Last updated 15 November 2005
UK and Coalition Military Presence in Iraq
- UK military operations in Iraq are being conducted under the name Operation TELIC. UK forces in Iraq are a part of the United-States-led
Multi-National Force - Iraq (or MNF-I).
- MNF-I has a mandate from the United Nations, set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546. On 8 November 2005 the United
Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1637, which extended the mandate of the Multi-National Force in Iraq (MNF-I) until 31
December 2006. This was at the formal request of the Iraqi Government.
- The mission of MNF-I is, in partnership with the Iraqi Government, to conduct operations against former regime extremists and foreign
terrorists, and to organise, train, and equip Iraqi security forces in order to create a security environment that permits the process
described in UNSCR 1546 to be completed on schedule.
- In total 27 Countries contribute to the Multi-National Force (Iraq):
Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria,
Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan,
Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, UK, Ukraine and the US.
- Command and control of MNF-I military operations is the responsibility of the United-States-led Multi-National Corps – Iraq (or MNC-I)
which is headquartered in Baghdad. MNC-I activities in Iraq are divided into six geographical regions, each with its own Multi-National force
and associated headquarters. The UK is the lead nation for Multi-National Division (South East), or MND(SE), which covers in the South-Eastern
area of Iraq including Basrah, Iraq’s second largest city.
UK Military Personnel in Iraq
- As at the end of September 2005, there were around 8,500 UK military personnel deployed in Iraq. Once the current roulement has completed
in November 2005, this number should fall to around 8000. The total number of UK personnel deployed on Operation TELIC as a whole is higher –
around 10,000 – as this includes personnel involved in the operation but not in Iraq itself (for example Royal Navy ships in the Gulf).
- The number of UK military personnel deployed in Iraq has changed over time:
Peak during Major Combat Operations (March/April 2003): 46,000
At the end of May 2003: 18,000
At the end of May 2004: 8,600
At the end of May 2005: 8,500
- The overwhelming majority of UK personnel in Iraq are based in South-East Iraq, with a small number based in Baghdad and around the
country to liaise and co-ordinate with other Coalition and Iraqi forces. A complete list of UK Forces deployed on Operation TELIC can be found
- UK forces’ efforts in Iraq are mainly targeted at helping the Iraqis develop their own effective security forces (known as “Security
Sector Reform”). Assisting the Iraqis to improve the security environment remains our top priority.
- Along with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development, UK forces are also helping the Iraqis to
rebuild their country after the conflict and years of neglect, and supporting the political process.
Security Sector Reform
- The Coalition is steadily delivering increasing numbers of operationally capable Iraqi Security Force personnel, with a few leading Iraqi units now
capable of conducting counter-insurgency operations on their own.
- To date over 210,000 Iraqi Security Forces have been trained and equipped by the Coalition.
- Units of the new Iraqi Army are “paired” with MNF-I units, for the purposes of instruction, training and mentoring.
- A team of UK military personnel have been seconded to the Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq (MNSTC-I) organisation, which oversees
security sector reform across Iraq. This team includes a Brigadier who is the Deputy Commanding General.
- UK military personnel are working in the Iraqi Military Academy at Ar-Rustimayah, training the next generation of Iraqi Officers.
- There is also a team of UK civilians in Baghdad, helping the Iraqi Defence Minister set up an effective Iraqi Ministry of Defence.
Security Sector Reform in the South East
- UK civilian police officers and supporting contractors are providing basic level training, both in Basra and Jordan, to the Iraqi Police Service. In
addition, a Senior UK Police Officer and supporting team of civilian police officers and contractors are advising the Iraqis on civilian policing in MND(SE), and the UK is providing a senior Police Officer based in Baghdad to support Iraqi Ministers and to mentor senior Iraqi Police Service staff
at the Ministry of the Interior.
- The UK is responsible for training and sustaining the 10th Division of the Iraqi Army, based in the MND(SE) area. The HQ of the Iraqi 10th Division
has set up alongside the British Army’s MND(SE) HQ. Six out of ten Battalions belonging to this Division are already formed and have received basic
training, with the remaining four Battalions due to complete by spring 2006.
- In August 2005: the first group of Iraqi soldiers passed out from the Infantry Battle School in Wales; an Iraqi officer cadet attending the Royal
Military Academy Sandhurst won the prestigious Overseas Sword for best foreign student; and, UK forces handed over the Basic Training Centre at Camp
Ur to the Iraqi Army on the same day as the graduation ceremony for over 200 newly-trained Iraqi Army instructors.
- The UK has played a lead role in developing the Iraqi Navy (formerly the Iraqi Coastal Defence Force), providing officer training at Dartmouth and
training in Jordan and Umm Qasr naval Academy.
