Iraqi forces face a difficult task to hold and police areas, such as Mosul, that had been ISIS controlled and where security infrastructure had been destroyed.
The answer, for now, is a police station “in a box” designed by the US-led coalition and Iraqi police.
The coalition and Iraqi officials have designed and built the shipping container systems, which can quickly be transported around the country by air or on the ground, and contain everything needed for an immediate and visible police presence, said Canadian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. D.J. Anderson, the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve director of partner development. The first deployment of the system came this week, he said.
The shipping container includes a tent, furniture, laptops, equipment to establish checkpoints, and two land cruisers. It is “everything they need” to create a police presence, and can be unpacked and set up quickly, Anderson said. There will be 100 containers rolled out this summer, with a “border guard in a box” project coming later to help secure Iraq’s borders in areas where ISIS destroyed border posts.
Iraqi forces face a demanding mission to police liberated areas, like Eastern Mosul. Currently, ISIS only holds about 500 square meters in the old city and there could be no ISIS presence at all as soon as next week, Anderson said. To keep the peace, Iraqi police are establishing a force of policemen from the Anbar Province who, reinforced by the Iraqi Army, will take charge of the mission. Coalition forces will continue to provide advice and assistance to help in “establishing some sort of stability so there’s security for the citizens.”
“Nothing says normal like a policeman,” Anderson said.
The coalition will “be here as long as we need to be here” and help Iraq build a self-sustaining force.
ISIS is moving away from its caliphate-focused presence and into more of an insurgency, and Iraqi holding forces need the coalition’s help in being ready to counter the evolving threat, he said.