OPERATION TELIC 2-5GENERAL STAFF ANALYSISFOREWORDBy Major General W R Rollo, Assistant Chief of the General Staff
The post ‘major combat operations’ phase of Operation TELIC has posed complexchallenges to the Armies of the Coalition in Iraq. The complexity comes from the need todeter and if necessary fight armed groups opposed to our presence, as well as to helpenable (and sometimes lead) the humanitarian, reconstruction and nation-building activitiesin support of distinctly fragile or non-existent governance structures. There is every signthat the British Army will become engaged in similar ‘complex’ operations in other theatres,and some broad similarities are already apparent in operations in Southern Afghanistan.The style of asymmetric conflict in failing or fragile states is also now available for globaltrouble-makers to copy. It cannot be ‘disinvented’, and is likely to be with us for some time.Moreover, our enemies are analysing our strengths and weaknesses as an Army in order toachieve their ends.The analysis of Operation TELIC in the period May 2003 to 31 January 2005, when the firstIraqi elections were held, offers a number of insights for study and action. There arepositive comments, notably about Service people. Work is needed, however, on cross-Government campaign planning (the ‘Comprehensive Approach’) and its execution(including funding and SSR) on optimising the Army’s counter insurgency response,including its intelligence and logistic capability, and on developing our training to ensurethat we are fit for all three blocks of the ‘Three-Block War’.This Analysis is not intended as a campaign history, but it pays tribute to the contributionsof the very many British Servicemen and women who served in Iraq during this period, andto those who gave their lives or who were injured in the course of this demandingoperation.We must learn from the insights in this Analysis, always remembering that, as with doctrine, judgement is needed in the application of lessons from one campaign to what may be avery different situation in another place at another time.