Media

LTG James Dubik interviewed on National Public Radio

 

Transcript Excerpt

As Mary Louise mentioned, an important question mark in the policy debate is Afghan troops. There aren't enough of them now, nor are they trained well enough. And General McChrystal is worried that during the time it takes to train them, the insurgents could gain an insurmountable advantage and the war could be lost.

Here now to talk about the state of the Afghan army is retired Lieutenant General James Dubik. He oversaw training of Iraqi troops and he spent the summer in Afghanistan observing the training of troops there and he's also advising General McChrystal. Welcome to the program.

Lieutenant General JAMES DUBIK (Commander, Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq): Thank you, Madeleine. And thank you for having me.

BRAND: How many Afghan troops are necessary do you think to wage a successful counterinsurgency operation? And how many are now adequately trained?

Lt. Gen. DUBIK: Well, the army is about 90,000, the police a little bit less. The absolute number I think should really be a matter of study because the size of the Afghan National Army and the size of the police forces will be a function of the geography of the country, the level of the insurgency and the speed at which we can grow them.

BRAND: I've seen the number, though, of 300,000 - around 300,000, as one number that would be necessary.

Lt. Gen. DUBIK: Yeah. I think that would probably be, Madeleine, the low end. For example, in Iraq now, there are 600,000. And Afghanistan is a much larger country, much more broken up country and a much more rural country.

BRAND: And will they be able to be trained with the existing number of U.S. troops? Or do you think there will have to be more U.S. troops in country to provide the training and also the security?

Lt. Gen. DUBIK: Well, training the Afghan forces I think in this regard will be very similar to training forces anywhere in the world. Part of their training is done in what's called an institutional training base and that is at the training centers and the training schools. And then the second half of their training is done on the job. The United States Army does that, most NATO countries do the same thing.

And in Iraq, we partnered up, as part of the acceleration, we partnered Iraqi forces with coalition forces, so that the Iraqis could continue to learn as they planned, prepared, executed operations in the field. And this will be, I think, a similar kind of affair in Afghanistan if we do this correctly....

To read the full transcript, visit the NPR website here.

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Dr. Kimberly Kagan Speaks at Brookings Institution

Prospects for Afghanistan's Future: Assessing the Outcome of the Afghan Presidential Election

Brookings Institution, Expert Panel, August 25, 2009

 

"The Afghan people voted on August 20 to select their next president. It remains to be seen which candidate will prevail. Questions also persist about the Taliban’s influence on the election’s outcome and about the viability of Afghanistan’s next government. The result of this election is critical for the Afghan people, NATO’s mission in their country, and for future regional and international security."

 To see the full event summary, please visit the Brookings website.

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Kimberly Kagan Interviewed On Afghanistan - PBS "The News Hour"

Leaders Warn Afghan War "Serious and Deteriorating"

 

 

Interview with Dr. Kimberly Kagan, President of the Institute for the Study of War

Televised Interview, PBS Channel, "The News Hour", August 24, 2009

Transcript: 

RAY SUAREZ: Finally tonight, coming up with the right strategy and the right number of troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, and to Margaret Warner.
 

MARGARET WARNER: Five months into President Obama's stepped-up campaign in Afghanistan, attacks by the Taliban and its allies are on the rise. American and Afghan casualties are growing, too. More U.S. troops have been killed already this year than in all of 2008. At the same time, polls show declining U.S. public support for the war.
Now, as the top American commander, General Stanley McChrystal, readies his major strategy review, debate is growing over whether more U.S. troops will be needed.
 

Yesterday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen offered a stark assessment on CNN's "State of the Union" with John King.
 

ADM. MIKE MULLEN: I think it is serious, and it is deteriorating, and I've said that over the last couple of years, that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated. Their tactics, just in my recent visits out there and talking with our troops certainly indicate that.
 

JOHN KING, anchor, CNN: You have no doubt he'll ask for more troops?
 

ADM. MICHAEL MULLEN: No, actually, we're not at a point yet where he's made any decisions about asking for additional troops. His guidance from me and from the secretary of defense was to go out and assess where you are and then tell us what you need. And we'll get to that point. And I want to, I guess, assure you or reassure you that he hasn't asked for any additional troops up to this point in time.
 