- The UK Government has pledged a total of £544 million for reconstruction in Iraq from 2003 until 2006. The Department for International Development
(DFID), who are the lead Government department for reconstruction, has committed over £450 million for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in
Iraq since the conflict in 2003. DFID’s Interim Country Assistance Plan for Iraq, which sets out their medium term aid package, was published on 19
- Healthcare spending is up more than 30 times on pre-conflict levels. Over 150 healthcare facilities have been completed and many more are in
progress. One paediatric hospital is under construction in Basra. 240 hospitals and 1,200 primary health centres in Iraq are functioning, 20 hospitals
having been rehabilitated. About 750 nurses have been trained in maternal and child health services along with 2,000 primary healthcare workers. Routine immunisation re-started in 2003 with national polio and measles vaccination programmes.
- Over 3,400 schools have been rehabilitated, and over 700 are in progress. An estimated 70 million new textbooks have been distributed.
- Access to safe water is now better than pre-conflict, and sewage and wastewater treatment plants are now operating again – prior to the conflict
none of the sewage treatment plants in Iraq were operational.
Reconstruction in the South East
- UK forces, as part of MNF-I, continue to play an important role in the reconstruction and regeneration of the south-east region. UK forces work
closely with DFID and the local Iraqi authorities to ensure a co-ordinated reconstruction effort that meets Iraqi aspirations.
- A new DFID-funded £40 million infrastructure rehabilitation project in southern Iraq is underway. 75% of the funds will be earmarked for power, the
rest for water and fuel services. Priority will be given to capital works that will have an impact within a year and which will generate significant
- MND(SE) forces were heavily involved in supporting the Iraqis to develop Basrah International Airport (BIA). The first civilian international flight
flew into the Airport on 22 August 2005. There are now roughly four commercial flights a week.
- The supply of domestic water to Basrah has increased dramatically due to a series of leak repair programmes initiated by UK forces. Water now
reaches parts of Basrah that have not had a supply for years and the increased pressure enables water to reach taps in many first floor residences.
- The Sweet Water Canal is the only water supply to Basrah and the south but it is not yet operating at full capacity. The Royal Engineers have
completed a project, funded by DFID, to install low lift pumps to provide a secondary source of domestic water supply to the 2 million population of
- UK forces have made a significant contribution to the refurbishment of Iraqi schools and higher education facilities. We are also supporting the
refurbishment of technical colleges to provide Iraqi workers with the skills necessary to secure sustainable employment.
- Soldiers of the British Army have worked alongside Iraqi officials to co-ordinate the refurbishment of many of the hospitals and healthcare clinics
in the southern provinces. Since 2003, over 75 hospitals and nearly all the primary care clinics that were damaged or looted in the war have been
rehabilitated and have re-opened.
- The majority of the work on UK-military-sponsored projects is done by local Iraqis and contractors. This increases employment and ensures that
Iraqis have a stake in the process.
The Political Process
- Elections were held in Iraq at the end of January 2005, which led to the first democratically elected government in 50 years. The Iraqi authorities
are committed to respecting human rights, in line with the provisions of the Transitional Administrative Law.
- On 23 July 2005 Iraq’s Prime Minister, Dr Ibrahim al-Ja’afari, announced the formation of the joint commission in Iraq to
establish conditions to gradually transition security responsibility to Iraqi Security Forces.
- The political process in Iraq continues to develop at an encouraging pace. On 15 October 2005 millions of Iraqis took part in a national referendum
on a constitution that was written by the Iraqis, for the Iraqis.
- On the 25 October 2005 the Iraqi Electoral Commission announced that the constitution had successfully passed, with a yes vote of 79%. Although
Governorates (Ninawa, Salah ad Din, and Al Anbar) returned a majority no vote, in Ninawa, the vote fell short of the two-thirds necessary to reject
- More information on recent political developments in Iraq can be found in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Iraq Background Brief.
The cost of UK Military Operations in Iraq
- The Ministry of Defence identifies the costs of military operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred, over and above planned
expenditure on defence. The costs of our operations in Iraq come from the Treasury Special Reserve.
- The overall cost of operations in Iraq in 2002-03 was £848M.
- The overall cost of operations in Iraq in 2003-2004 was £1311M. The costs incurred in 2003-2004 include the costs of combat operations from 1 April
2003, the costs incurred in maintaining and supporting subsequent peacekeeping operations and the costs of recuperating operational capability
- The cost for 2004-05 is £910M.
Links and Additional Information
- Click here for further information.
- Click here for fact sheets.
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