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Critical Infrastruture (ISCI)



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Afghan War News > Security > Interim Security Critical Infrastructure (ISCI)

Information about the Interim Security Critical Infrastructure (ISCI).

(Last update: November 2, 2012)

The Interim Security Critical Infrastructure or ISCI is a local program established in 2010.  It is primarily located in the southwest of Afghanistan and administered by ISAF forces to provide security to "critical infrastructure".  ISCI is found mostly in Helmand Province (Regional Command Southwest) where the U.S. Marines are operating. Funding is provided through the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP). The security elements are supposed to protect and defend critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, district centers, etc.  The usual pay for a member of a ISCI unit is about $150 a month funded through CERP.  Weapons are not provided but the ISCI members recieve about 18 days of training. The numbers in the force is approximately 8,000 strong. 

The ISCI force is all volunteer and recruited from the local community. It initially set up in the area in and around Marjah. The ISCI force is made up of local citizens and led by elders of the local region; which is in contrast to the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police whose members can come from any region in the country (Tajiks patroling a Pastun city?).  The ISCI members patrol their own neighborhoods which gives them an operational advantage that the ANA and ANP do not have.  Because they are "home-grown" the ISCI know the terrain, who belongs in the area, and who is out of place.

Some ISCI members have been trained and accepted into the ranks of the Afghan Local Police (ALP).  1.  In December 2011 ISAF issued a statement that all ISAF funded security programs would be transferred to Ministry of Interior with many falling into the Afghan Local Police (ALP) program. A part of that statement indicated that the ISCI program "has been almost entirely transitioned successfully to ALP in RC (SW)".  2.

Publications about the Interim Security Critical Infrastructure (ISCI) Program

Local Defense in Afghanistan. A critique of local defense initiatives by Mathieu Lefevre of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, May 2010. (Adobe Acrobat )

News Articles about the Interim Security Critical Infrastructure (ISCI)

December 27, 2011.  "ISAF remains committed to MOI lead in security programs".  DVIDS.

August 30, 2011.  "Healing the Bleeding Ulcer: A Hopeful Prognosis in Southern Helmand".  ISAF.

July 19, 2011.  "Afghan villagers join forces with U.S. coalition to bring peace to Marjah".  Stars and Stripes.

June 20, 2011.  "Marines Team Up with Afghan "Neighborhood Watch".  NPR.

March 1, 2011.  "New militia brings security, and worries, to Marjah, Afghanistan".  McClatchy Washington Bureau.

February 24, 2011.  "Wads of cash and boots on the ground are keeping a critical district safe.  But for how long?"  The Economist.

February 16, 2011.  "Afghans fear return of the warlords as anti-Taliban militias clash".  The Guardian.

December 8, 2010.  "Commander Says Fighting Over in Former Taliban Stronghold".  National Journal.

October 23, 2010.  "Marines, Afghans come together for way forward in Marjah".



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1.  "Afghan led meeeting pushes for Afghan Local Police in Nawa", DVIDS, August 4, 2011.

2.  December 27, 2011.  "ISAF remains committed to MOI lead in security programs".  DVIDS, December 27, 2011.


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