Monday, December 11, 2017

Iraq’s PM Abadi’s Second Chance To Be Something More Than A War Leader

Abadi at victory parade in Baghdad Dec 2017 (Iraq Prime Minister Office)

Prime Minister Haidar Abadi is riding high off the recent victory over the Islamic State. The group no longer holds any towns or cities in Iraq, and the premier made an official announcement of their defeat and held a victory parade in Baghdad to celebrate. The war has made the premier vastly popular with the public as recent opinion polls show. Abadi now has the chance to prove himself as a politician who can handle non-war matters a second time after failing miserably when he first entered office.

This Day In Iraqi History – Dec 11

1922 UK Colonial Office wrote only reason King Faisal accepted in Iraq was because
            he was backed by British
1961 Gen Qasim took 99.5% of Iraq Petroleum Companys concessions and
            created Iraq National Oil Company
2002 Pentagon started another post-war planning group just 3 months before invasion
2005 Report French intel told CIA several times in 2002 that no evidence to support Iraq-
            Niger uranium story
2005 National Dialogue Council’s Salah al-Mutlaq called for US to bring back Saddam
            era police and soldiers as long as didn’t have blood on their hands
2006 Outside experts told Bush status quo and withdrawal plan not working in Iraq
2006 Ret Gen Keane told Bush US needed troop surge that would protect civilians using
2011 Human Rights Min found mass grave in Basra from Saddam era

Sunday, December 10, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Dec 10

1949 Ali Aiyubi became premier of Iraq for 2nd time
1981 Report that Soviet Union resumed arms deliveries to Iraq after ban when Iran-Iraq War started
1983 Dawa members including Abu Muhandis set off 5 bombs at US and French embassies and 
           other targets in Kuwait killing 6 wounding 80
1996 Oil for Food program started operating in Iraq
1999 UN Res 1281 extended Oil for Food Program for Iraq
2001 Ansar al-Islam formed from 3 Kurdish Islamist groups
2002 USAID said Iraq would be small intervention but security needed to be first priority
2002 NSC committee presented humanitarian plan for postwar Iraq based upon
            secure environment and small US role
2002 IAEA went to Al Qaim facility US claimed was an active Iraqi nuclear plant
            Found it destroyed
2003 CPA presented list of 1,706 priority projects US and Iraq didn’t have money
            for all of them
2003 US asked France Germany Russia to forgive some of the debt Iraq owed them
2003 Russia refused US request to forgive its Iraq debt after US banned it from
            bidding on reconstruction projects
2007 Def Sec Gates told NSC that Pres Tabalni told him Maliki was intolerable and
            US should help remove him

 View the Iraq History Timeline 

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was quoted by Paul Iddon in "Terror and Murder - Islamic State Switches to an Insurgency in Iraq" for War Is Boring.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Security In Iraq, Dec 1-7, 2017

For 17 straight weeks Iraq has had less than 100 security incidents reported per week. During the first seven days of December there were just 59 Incidents the same amount as the last full week of November. There were 252 reported deaths, but 202 of those were from several mass graves in Ninewa, meaning there were only 50 violent deaths and another 61 injured mentioned in the media.

This Day In Iraqi History – Dec 9

1914 Ottomans defeated by British at Battle of Qurna and surrendered Basra
1958 Former PM Rashid Ali al-Gaylani arrested by Gen Qasim for plotting a coup
1985 Saudis announced attempts at talks with Iran to end Iran-Iraq War failed
2001 VP Cheney said story 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraq intel officer in Prague was
            pretty much confirmed
2001 Cheney told NBC Iraq hosting terrorists and developing WMD
2002 UK Foreign Office legal adv Sir Wood wrote paper saying UN Resolution 1441
            did not authorize war with Iraq
2002 UK Foreign Office officially asked Attny Gen Lord Goldsmith for legal
            advice on whether 2nd UN resolution needed to use force against Iraq
2002 Blair ForPolAdv Manning MI6 head Dearlove met NatlSecAdv Rice Said start 03
            US would go to UN and argue for military action vs Iraq
2002 UN inspectors found Fallujah II chlorine plant out of service US listed it as WMD
2003 Suicide Car bomb on Mosul camp wounded 41 US troops and 6 Iraqi civilians
2004 22 parties including Dawa SCIRI Sadrists INC announced formation of United
            Iraqi Alliance for Jan 2005 elections Ayatollah Sistani helped form list
2004 Iraqi Islamic Party submitted 275 candidates for Jan 2005 elections Would be
            only major Sunni party to participate
2004 Bush told families his govt was getting best equipment for US troops in Iraq after
            Rumsfeld downplayed complaints
2005 Report Al Qaeda’s Libi’s intel about Iraq-Al Qaeda ties that proved false was
            acquired while he was being tortured by Egyptians
2005 Report Feb 02 DIA was skeptical of Al Qaeda’s Libi’s intel on Iraq-Al Qaeda ties
            because he was being held in Egypt
2005 United Iraqi Alliance breaking up into factions after elections Complaints that it
            hadn’t presented a vision for Iraq because not using qualified people
2006 NSC meeting US Cmdr Iraq Gen Casey told Bush Maliki agreed to go after
            militias that broke law

