Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Security In Iraq Sep 8-14, 2017

Violence in Iraq remained at a very low level for the second week of September 2017. There were few reported security incidents, but casualties were very high due to a large car bombing in southern Iraq, and bodies being recovered from the rubble in Mosul.

This Day In Iraqi History – Sep 19

1929 Abd Sadoun became premier for 4th time
1936 UK officials met Nuri al-Said in Paris to discuss him mediating Palestine dispute
            Turned out he just wanted to promote Iraq
1980 Iran began heavy shelling of Shatt al-Arab, Basra and attacked ships in
            waterway precursor to Iran-Iraq War
1983 Iran said if major powers kept backing Iraq they would have oil cut off to them
1991 UN Resolution 712 offered oil for food program again Iraq rejected 2nd time
1996 CIA Dir Deutch told Senate Intel Comm Saddam was in stronger position then
            he was before
2001 Iraq intel paper said Afghan source claimed bin Laden Taliban and Iraq worked
            together to target America Never confirmed
2001 Bush asked CIA Dir Tenet to look into Iraq-Al Qaeda ties and said VP Cheney
            had info on links
2001 Dep Sec of Def Wolfowitz sent ex-CIA Dir Woolsey to England to look into
            Iraq 9/11 & 1993 World Trade Center connections
2001 Chalabi told Pentagon’s Def Policy Board they should invade Iraq not
2002 Pentagon’s Def Policy Board met arguing for removing Saddam
2002 Saddam sent letter to UN saying it had no WMD or nuclear weapons
2002 Rumsfeld told Senate that UN weapons inspections were weak and weren’t going
            to find anything
2002 US said Iraq didn’t mention trying to buy uranium from Niger in its UN
2002 Powell told House committee there was debate about Iraq’s intent on buying
aluminum tubes but Saddam trying to get nuke technology
2002 New intel said Iraq might have offered training to Al Qaeda and safe
            haven to bin Laden in 1990s
2003 CPA issued new rules for banking in Iraq to reform finances and to open up
            country to foreign investment
2003 Saddam’s Def Min Gen Hashim Ahmad surrendered to US in Kirkuk after
2004 Blair said Iraq was center of global war on terror
2005 Militia controlled police arrest 2 British soldiers leading to rescue mission by
            British forces that ended in gun battle with Mahdi Army
2006 US commander in Ramadi got Marine division commander in Anbar to back
2006 Fmr Vice Army chief of staff Ret Gen Keane told Rumsfeld US close to
            strategic failure in Iraq
2006 Ret Gen Keane told Rumsfeld US strategy was to withdraw not defeat
2006 Ret Gen Keane told Rumsfeld US needed more troops in Iraq to protect
            population otherwise change impossible
2006 Pres Talabani told Bush security problem was US not arming ISF sufficiently and
            needed less US troops in Iraq
2014 France carried out first air strikes against IS hitting Zummar, Ninewa

Monday, September 18, 2017

West Anbar Operation To Proceed in Stages

Unlike previous government campaigns against the Islamic State the west Anbar operation will be conducted in stages. The first, was the taking of Akashat, which occurred over the weekend. The Iraqi forces will move on the Iraq-Syrian border and a number of other towns before taking Rawa, Qaim and Ana, the ultimate goals.

This Day In Iraqi History – Sep 18

1916 British leaders told troops to continue advance in Mesopotamia vs
            Ottomans after huge loss at Kut
1950 PM Said threatened to expel Jews from Iraq
1990 Iraq Army Chief of Staff Gen Khazraji told Saddam Iraq would lose any war
            with US
2001 Richard Clarke’s counterterrorism office sent Rice memo saying no Iraq-9/11
            links found
2001 DepDefSec Wolfowitz wrote Rumsfeld that Iraq backed terrorists and might
            have been behind 1993 World Trade Center bombing
2001 Reuters reported 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Europe Story
            was false
2002 Rumsfeld told House committee Iraq was close to acquiring materials to build a
            nuclear bomb
2003 Head weapons inspector Blix said he believed Iraq destroyed its WMD in 90s
2003 Report wave of kidnappings for ransom across Baghdad
2005 Iraq draft constitution presented to UN
2012 Cabinet approved new oil export-revenue sharing deal with KRG
2015 Protests in Baghdad Babil Karbala Najaf Qadisiyah Muthanna Dhi Qar Wasit
            Maysan Basra Diyala over reforms

Musings On Iraq In The News

The Carnegie Middle East Center’s piece on whether Iraq and Saudi Arabia are improving relations, which I contributed to, was re-printed by the Lebanese Center for Research and Consulting.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 17

1953 Mohammed al-Jamali became premier
1975 Iran and Iraq ratified border treaty between two
1980 Saddam TV speech Said Iran violated 1975 Algiers Treaty Backings Kurds
            Refused to return Iraqi territory Lead up to Iran-Iraq War
1980 Saddam abrogated 1949 Treaty of Good Relations & 1974 Algiers Treaty with
            Iran Lead up to Iran-Iraq War
1980 Saddam claimed Iraq had sovereignty of Shatt al-Arab waterway in Basra
            Lead up to Iran-Iraq War
1980 Heavy fighting broke out between Iraqi and Iranian forces Shatt al-Arab Lead
            up to Iran-Iraq War
1995 SCIRI claimed it attacked 3 Iraqi army positions in Baghdad in September
1997 UN inspectors watched Iraqis moving files and burning documents while waiting
            for access to a WMD site
1998 Italian paper claimed Iraq offered bin Laden safehaven if he was expelled from
2001 Bush said he believed Iraq was involved in 9/11 to his national security staff
2001 Bush signed paper directing military to make plans for invading Iraq
2001 Bush told Pentagon it needed to be ready to deal with Iraq if it acted against
            US interests
2001 Dep Sec of Def Wolfwotiz sent memos to Rumsfeld advocating for attacking
2001 Sen Allen told CNN US might think of regime change in Iraq
2002 National Security Strategy for Bush admin released Called for preemptive war to
            deal with rogue states
2003 Bush said no evidence Iraq involved in 9/11 but Iraq had ties to Al Qaeda
2003 Saddam audio tape released on Al Arabiya called for US to withdraw from Iraq
            and to increase attacks
2004 British forces raid Sadrist headquarters in Basra
2004 Draft of Iraq Survey Group report said Saddam wanted to produce WMD but
            had no stocks or programs
2004 Draft Iraq Survey Group report said only WMD Iraq had were poisons for
            assassinations by Iraqi intelligence
2006 Anbar Salvation Council issued ultimatum for Al Qaeda in Iraq to leave Anbar
2008 SIIC accused Maliki of creating Tribal Support Councils to bolster his support