MARGARET WARNER: Separately, top regional U.S. commanders in Afghanistan told President Obama's special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, this weekend that they need more troops.
For more on this, we go to two experts who've been to Afghanistan this summer. Kimberly Kagan, president of the Institute of the Study of War, a Washington think-tank, she was in Afghanistan for four weeks this summer as part of General McChrystal's strategy assessment team. The views she expresses this evening are her own.
And Thomas Johnson, a research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, he co-authored a piece on foreignpolicy.com this past week entitled, "Afghanistan is Today's Vietnam."
And welcome to you both.
 

Kimberly Kagan, I'll begin with you. Admiral Mullen calling it not just serious, the situation in Afghanistan, but deteriorating. Do you agree with that, and what is the evidence you look to, to tell you that?
 

KIMBERLY KAGAN: I do agree with Admiral Mullen's statement because the Taliban has actually been growing in its capacity to affect the population of Afghanistan, to perform certain functions that we think of as government functions, such as taxing the population, and also intimidating the population through assassination campaigns and through occupying towns and villages throughout Afghanistan. This is a sign of growing Taliban control in southern Afghanistan.
In addition to that, the Haqqani network, which is a distinct group from the Taliban...
 

MARGARET WARNER: Named for...
 

KIMBERLY KAGAN: Named for Jalaluddin Haqqani, now presumably led by one of his sons, as he is older, is actually growing in its capacity in the eastern part of Afghanistan to launch spectacular attacks against targets in Kabul and its surrounding provinces. And so what we have are two enemies fighting and actually enlarging their spheres of influence.
 

MARGARET WARNER: And, Professor Johnson, do you think it is deteriorating, I mean, even since U.S. troops began arriving in greater numbers? And is it because of more U.S. troops that we're seeing more attacks or, in fact, is it in spite of it?
 

THOMAS JOHNSON, Naval Postgraduate School: Well, I think the situation has been bleak for at least a year-and-a-half. And I think that it's gained the attention of Washington recently.
But there's no question at all that the situation has gotten very, very bleak. I mean, I was in Kandahar this summer, and it was very hard to talk to people that didn't show disgust with allied policies. The problem in Afghanistan is the delta or the difference between the people's expectations and what's been delivered.
So it's a very tough situation right now. But I don't think necessarily that it's a question of the number of troops. I think that, while more troops on the ground will help, I think the real problem is manpower distribution. I think that we still have too many troops that are staying behind the wire in forward operating bases.
 

MARGARET WARNER: Meaning they stay inside their bases rather than getting out?
 

THOMAS JOHNSON: Absolutely. I mean, if we're fighting a counterinsurgency, we have to interact with people.
So I don't think it's necessarily a qualitative problem. I think it's a quantitative -- I'm sorry, I don't think it's a quantitative problem. I think it's a qualitative problem. It's a manpower distribution problem.
My estimation is less than 4 percent of our troops are involved in reconstruction activities, and that's no way to secure a population and win a counterinsurgency.
 

MARGARET WARNER: Is that the way you see it? And in fact, does that mean more troops are or aren't the answer?
 

KIMBERLY KAGAN: I agree with Tom that the forces that we have in Afghanistan do need to be redistributed and focused on areas where the population is extremely vulnerable and where the insurgency is strong.
But I think, even if you do that and we get the troops without caveats outside of the wire, we will still need more forces in Afghanistan, because the population of Afghanistan is large. It's roughly 30 million people. And we simply do not have enough troops there to create the kinds of dense forces needed to secure the small neighborhoods all throughout Afghanistan where the insurgents are fighting.
 

MARGARET WARNER: And many in very rural areas. So fit this in with the theme of your piece this weekend that Afghanistan is today's Vietnam. I mean, in Vietnam, there was a steady increase in the number of troops. Is that the parallel you fear?
 

