Sons of Iraq and Awakening Forces
Sons of Iraq (previously known as Concerned Local Citizens) and Awakening groups are made up of local citizens who support Coalition and Iraqi Security Force operations by serving as auxiliary police forces and manning checkpoints. This augments the limited Coalition and Iraqi Security Force presence and helps provide population security, which is essential to the current strategy in Iraq. There are currently approximately 90,000 of these forces, approximately 20% of whom are expected to transition into the Iraqi Security Forces.
These groups are often made up of people who previously passively supported or even participated in the insurgency but have decided to work with the Coalition and Iraqi Government. This prior support for the insurgency is part of the reason why there is a persistent mutual mistrust between the Sons of Iraq groups and the Iraqi Government.
This backgrounder documents the creation of the Sons of Iraq program and the development of the Awakening movement and explains the role that these groups play in the different areas of Iraq. The report also discusses ongoing issues with respect to this program as well as implications of the success or failure of the program for counter-insurgency efforts in Iraq.