Memorandum re: Iraq Issues - Lessons Learned

The document is a memorandum regarding Iraq issues and lessons learned. The topics covered in the memorandum include mandatory after action debriefs, operation of sources overseas, coercive interrogations, and rules of engagement in Iraq.

Non-legal Memo

docname: saac/overseas
updated: final
B.17I,PFIN IS UNCLASSIFIED rail Issues - Lessons Learned
DATE 10-06-2009 DY 65179 DMHISTY
1) Utilize Mandatory, Formal After Action/Lessons Learned Debriefings: A formal process
needs to be implemented to identify, dOcument, and distribute to all relevant personnel, lessons
learned during the deployments. (RDLU.should be commended for its efforts in this regard;
hoWever, more needs to be done.) The after action debriefs should be mandatory for all deployed
personnel. They should be formally documented and the results should be shared with all
relevant parties. .
2) Overseas Operations/Deployments Must Start With A Clearly Defined and Articulated
Mission: Prior to sending Agents overseas, the FBI must be able to articulate specific, clearly
defined and prioritized, goals and objectives. The Bureau should not be sending bodies merely
to have an "FBI presence" nor.should we have some vagde and amorphous mission statement.
During the course of the deployment, continual evaluations should be made in order to determine
whether the "results" are worth the effort/risks.
3) Operation of Sources Overseas: Given our ever expanding international role, consideration
needs to be -given to working with the CIA (and other relevant governmental officials) to craft
mutually agreeable guideline& v,Thich mould, in limited situations,, allow Agents to operate .
-sources overseas: -The Agents Sent to' Tag were given the mission of protecting "the United
States against terrorist attack and esp 1.1)ria0activity by engaging in intelligence gathering
activities" but were expressly prohibited' from operating sources.. The ability to be successful at
that mission is severely adversely affebted by the prohibition against operating sources overseas.
4) Bureau Policy/Guidance regarding Coercive Interrogations: During the Iraq deployment
FBI Agents routinely worked with intelligence personnel from other agencies/entities whose
policies and procedures regarding coercive interrogations differ from ours (i.e., Military
intelligence, CIA, DOD contractors, liaqi::nationals). Prior to deployment, all Agents should be
briefed regarding the Bureau's policy oh presence during /assistance to (etc.) coercive
5) Decentralized Decision Making: Approval of sensitive site exploitations should be made by
the On-Scene Commander ("OSC"), designee, and not by an Assistant Director ("AD") at
FBIHQ, literally half way around the' World: The existing policy of requiring AD approval at
FBIHQ diminished our credibility, and`e6ifiesponclingly our perceived effectiveness, in the eyes
of the military because we could not ccirinnit to operations within the short time frame which the
military operates. In addition, in the military's eyes, the existing policy undermined the authority
and effectiveness of the OSC because he did not have the authority to make operational decisions
• which are routinely made, in military' O•P6igtions, at the correspondingly lower levels.
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OIG REQ 08/22/05—ITEM #28 FBI0000005
6) Overlap of Personnel In Theater: ,Currently there is minimal overlap of investigative
personnel in theater (i.e., WFO Agents fly out the same day that Miami Agents fly in). While
improvements have been made in this regard, consideration should be given to structuring the
rotational cycle to provide greater overlaMi.e., on a 60 day rotation, 1/2 the team rotates out/in
every 30 days thereby ensuring that there:are always investigators with 30 days in-country
.experience). While this would result.iii.twice the number of flights transporting personnel
to/from the theater, the benefits in operatiOnal efficiency/effectiveness and safety Out weigh the
monetary costs.
7) Force Protection - Rules of Engagement / Use of Force Policy In Iraq: Agents sent to Iraq
were admonished to adhere to the FBI's standard deadly force policy.• This policy was crafted for
use in a domestic law enforcement situation and needs to be modified to meet the unique
conditions in a war zone - especially in light of the fact that portions of our policy directly
conflict with the military's, policy. (e.g., warning shots and shooting vehicles to disable them are
authorized by the military and have a legitimate use in a war zone but both are expressly
prohibited by FBI.) A policy consistent with that of the U.S. military should be considered.
8) Force Protection - Vehicles: The Bureau should ensure that armored vehicles are available
for all personnel through out the entire: area of operations. I I. b2
- -9) Force Protection Weapons: Aents wmpowin.lran - yet many-of - ..„
10) Force Protection - Training: AdditiOnal pre-deployment training, particularly hands-on
praCtical scenarios, should be given bY.I-IRT or other appropriate personnel regarding force
protection issues. (i.e.]
letc.)::. Du'n. n g earlier deployments Agents received about a half
.• day of this training - which was good:'''Ikever, more is needed:
11) Communications With MilitariT'FOices in a War Zone: If Agents are going to be
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OIG REQ 08/22/05—ITEM #28 FBI0000006
telephonic communications.
12) Communications With Local Population in a War Zone: In pre-deployment briefmgs,
Agents should, at a minimum, be giv,enisOme basic language instruction so that they are able to
issue basic commands in the local language!(i.e., "Stop", "Drop your weapon", "DOn't shoot",
"Don't move"). In addition, Agents shouldhe issued a language card, which they can carry on
their person, that explains how to issue these commands - and other releVant phrases - in the local
13) Communications With FBI PerSbiinel in a War Zone: During portions of the Iraq
deployment, personnel not based in BIAP those at the Mosul Operations Base) had
repeated trouble communicating with,PIAP by both voice and electronic medium
teams. (HRT had experience with both theSe communication systems and their experience was
invaluable in troubleshooting and maintaining this gear. BIAP had dedicated communications
14) Standardization of Gear Issuer. '!:The.-HRT and Fly Teams do an excellent job in identifying
and procuring mission appropriate gear': 'Unfortunately, this gear is not provided to the regular
-Natteritif-4;:ga6--are rotatitig4'hilftli:IraciExamples-o€-gear-availab1e ta.HUIFIY-tearA:bu.4.not-=:....,z,:-.--A-.:::}c. 2
available to regular agents includes' C 'b7E
This gear should be available-to all gents 'ho deploy.. In addition, a RDLU supervisor should
deploy with each major deploymentdiLl'idle-logistical issues as they develop during the
deployment. iik\f=
15) Pre Brief re Country/Culture/PfaYer'S:.. Agent's need to have a better "nuts and bolts"
briefing regarding the country, its cUltiire(and the relevant players before deploying. For
example, if Agents are deploying to'Noithern Iraq, someone should brief them on who and what
the PUK and KDP are (the two politid:01=.31ities who run northern Iraq), how they differ, what
their interests are, how to deal with the n; 'What we had done with them in the past, what they will.
want from us, etc. •
16) EAP: An EAP debriefing shourd'de'i*datory and should occur immediately upon return
from deployment. In addition, the ButeanSliOuld consider providing some type of assistance to
families of deployed Agents. The OS'C and D-OSC deployed for six months. HRT Agents are
deployed multiple times each year. TheSe:deployments cause their families to bear significant
burdens not routinely borne by the fariailieS`of regular Agents. The Bureau should attempt to
determine whether it, as an institutioii;644rovide assistance to these families similar to those
that the military provides to the famiIiieFaits deployed personnel.
— •
OIG REQ 08/22/05-ITEM #28
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DOJO! GO 13794