THOMAS JOHNSON: Well, I think -- yes, it is. Let me give you a number, different comparisons. In both Vietnam and Afghanistan, these are both countries that had defeated a European powerhouse over a 10-year guerilla war that then resulted in basically a north-south civil war.
They both are countries that have an uncontrollable border where the insurgents or the guerillas are taking refuge in a neighboring country.
In both instances, I think that we misread -- the United States, that is -- the actual enemy that we're fighting. In Vietnam, we thought the Viet Cong were primarily communist when they were nationalists that were trying to reunite the country.
I think, in Afghanistan, we view the Taliban as secular insurgents, when I think they're jihadists. I think that they're what Eric -- I forget his last name -- in "The True Believer" in the 1950s, when he wrote "The True Believer," I think these are true believes. And I think that it's basically they're insurgents wrapped in the narrative of a jihad, and that's a very different enemy than I think that we're -- than we think we're facing.
 

MARGARET WARNER: So, Kim Kagan, does that parallel or potential parallel offer a cautionary note about the prospect of steadily increasing forces? I mean, the additional U.S. forces President Obama ordered there aren't even yet fully in, are they?
 

KIMBERLY KAGAN: That is correct. There are more forces that will be arriving essentially over the course of the fall. But I think that we can get too focused on historical examples and historical analogies.
And although I agree with some of Tom's comparisons, I also think that the situation in Afghanistan is fixable and that the United States does have an opportunity to succeed.
I do think that more resources are necessary and required. And I share Tom's concern that they might be filtered in or trickled in rather than put in such that General McChrystal and his subordinates can conduct the decisive operations that they need to conduct in order to defeat the enemy.
 

MARGARET WARNER: Now, do you all read -- how do you read the comments we've heard from Admiral Mullen and the commanders who spoke to Ambassador Holbrooke and to the reporters traveling with them, talking about, in their case, the need for more troops? Do you see the military trying to prepare the public or the Obama White House for the request for more troops? Do you think that's what's going on?
 

THOMAS JOHNSON: I think that's a possibility. But, again, I do not believe that this is just a question of the number of troops.
I think a real problem in Afghanistan is that we've misread what regime legitimacy represents in Afghanistan. I mean, the father of modern sociology, Max Weber, talked about three types of points that bring up regime legitimacy. He talked about dynastic, he talked about legal, and he talked about religious.
I think that Afghanistan has had a long history of dynastic and traditional and religious types of legitimacy in the regimes. And we tried to paint a coat of democracy over Afghanistan that's been very difficult.
 

MARGARET WARNER: And, in fact, briefly, before we go, Kim Kagan, so last week we had this election. The results are still unclear, the election for president and the provincial leadership. How does that uncertainty cloud or affect the prospects for military success? Do you think it's a factor?
 

KIMBERLY KAGAN: I think that, regardless of whether Karzai wins or Abdullah Abdullah wins, there will be need for a continued presence in Afghanistan. I also believe that it is incredibly important for General McChrystal and all of the civilian apparatus to help create legitimate government institutions in Afghanistan that are capable of performing these functions that Tom mentioned for the people.
 

MARGARET WARNER: But that's a very long-range proposition, is it not?
 

KIMBERLY KAGAN: I don't think that that's something that can be done quickly. I think that it's something that will take time.
 

MARGARET WARNER: Kim Kagan and Tom Johnson, thank you both.
 

THOMAS JOHNSON: Well, thank you.
 

KIMBERLY KAGAN: Thank you.
 

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ISW Webcast with Colonel Ryan Gonsalves

COL Ryan Gonsalves

 

In this four-part interivew, ISW President Kimberly Kagan discusses MND-N with Colonel Ryan Gonsalves.  COL Gonsalves is the commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division in Kirkuk.  The 2nd BCT has been heavily involved in defusing recent Arab-Kurd tensions in the area in and around Kirkuk.  During the interview, Dr. Kagan poses questions about the political and military issues COL Gonsalves faces in Kirkuk including protecting the people, enabling the political process in Kirkuk, enabling communication, building trust, maintaining neutrality, and liasing with the Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces.