Friday, December 8, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Dec 8

1985 Saudis announced attempt to end the Iran-Iraq War through dialogue with Tehran
2002 Iraq admitted that it was close to building a nuclear bomb but was abandoned a
            long time ago
2002 Gen Thurman and McKiernan went to Gen Franks and asked for more
            troops for Iraq invasion
2003 Bremer told Gingrich’s criticism of CPA and situation in Iraq were wrong and he
            should visit country
2004 In Kuwait after being questioned about lack of up to date equipment for US troops
            in Iraq Rumsfeld said “You go to war with the army you have”
2005 Bin Laden’s Pakistani biographer quoted in Osama bin Laden I Know book said
            bin Laden hated Saddam
2006 NSC meeting SecState Rice pushed for not getting involved in civil war and
            pushing Iraqis to do more
2006 NSC meeting Joint Chiefs head Gen Pace said US forces could not stand by
            during Iraq civil war
2006 Bush told NSC that US couldn’t wait for Iraqis to do more US had to act to
            reduce violence
2009 ISI set off 5 car bombs hit Finance, Justice and Foreign Ministries in Baghdad
            killing 127 448 wounded 3rd mass bombing in Baghdad over short span

Thursday, December 7, 2017

How Arguments Over Iraq Invasion Plan Were Fought Through Press Leaks

On November 21, 2001, President Bush asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to start revising the war plan for Iraq. Rumsfeld was unhappy with the plan because it was largely a replay of the 1991 Gulf War. The Pentagon chief believed the war could be implemented much more quickly and with a smaller force than the hundreds of thousands the military wanted. This caused a large controversy within the Defense Department, which spilled over to the rest of the administration and ex-military men as well. Tensions grew so high that Rumsfelds supporters and critics began leaking highly detailed elements of the war strategy to the press to try to win points for their side.

This Day In Iraqi History – Dec 7

1915 Battle of Kut began with Ottoman forces arriving at city after they lost Battle of Ctesiphon
1980 Saddam announced that Iraq was going on the defensive in the Iran-Iraq War
1980 Saddam thought he could seize Khuzistan province leading to revolt against Khomeini
            govt but didnt happen
1981 Iran freed Bostan and forced an Iraqi retreat
2002 TV speech Saddam apologized to people of Kuwait for 1990 invasion
2002 Iraq gave its WMD and nuclear weapons declaration to UN as part of new inspections
            claiming it had no WMD
2002 Iraqi general claimed weapons declaration proved Iraq had no WMD
2002 US and UK condemn Iraqs weapons declaration as being complete and denying it had
2002 Cheney told NSC Iraqs weapons declaration was a material breach and Bush should move
            towards war
2002 Cheney said Powell and UN wanted to use inspections to avoid war with Iraq
2002 Rumsfeld and Rice didnt think Iraqs weapons declaration was a material breach
2003 Gingrich went on offensive against CPA saying US shouldve given over sovereignty to
            Iraq early on like in Afghanistan
2003 Report US forces using collective punishment Blowing up homes of suspected
            insurgents Putting barbed wire around towns
2004 Number of US troops killed in combat in Iraq reached 1000 after soldier shot in Baghdad
2004 Report Nov 04 CIA said security deteriorating Iraqi govt had to assert authority
            and rebuild economy
2005 KDP backers attacked PUK offices in Dohuk Zakho Amedia Shaklaca Kadash
            Sedarash Akre 3 killed including a KDP candidate
2005 KDP followers set PUK office in Dohuk on fire wounding 21

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Security Trends In Iraq 2017

In most of Iraq security has steadily improved throughout 2017. That has resulted in the lowest number of incidents seen since the 2003 invasion. From January to November 2017, the six most violent provinces in the country only experienced an average of 2.5 incidents per day. That was down from an average of 3.2 in 2016. In Anbar, incidents plateaued for most of 2017 at 1.3 incidents per day before dropping off from October to November going down to 1.0 and 0.8 respectively. Baghdad saw a huge drop in incidents from 5.9 per day in January, down to 2.6 in June before a slight rise to 3.3 in July before going back down to 2.4 in October, and then 2.8 in November. In Diyala, the Islamic State attempted a slight comeback starting in the spring. That saw incidents go from 1.9 in March up to 2.0 in June before declining to 0.6 in October and then rising again to 1.3 in November. Incidents in Kirkuk were low for the first half of the year at less than 1 per day, went up slightly during the summer, and then saw a sharp increase at the end of the year when the federal government sent in forces leading to clashes with the Peshmerga. Ninewa witnessed the end of the Mosul battle, which led to incidents going from a high of 14.7 per day in March down to 2 per day from September to November. Salahaddin was the other governorate where IS was regrouping. That led to a slight jump in incidents during the year, specifically April, June, July, and September before going down at the end of the year. Even then there were never more than 1.3 incidents per day after January. Overall, that has led to a sharp decline in incidents in Iraq. In January, there were 23.1 incidents per day. By November that was down to 9.8.