Last month, Government of Iraq (GoI) authorized the creation and implementation of Tribal Support Councils throughout the country.
These Councils gather sheiks from every tribes beyond ethnic and confessional lines. They were created by local leaders to promote reconciliation, to ease the return of displaced families, to advise Provincial government in reconstruction tasks and to vet Sons of Iraq’s members in order to include them in Security Forces or to provide them vocational education.
Such a Council gathered on March, 20th in DIYALA Province, Northeast of BAGHDAD. 1,000 sheiks decided to create 25 sub-councils in each urban area of the province, and to work with the Reconciliation Committee (especially with Dr Bassima Al Jadri who chairs the ISF recruiting committee and, as such, is endorsed with the task to homogenize ethnic composition of Iraqi Army and National Police).
Important point: American commanders are no more in the lead . In fact, this is another instance of the grassroots movement of « iraqization » that began in ANBAR in late 2006. More precisely, while CLC/SoI militias were primarily created at US’ initiative during summer and fall 2007, this meeting is a further step from US control (which is a classical COIN principle) to real co-option. As such, it is also an enhancement and refinement of COIN posture in the realm of Western identity: from colonial and post-colonial identity to a better understanding of future bounds between « them » and « us ».
update: A similar meeting took place on March 24 in ANBAR Province to discuss the Anbar Provincial Development’s Strategy.