 

DVIDS Video Part 1

DVIDS Video Part 2

DVIDS Video Part 3

DVIDS Video Part 4

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Transcript: 

<p>&nbsp;</p>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; INTERVIEW OF</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; COLONEL RYAN GONSALVES,</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2nd Brigade Combat Team,</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; CONDUCTED BY</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;DR. KIM KAGAN, Institute for the Study of War</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [Transcript produced from webcast recording.]</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [Video clip 1 of 4 begins.]</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Hello, Colonel Gonsalves. This is Kim Kagan. How are you doing?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Ma'am, I'm doing fine. How about yourself?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: I'm doing very well. Thanks. Thanks so much for taking the time out to talk with us at the Institute for the Study of War today. I am really pleased to have you and to have you discuss your activities and the activities of the 2nd BCT, 1st Cavalry Division in Kirkuk. So thanks, and welcome.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Thank you very much. We are excited about doing this. Thanks again for giving us that opportunity.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Well, I would love to begin by asking you what your mission is and what the mission is of 2nd Brigade Combat Team 1st Cav in Kirkuk.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Okay. I have prepared a short statement, just a couple of minutes, just to give you some framework. I know you were up here with your husband a couple of months ago, but I just want to reiterate for you and anybody else that's in the room for you.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Blackjack is currently integrated as part of the security framework in Kirkuk, a disputed area in Northern Iraq. Since arriving, Blackjack was directed to enhance Kurdish‑Arab relations and to disrupt insurgent activities in Kirkuk. Our challenge during the integration was fully understanding the nature of Kurd‑Arab tension and promptly defining the operating environment, so that we could ensure that we were able to contribute to security in the area in a meaningful way with our Iraqi partners.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We have identified thirteen drivers of instability in Kirkuk, and we have worked through the mitigators for each, which have translated into enduring framework tasks for units throughout our area.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Our efforts are currently focused on issues associated with a disputed status of Kirkuk and the KRG boundary, a perceived lack of legitimate representative governance, security forces, insurgents,&nbsp;oil, drought, SOI transition, delivery of public services, land‑property disputes, the return and absorption of displaced people and unemployment.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Key enduring tasks for Blackjack include protecting the people, enabling the political process to move forward, enabling communication, building trust within all communities, maintaining neutrality, reporting to our higher headquarters, liaisoning with the Peshmerga and connecting security forces throughout Kirkuk.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Our mission is through, with, and by our Iraqi partners, Blackjack builds trust in all communities to enable dialogue by providing a secure environment for the political process to go forward, neutralize AQI and violent extremists, set the conditions and transition security, governance, essential service, and economics in a representative manner in order to enhance Kurdish‑Arab relations and protect the people in Kirkuk.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We have completely reorganized the Brigade staff into three enduring working groups to more fully align with our operating environment and to account for the security agreement.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Our ISF and security working group focuses on enabling partner initiatives throughout Kirkuk, as well as coordinating lethal targeting, contingency operations, assessments, and ISF training.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We have also sourced an economics and governance working group that focuses on enabling the efforts of our Provincial Reconstruction Team, as well as synchronizing civil capacity and governance initiatives throughout Kirkuk.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We have also sourced an investigative task force that interfaces with leaders throughout the Kirkuk legal system, to include provincial and district judges, to enable the rule of law throughout our area, and to train security forces on evidence collection, warrants, and sensitive site exploitation.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; These working groups enable us to partner with our Iraqi friends in an enduring manner and have proven invaluable in building relationships and enabling communication throughout Kirkuk.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Blackjack is currently partnering with four Iraqi Army brigades and 38 police stations in Kirkuk to improve sustainable logistics and command‑and‑control capacity, intelligence sharing, and operational capacity.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Since arriving, Blackjack has enabled in excess of 110 Iraqi Army and police search operations, detained fourteen high‑value targets, and found in excess of 150 pieces of ordnance from caches throughout Kirkuk, as well as 1,350 pounds of military‑grade and home‑made explosives.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Every operation that we do is focused on strengthening and enabling the Iraqi Security Forces, and we work closely to ensure intelligence, legitimize security initiatives, and to connect the security forces with the people throughout Kirkuk.