Sunday, August 20, 2017

Musings On Iraq In The News


I was mentioned in “Is Donald Trump to Raqqa and Mosul what Assad was to Aleppo?” by Alastair Sloan for Middle East Monitor.

Security In Iraq Aug 8-14, 2017


Violence in Iraq remained incredibly low during the second week of August 2017. There were only 88 incidents reported in the media. There were 20 in Ninewa, 18 in Baghdad, 15 in Diyala, 11 in Anbar, 8 in Kirkuk and Salahaddin each, 3 in Babil, 2 in Maysan, and 1 each in Dhi Qar, Karbala, and Irbil. For years, there have regularly been over 100 incidents per week in the country. Since Mosul was liberated, and the Islamic State has been thrown on the defensive the number of attacks has fallen off considerably.  

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 20


1987 Dawa set off car bomb in Baghdad killing 20
1988 Ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War announced 350 UN peacekeepers deployed along border
1995 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors that its crash program to build a nuclear bomb failed
1996 PUK attacked KDP positions in Sulaymaniya with Iranian artillery and helicopter support
1997 Iraq agreed to allow Iranian pilgrims to go to Najaf and Karbala as way to get around UN 
           sanctions
2002 Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said Al Qaeda operatives were in Iraq and that US needed to 
            launch pre-emptive strike because couldn't wait for Iraq to get stronger
2003 Bush at NSC meeting said US had to re-evaluate enemy in Iraq after Zarqawi bombed UN in 
            Baghdad
2003 UN said bombing of its Baghdad offices wouldn't stop reconstruction of Iraq
            UN would withdraw most of its staff
2004 PM Allawi called for Sadr to give up Imam Ali shrine in Najaf or face US-Iraq assault 2nd 
            Battle of Najaf
2007 ISCI governor of Muthanna assassinated by Sadrists 2nd ISCI governor killed in a month
2012 US warned that oil companies signing deals with Kurds without Baghdad’s
            approval were taking risks 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

When The US Decided On A Long Term Occupation Of Iraq


The original U.S. plan for Iraq was to go in and out as quick as possible. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was opposed to nation building, and he was given control of postwar Iraq. He wanted the American forces to withdraw as soon as the invasion was over. President Bush had campaigned against the U.S. attempting to rebuild countries as well, and signed off on the Pentagon’s plan for Iraq. When Jay Garner and the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) the first group in charge of postwar Iraq looked like it was overwhelmed, the Bush administration turned to Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Bremer had a completely different philosophy wanting time to not only rebuild, but restructure Iraq’s institutions. When he was chosen to run Iraq was when the U.S. committed to a long-term occupation.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 19


1984 France agreed to refinance $1.4 bil in debts Iraq owed it France biggest
            western backer of Iraq
2003 Zarqawi bombed UN headquarters in Baghdad killing 23 and injuring
over 100 including UN Rep de Mello
2004 Allawi wrote Bush saying Iraq was more dangerous and unstable than a year ago
2004 Interim govt called for Sadr to disband Mahdi Army and leave Najaf shrine
2004 Sistani’s office said it was open to Sadr’s offer to turn over keys to Najaf shrine
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay was rebuked by NSC staffer for criticizing NSC
            to Congress on WMD
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay said Rice more interested in being Bush’s friend
            than being National Security Adviser
2009 ISI set off 3 car bombs in Baghdad hitting Finance & Foreign Ministries and
Rashid Hotel killing 101 and wounding 565
2009 Maliki blamed Baathists and Syria for Baghdad bombings even though it was ISI
2014 IS posted video of beheading of journalist James Foley 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Security In Iraq Aug 1-7, 2017


Since the end of the Mosul battle in July, violence in Iraq has remained at a very low level. Both security incidents and casualties have been at record lows as a result.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 18


1933 Iraqi army held victory parade and given award by King Ghazi for massacring Assyrians in 
            north
1990 Saddam said foreign workers and visitors could not leave Iraq after Kuwait invasion
1990 UN Resolution 664 demanded Iraq release foreign nationals it held
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay testified to Congress Blamed Rice & NSC for not checking 
           WMD intel before war
2015 IS second in command Abu Muslim al-Turkmani killed in US drone strike in Mosul

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Troubles Of The Tribal And Local Hashd In Anbar And Ninewa


As more Iraqi territory has been freed the government has run into a growing problem, how to secure it all. Most of the local police fled when the Islamic State conquered northern and western Iraq in 2014. Baghdad never rebuilt most of these forces due to a lack of planning and money. That led to ad hoc solutions, one of which was the tribal and local Hashd. These units are small and disparate, and usually linked to tribes, politicians and parties seeking political and economic power. In Anbar and Ninewa these forces have run into increasing problems, undermining security in the process.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 17


1937 PM Hikmat Sulaiman govt resigned over threat of military coup or civil
            War
1937 Jamil al-Midfai became premier for 3rd time
1987 Iraq told UN it wouldn’t accept any changes to Resolution 598 that proposed
            ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War
2000 Iraq reopened Saddam International Airport to get around UN sanctions
2001 US Energy Dep report said aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were probably for
            rockets not centrifuges
2003 CPA told White House if didn’t get additional $20.3 bil would be disaster for
            Bush’s plans for Iraq
2003 Water pipeline in Rusafa Baghdad hit with RGP knocking out water for 2 days
            for 300,000 people
2003 US forces killed Reuters reporter outside Abu Ghraib prison Said camera looked
            like an RPG
2004 Allawi govt offered amnesty and role in govt to Sadr in return for ceasefire in 2nd
            Battle of Najaf
2004 NSC meeting discussed US attacking Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf and possibly
            killing Sadr
2006 Bush held national security meeting to rethink Iraq strategy Bush told staff Iraq
            policy going bad and wanted new one
2006 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Casey told Bush Iraqis may not be up to task of securing
            Baghdad
2010 ISI suicide bomber hit army recruits in Baghdad killing 60
2012 VP Biden called Maliki about Iran flying military supplies to Syria over Iraqi
            airspace
- 2015 Judicial Council rejected call for Chief Justice Medhat to resign

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 16


1933 Iraqi army campaign to kill Assyrians in north ended
1946 KDP founded by Mustafa Barzani and Hamzah Abdullah
1962 Turkish planes shot down Iraqi plane in retaliation for Iraq bombing Turkish
border post while fighting Kurdish rebels
1967 Law No 97 gave more power to Iraqi National Oil Company
1985 Iraq claimed it destroyed Iran’s main oil terminal at Kharg Island but only damaged it
2002 U.S. decided Bush would go to UN to present case against Iraq
2002 Pentagon office claimed briefing day before convinced CIA Dir Tenet to
            reconsider Iraq-Al Qaeda relationship
2002 CIA Dir Tenet denied Feith’s office had changed his view on Iraq-Al Qaeda relationship
2002 Feith’s office said Iraq & Al Qaeda cooperated CIA said they had contacts but no cooperation
2003 Insurgent attack on Abu Ghraib prison 6 prisoners killed 59 wounded
2015 Abadi closed 4 ministries merged 8 others into 4 by decree even though legally
            had to go through parliament

View the Iraq History Timeline

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was mentioned in “Is Donald Trump to Raqqa and Mosul what Assad was to Aleppo?” by Alastair Sloan for Middle East Monitor.