View the Iraq History Timeline

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2 New Iraq Opinion Polls Find Sea Change In Views

Two new public opinion polls from the Spring of 2017 found that Iraqis still hold very divergent views. What was a big change was that most Sunnis felt positive about the country and the government, although they were still worried about the Islamic State. Shiites on the other hand, showed high levels of pessimism, while Kurds appeared to be done with the central government.

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 16

1961 Govt forces began ground offensive to put down Mustafa Barzani Kurdish
1980 Saddam said that Iran would not fight Iraq because it was afraid
            Lead up to Iran-Iraq War
1980 Saddam said that Iraq had to regain all the disputed territory it claimed from Iran
1986 Iraq air strike on Iran’s Lavan oil terminal Iran-Iraq War
1990 UN Resolution 667 demanded Iraq release foreign nationals it detained in Kuwait
1991 Mohammed Zubaidi became Iraq’s premier
2001 Bush said unless Iraq connected to 9/11 it would be dealt with diplomatically not
            with force
2001 Cheney asked on NBC was there any evidence linking Iraq to 9/11 He said no
            Said focus was on Al Qaeda
2001 Fmr CIA Dir Woolsey said stories of 9/11 hijacker Atta meeting with Iraqi
            intel showed Iraq needed to be investigated
2002 Iraq told UN it would allow new weapons inspections with no conditions
2002 VP Chief of Staff Libby & DepNatlSecAdv Hadley briefed by Pentagon group
            that Iraq and Al Qaeda had cooperated
2002 New draft of UK dossier on Iraq said it had recently produced WMD but no
2003 Rumsfeld said he believed US intelligence that Iraq had WMD
2003 Rumsfeld said no evidence Iraq involved with 9/11
2003 Rice said one reason US invaded Iraq was because he was from Middle East
            where 9/11 attacks came from
2003 Senior Iraqi scientist said WMD programs dismantled by UN inspectors in 90s
2004 UN Sec Gen Annan told BBC that US invasion of Iraq was illegal
2004 July Natl Intel Est on Iraq leaked to press Best case Iraq would remain unstable
            Worse Iraq would break out into civil war
2007 Blackwater guards fired at car in west Baghdad killing 17 civilians
            and wounding 20
2008 Pres Barzani told US Amb Crocker that Maliki was beginning to act like a
2009 US closed Camp Bucca prison which had served as recruiting ground for

View the Iraq History Timeline

Friday, September 15, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Sep 15

1950 Nuri al-Said became premier 6th time
1981 Reagan administration discussed covert arms deal with Iraq to get a Russian
            T-72 tank in return Iraq rejected idea
1987 Saddam told UN delegation he would accept ceasefire if UN punished Iran
1989 Iraq arrested UK Observer reporter Baztoft for reporting on missile program
            Led to condemnation in UK media
2001 Bush held meeting at Camp David to determine response to 9/11 Iraq brought
            up several times
2001 Def Dept paper for Camp David meeting said 3 priorities in war on terror:
            Al Qaeda, Taliban, Iraq
2001 Dep Defense Sec Wolfwitz said 10-50% chance Iraq behind 9/11 & US had to
            take on Saddam if serious about war on terror
2001 Sec of State Powell said Wolfowitz had no proof Iraq involved in 9/11 and was
            just using it for his Iraq agenda
2001 Rumsfeld said it might be good to attack Iraq because no good targets in
2001 Cheney said Iraq would be dealt with but not right away
2001 Bush admin voted on whether to deal with Iraq after 9/11 and was voted down
2001 Bush said he thought Iraq involved in 9/11 but told Rice it would be dealt with
2004 Around 1000 protested in Najaf demanding that Sadr and his aides leave the city
2004 Gen Chiarelli said that US would clear militias from Sadr City Didn’t happen
2006 Bush speech Said he was listening to his generals who said things were working
            in Iraq
2006 Privately Bush had decided Iraq strategy not working and wanted new one
2007 GAO said Iraq met 3 partially met 4 not met 11 of 18 total benchmarks set by
            Congress for progress during Surge
2015 Iraq cabinet voted on law to cancel Vice Presidents 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

KDP Offers To Bring Back KRG Parliament 2nd Time Before Independence Referendum

For the second time the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has offered to re-instate the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) parliament, which has been closed since October 2015. The KDP first said it would bring back the legislature in August, but it never happened. Now it made a new deal for mid-September, but it has already pushed back the date. This was supposed to be a compromise with the other Kurdish parties before the September 25 independence referendum. The problem is the KDP is looking for concessions from others, not to give them before the vote, which is probably why it hasn’t followed through yet on the parliament.