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We have also adopted a very aggressive information operations stance in response to insurgent activities throughout Kirkuk, enabling the delivery of combined themes and messages through multiple media outlets simultaneously to provide communities throughout Kirkuk with the latest information on insurgent activities and tip lines to report in an effort to enable communication and connect security forces.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Kirkuk Provincial Joint Coordination Center consists of every emergency and first responder service provider in Kirkuk, as well as the Iraqi Army, Police, and essential service providers, and receives in excess of 250 calls every day.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We've got a lot of work ahead of us, and we will continue to enable our efforts of our Iraqi partners throughout Kirkuk, but I am extremely proud of our soldiers and have embraced this mission and of tremendous effects we continue to achieve our Iraqi partners throughout the area.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am satisfied that we are making progress, and we still have a lot of work to do. We are on glide path, and I will be glad to take any questions you have, ma'am.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Thank you so much, Colonel Gonsalves, and thank you very much for describing the work that the brigade is doing.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I would like to go back to these drivers of instability that you mentioned and ask you, on the ground in Kirkuk and in neighboring areas, what kind of tension do you see between the Arab and Kurdish population, and how does it manifest itself on the ground?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Well, for example, in Kirkuk City, the Kurds, the Arabs, the Turkmen, Christians, they all have been working together for a number of years, and they feel very comfortable with them solving their problems at the lowest level.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What we saw when we first got here was a very structured Provincial Council that has been together since 2003, with some minor changes. So they feel that, politically, they can solve their problems.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What they see is suggestions or implementation of programs from the Central Government that disrupt their ability to govern themselves. So, for example, we have had a security group formed from Baghdad to look at how they are going to infuse additional security forces in here, what changes do they need to make, and it has upset a lot of the people. Now what we see is Arabs supporting this working group in order to probably, possibly bring in more Iraqi Army and issue an operations command here, move some of the Peshmerga out, put in some national police. So that those are the things that we see that would drive a wedge or some instability between the Kurds and Arabs.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Simple things like going out, setting up an Iraqi Army checkpoint about 200 meters away from an Iraqi Police checkpoint, the Iraqi Police don't understand why the Iraqi Army is there. It's a secure area, and it was near Dibis, once again, and the IP chief goes out to ask the Iraqi Army what, in fact, they're doing there, and the police chief gets drawn upon by the Iraqi Army.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So the police chief being a great guy, Colonel Hussein goes back and tries the dialogue with General Jamal, the provincial director of police, and they work it out with the Iraqi Army and call us, and we help them, and that followed up with, you know, a demonstration of civilians that could possibly bear arms, Kurdish civilians that attack the Iraqi Army. So those are the types of things that we see that can cause instability here and that not cause a civil war but incite violence with enough vigor to cause us to do some other things that we don't want to do right now, and we want to move on with the rule of law and providing for capability and capacity‑building for the Iraqi Security Forces.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [Video clip 2 of 4 begins.]</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Can you tell me what is the degree that political actors within Kirkuk, Kurdish political actors, are taking their direction from the KDP and PUK party leaders?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Well, what we see is the governor is very neutral. He does not take any of his direction from the KRG, whether PUK or KDP side.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, obviously, you met Rizgar Ali who is the Provincial Council chairman that is a PUK and takes some direction from the PUK and the KRG, but we see that balance working out pretty well.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The governor is very good to be very objective instead of subjective, and we have found that to be very good as he leads the provincial government to some type of resolution, we hope, on Article 23 and then eventually 140.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But we see different provincial council members, whether they are Arab or Turkmen. They do have their sides of the story, and they have a very good IO theme, but I will tell you I have a lot of faith in the governor, and he is very neutral when it comes to the KRG, PUK, KDP.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: May I ask since that provincial council was seated in the last set of selections, what kinds of changes are you beginning to see as elections for the KRG provinces have been announced and the campaigns are underway?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Yeah. We did not have provincial elections last time. We were the province that did not because Article 23 has not been resolved. So, once again, the majority of our provincial council has been seated since 2003. So we don't see much of the jockeying for positions as we see both Ninewa and Diyala, as you very well know, probably, talking to General Nixon recently, some issues going on with seating of Kurds and some of those folks feeling left out.