senate Sergeant-at-Arms. Former Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.

Chief John F. Timoney – Chief of the City of Miami Police Department.

Lieutenant General John A. Van Alstyne – Commandant, Corps of Cadets, Texas A&M University. Former Deputy Commanding General for initial entry training, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

General Charles Wilhelm, USMC (Ret.) – Former Commander, U.S. Southern Command.