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But with the KRG elections right now, we don't see much jockeying. They are set to happen on the 25th of July, and we look forward to a pretty smooth election, but we don't see any influence on the provincial council on those elections at this time.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Can you describe, without compromising your operations, what kind of security plans you are beginning to help see Iraqi Security Forces with and the Peshmerga forces with for the upcoming election?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Ma'am, when we met, General Caslen and myself met with Prime Minister Barzani probably a month ago, he asked that we provide some support.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am not sure what that support is going to be as of yet. He hasn't come back to General Caslen, and obviously, it would be approved by General Odierno, General Jacoby, then down through General Caslen to us, but it may be as simple as information sharing, observation from ISR platforms, or, you know, something as simple as that.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I don't think it is going to require Coalition Forces at polling sites and things of that nature.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So I think it's going to be pretty minimal and things that we can track, but I would say it's probably going to be mostly information sharing and ISR platforms and things of that nature, ma'am.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: You mentioned earlier that, of course, in Kirkuk, you are not now seeing some of the same kind of political competitions that are ongoing in Ninewa and Diyala. Can you describe how the changing political dynamics in Ninewa and Diyala have affected your operations and the political environment within Kirkuk?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Well, that's a great question because what we are seeing up in Ninewa is, you know, recently, last week, the newly elected governor was going to go to a soccer game, and it was just north of the city. He had a dispute with one of the Peshmerga individuals there at a checkpoint, and the escalations raised to where they had to cancel the soccer game, and General Caslen went up to kind of diffuse that situation.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Same thing right now, we've got a combined operation in Ninewa with Peshmerga and IA, and we see some displacements of violent extremists up in here.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Today, we had a VBIED or a suicide VBIED, and then yesterday, we had another VBIED. So we are seeing some of the violent extremists coming into Kirkuk that we haven't seen in a while, conducting those types of attacks that we see in Baqubah and Mosul. So that has had an impact on us operationally from a military perspective.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; From a political perspective, we see that not only are the Kurd‑Arab tensions here, they are starting to raise up in Ninewa, as well as Diyala Province. So it is all along that fault line now. We see this tension rising daily, not to a level that we can't control, but I think it was isolated in Kirkuk Province, and now it is kind of spreading all over, based on some of the results of the political leaders who have been in place.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: You spoke about enemy groups coming into the area. Can you tell me what enemy groups you are actually encountering? Let's begin with that one.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Well, right now, obviously, the AQI influence is still here, and that's what we think are the results of the VBIEDs that we saw and the first two round of attacks in March and April, and then the one that happened last night and today, we believe are AQI.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But also, we have a second set here, and that is the JRTN, and we talked about this a couple of months ago, the Naqshbandi. Some of the extremists are funded through Syria, through al‑Duri and his network, some of the former Baathists. We see, you know, anywhere from two to 400 of those elements here within the province, and we are seeing attacks from those individuals.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, we are collecting on those cells and acting on those cells and capturing some of those elements, but it takes a while to get into those cell networks and neutralize those cell networks.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So those are the two primary elements that we see here in Kirkuk.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Is there still Ansar al‑Sunnah in Kirkuk?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Say again, please?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Is there still Ansar al‑Sunnah operating in Kirkuk?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Yes, ma'am, and ISI as well to many other elements but small in nature, that we collect on, work with our Iraqi Security Forces, both on intelligence and acting on those, but, like I said, the two that we are really focusing on right now are AQI and Naqshbandi.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Can you tell me what the differences are in the aims and methods of the AQI and Naqshbandi fighters that you encounter?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Naqshbandi is more of small local attacks that we are seeing both on coalition and ISF, and the AQI are more of the high visibility, high profile, VBIED, SVEST, trying to incite violence and mostly targeting our Iraqi Security Force brothers.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Most of the VBIEDs have been on either the Arab police, the emergency response unit, or the ESU, as of today, killing five members of their force, so JRTN, Naqshbandi kind of targeting both ISF and coalition and then AQI targeting ISF.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Why do you think, if you can speculate or give us some evidence, that the Naqshbandi are so active in Kirkuk right now?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Well, I think they're active in Kirkuk based on the fact that they get funding from Syria. Hawijah, which is just south of Kirkuk City, is predominantly Sunni. A lot of former Baathists were there. A lot of the old generals from the old regime resided there. So it has an influence, and it has a population that can be recruited in order to join their organization.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So we feel that the populations there, the former Baathists, they field well to that particular party, and they have the means in which to recruit and have people attack us.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [Video clip 3 of 4 begins.]</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Can you tell me what ‑‑ we wonder if you've conducted some operations with your Iraqi Security Force partners against these enemy groups, and if so, could you describe a couple of them for us? For example, we are sort of checking on some operations that were ongoing last month.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Yes. And obviously, the ISF, both the IP and IA are always in the lead. They are warranted operations, and the majority of the time, we are providing the enablers, the air weapons team or the scout weapons team, ISR assets, medivac, the outer cordon or the Quick Reaction Force (QRF). Those are the types of things that we are supplying them with.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; For many of the Iraqi Police, they do the operations pretty much solely on their own, and same thing for the Iraqi Army. Now, obviously, some brigades are more capable than others, and we are working with those to build those capacities and capabilities of those forces up, but we have done ‑‑ like I told you before, we have captured fourteen HVIs (High Value Individuals). Many of those have been done by the Iraqis by themselves, and obviously, with the capabilities that we have, we can locate targets, help them locate those targets.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So all our operations are combined, and we have done company‑level operations with them, platoon‑level operations, and over the period of 90‑some‑odd days since TOA, we do them, I would probably say, several times, you know, three or four times a week, but also, we have, you know, other forces here helping us out as well to conduct operations.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Can you tell us more about the Iraqi Security Forces in your area and, indeed, the Kurdish forces in your area? What is the current role of the Peshmerga in a province and in Kirkuk specifically? Can you characterize the type of operation, types of operations that they are conducting on the ground?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: For the Peshmerga, we have the 10th Peshmerga Brigade, and it is commanded by Brigadier General Shirko, and they are predominantly in Shuwan, Laylan, and Qarah Anjir, and they have a battalion in&nbsp;Chamchamal which is in the KRG, and that is on the north, northeast and southeast part of the province, and they predominantly don't move anywhere. They are a static defense, and they do limited patrolling but mostly along the road network and in their headquarters area and basically just train for any type of threat that they would see in the future.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Iraqi Army which we partner with is the 12th Iraqi Army Division commanded by Major General Amir, and I think when you were here last time, he was a former brigade commander in the Dhibis area under the old regime, which kind of excited a few people and based on his past experience as a brigade commander there. But he's got four brigades in his division, the 49th which is newly forming out of Dibis, the 47th which has been formed for a while, 46th and 15th, and those are predominantly south of Kirkuk City, which we called the &quot;Green Line&quot; when you were here last, the Prosperity Line, which really runs from Dibis all the way to Laylan.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So we are partnering our brigade with the 12th Iraqi Army, and we liaison with 10th Peshmerga Brigade.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: What are the challenges that you face in partnering with the 12th IA and communicating between them and the Peshmerga force?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Well, we have these security meetings, and we are going to have them tomorrow, and what it is, we bring all the security elements together, the Peshmerga, the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police, the intelligence agencies, both&nbsp;Asayesh and the NIIS here locally. We bring political leaders also into this, and we are also going to bring a governor into this security meeting, and that is where we discuss ‑‑ we are going to start this weekly ‑‑ discuss targeting. We are going to discuss operations for the next week, and we are going to talk about the approval process, especially when 30 June comes around. We will probably see a lot more involvement, both from the governor and the security chiefs within the Kirkuk Province.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So the dialogue we have right now is working very well. When we first got here, it wasn't working too well. In January we got both General Amir from the 12th Iraqi Army and General Shirko from the 10th Peshmerga Brigade to talk. Dialogue...We put&nbsp;LNO in the PJCC. He has since been moved out, but we are going to put him back in. We got the approval through the Ministry of Interior.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So we see the dialogue being increased daily, and the time to resolve an issue has shortened almost within minutes now. So we see a very positive aspect of having them communicate with each other. So we don't see the problems that we saw when we first got here. They are very quickly resolved, and it is just by talking and ensuring that the Iraqi Army tells the Iraqi Police what they're doing.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, we still have small problems at the lower level, but we are working with our battalion commanders to talk to their brigade commanders and their battalion commander counterparts to work these things out.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So we think we have infused ourselves pretty well in order to enhance that dialogue and enhance the relationship between the Arabs and Kurds at this time.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; [Video clip 4 of 4 begins.]</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: And that's a huge and tremendously important undertaking.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I would like to ask a couple more questions, if I can.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Yes, ma'am.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: First, the United Nations made some recommendations about the ceded territories, and I was wondering what effect those recommendations had on the situation in Kirkuk, the military situation but also the political actors within Kirkuk City.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Yeah. Working with Stephanie from ‑‑ our UNAMI rep over there working with the PRT ‑‑ I guess it's a 502‑page report. It's not a published report, but they go around briefing some of the senior leaders, both in the KRG and the GOI and the Coalition Force senior leaders.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think there were four recommendations of which we were briefed on, but I'm not quite sure what the response of both the KRG and the GOI. I still think they are feeling it out. They are talking it amongst their own political leaders and see where it's going to take them.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Our plan is as we get questions, we will get with our UN partners and try to develop some type of strategy to go back and at least be able to answer their questions. Obviously, we don't give recommendations, but our responsibility to them is to ensure that we get them accurate and timely information based on them asking us for additional support from the UNAMI crew here.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Finally, to change the subject, back to something that you mentioned in our opening statement, you had explained that you had just organized your staff into three working groups. Can you just tell me where and why you got the idea to reorganize how the brigade operates and what benefits that reorganization provides you?</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Well, one, when we first came to theater, we were&nbsp;sitting in Kuwait. We were supposed to go to Baghdad, and we were supposed to go on the east side of the River, Adhamiyah and Sadr City. That changed based on General Odierno's focus on the Kirkuk Province based on the tensions that were forming in late January. So he asked us to move up here and occupy the brigade setup here, so that we could enhance Kurd‑Arab relations and work with our Iraqi Security Forces.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now, we have to understand that based on the way we were organized, we were probably going to have more of a kinetic fight. So we went the traditional line of, you know, S1 through S6, and the traditional ways of doing business.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When we got here, MND‑North under General Caslen had broken his staff into four groups, ISF, Security, Economic, and Governance, and we just couldn't break down to four different sections. So, like I briefed, we broke down into three, which is ISF and Security is one, Economics and Governance the other, and then our Prosecution Task Force into the third. And that has worked absolutely wonderfully because what we found is in the traditional staffs, when you would have your meeting, you would spend the first 50 minutes trying to catch up, find out what was going on, enhance that dialogue, and bring everybody up to speed on situational awareness, and then spend&nbsp;ten minutes of your time trying to solve the problem.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now all our guys are together in their respective offices, seeing each other every day, talking to the same people at division and corps, and so we see the information flow enhanced. We see the response time to creating solutions to problems reduced drastically, and we think we have the right mix of people based on their personalities, education, and experience, and we think that it has worked out very well.&nbsp;I am a big proponent of what we did in reorganizing the staff for this particular fight.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Colonel Gonsalves, thank you so much for spending time with us today at the Institute for the Study of War. Thank you very much for all that you are doing for our nation and for the Iraqis with whom you are working, and thanks, especially and above all, to the soldiers working with the Blackjack Brigade for all of their service to the nation. I really appreciate your taking the time with us today to discuss these really important issues.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; GONSALVES: Ma'am, thanks for the opportunity. It allows us to discuss what we're doing, but thank you for what you are doing back home. We appreciate the support, and I really look forward to your return here, and if you do come back to Iraq, we hope you have an opportunity to come up and visit us. We would love to take you around and show you some of the enhancements and improvements that we have made, both in the ISF and enhancing Kurd and Arab tensions. Thank you again, ma'am.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; KAGAN: Thank you very much.</div>
<div style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; line-height: 27.6pt">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; - - -</div>

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