Monday, February 18, 2019

$30 Billion Pledged A Year Ago For Rebuilding-Economic Development In Iraq Stuck In Red Tape

Feb 2018 Kuwait Conference (AFP/Getty Images)

A year ago Kuwait hosted a three day conference to raise money for Iraq. Originally promoted as a way to obtain funds for the rebuilding of the country after the conclusion of the war with the Islamic State, it eventually morphed into a general investment meeting to help develop the economy as well. Before the meeting the Planning Ministry estimated that Iraq needed $45.7 billion to repair war damage, and $88 billion overall for reconstruction and promoting economic growth. Iraq received around $30 billion total falling far short of expectations. Since then little of that money has actually been spent due to a variety of issues.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 18


1940 PM Said resigned over growing problems with pan-Arabist Golden Square officers Said
wanted Gaylani to become PM and he would become Foreign Minister to maintain pro-British policies Golden Square objected to Gaylani govt because it would include Said and Gen Hashemi Went to Regent calling for their exclusion from new govt Regent disagreed with Golden Square officers over new govt and made Gen Umari Mosul garrison commander retire as a result
(Musings On Iraq book review of Rashid Ali al-Gailani, The National Movement in Iraq 1939-1941)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Role of the Military In Politics, A case study of Iraq to 1941)
1984 UN negotiated deal for Iran and Iraq to stop attacking civilian areas Didn’t last
1986 Iraqi high command finally accepted Fao main goal of Iranian offensive after falling for Tehran’s
deception and believing it wasn’t
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1991 Tariq Aziz went to Moscow and accepted Soviets unconditional withdrawal plan from Kuwait Then
demanded end to all UN sanctions and resolutions
1999 Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr assassinated by Saddam
(Musings On Iraq interview with Univ of Haifa’s Prof Baram on legacy of Ayatollah Sadiq al-Sadr)
1999 Fmr CIA counterterrorism officer Cannistraro said Iraqis met bin Laden in Dec 98 False story
2002 US Embassy in Niger said new details on Iraq-Niger uranium deal meant a new look into story was
needed
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2005 Al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bombers hit Shiite pilgrims in Kadhimiya
2007 Blair announced plants to cut British troop strength in Iraq from 7000 to 4000
2007 US forces began campaign to clear Ramadi block by block of insurgents
(Musings On Iraq book review of Confronting Al Qaeda, The Sunni Awakening and American Strategy In Al Anbar)
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Marines Take Anbar, The Four-Year Fight Against Al Qaeda)
2007 1st living standards study since 03 Found 1/3 of Iraqis living below poverty level 40% lacked good
sanitation 50% lacked adequate water supplies Said free market reforms that cut subsides were lowering living standards for middle and working class families Said service projects should take precedent over reforms
2007 Report ISI targeting US helicopters Shot down 7 in 3 weeks Set up ambushes for US troops looking
to rescue crews
2009 Pres Talabani met with PUK officials like Kosrat Rasul and Barham Salah who wanted reforms
within party or were threatening to leave
(Musings On Iraq article on splits within PUK)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 17

1917 British crossed Shumran bend outflanking Ottoman forces in campaign to recapture Kut
1981 UN Rep Palme went to Iran and Iraq for 3rd time to try to negotiate ceasefire
1986 Iran started attack to gain more ground in Fao Peninsula
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1995 Temporary ceasefire made between PUK and KDP during civil war
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1998 Clinton told Pentagon US had to stop Iraq from getting WMD and nuclear weapons and Baghdad had
to allow unfetted UN inspections
2003 U2 spy planes began flying over Iraq for UN weapons inspectors
2003 Turkish parliament delayed vote to allow deployment of US troops for Iraq invasion due to domestic
opposition
2003 IAEA found that Iraq-Niger uranium docs were fakes
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
2007 3 car bombs in Baghdad killed 74 and wounded over 100
2007 VP Hashemi called for Mahdi Army to be placed on terrorist list by US
2007 Report Mahdi Army staying off Baghdad streets as Surge started
2008 2 car bombs at Awakening meeting in Anbar killed more than 20
2011 Protests in Sulaymaniya began demanding reform in KRG Attacked KDP HQ Fired upon by guards
killing 2
(Musings On Iraq interview with journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg on 2011 KRG protests)
2012 Mahoum Sarkhi offices set on fire Blamed on followers of Ayatollah Sistani 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 16


1917 British defeated Ottoman forces at Dahra Bend
1922 Gertrude Bell complained to her father that King Feisal had surrounded himself with nationalists that
demanded Iraq’s complete independence from England
(Musings On Iraq book review of Gertrude Bell And Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East)
1944 Parliamentary Party formed mostly of large land holding sheikhs Supported whatever govt Regent
backed
1979 Saddam said unifying Iraq and Syria was part of the Arab revolution
1979 Saddam said Iraq would respect choice of the Iranian people with their revolution
1984 Iran cut Basra-Baghdad highway between Maysan and Wasit
1986 Iraqi intelligence fell for Iranian deception and claimed attack upon Fao not main Iranian
attack Meant Iraq didn’t send reinforcements
1986 Iraq made another attempt to retake Fao Peninsula Only advanced 2 km Iraqis lost 7,000 casualties
and 1,500 prisoners taken Iranians lost 8,000 casualties in Op Wa al-Fajr 8 that took Fao Peninsula
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1989 Iraq formed Arab Cooperation Council with Egypt Jordan Yemen to counter Gulf Cooperation
Council
1991 US troops destroyed Iraqi radar facility while Apache helicopters conducted raid in depth behind Iraqi
lines in Iraq
1992 Defense Secretary Cheney said that if U.S. had overthrown Saddam would have to decide what kind of
govt to establish Would have been hard to capture Saddam Would have to decide how many casualties willing to take How many troops would have to stay in Iraq to keep govt going
2001 Bush told speechwriter David Frum that he was going to get rid of Saddam  
2001 UK Attorney Gen Lord Williams approved air attacks out of no fly zones in Iraq for self defense
2001 US and UK planes bombed 20 radar and command and control centers in Iraq outside of No Fly Zone
Claimed Iraq had upgraded its air defenses Then said bombed Iraq to stop it from upgrading its defenses
2002 Bush signed secret NSC directive calling for covert action against Iraq by CIA Had budget of $189 mil
for 2 years Plan included supporting Iraqi opposition Sabotage missions inside Iraq Working with other countries Information campaign vs Iraq attacking Iraqi revenue sources and disrupting its smuggling operations
2003 Rice claimed Iraq was deceiving UN weapons inspectors
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
2004 Report Iraqi and US sources said Iraqi forces would not be able to provide security after sovereignty
transferred to Iraq
2004 CIA said it still believed Iraqi defector CURVEBALL was credible source for intel that Iraq had mobile
WMD labs Turned out to be false source
(Musings On Iraq article on how CURVEBALL influenced US intel on Iraq’s WMD)
(Musings On Iraq articles on the CURVEBALL story)
2006 Sec State Rice told Senate oil production and electricity below postwar levels in Iraq Said initial
problems with rebuilding Iraqi security forces fixed and as Iraqi forces stood up US forces would do less
2006 Sec Def Rumsfeld told House US was not in Iraq to do nation building that was up to Iraqis to do
2008 Maliki said Al Qaeda in Iraq had mostly been driven from Baghdad
2010 ISI set off 4 suicide car bombs targeting hotels in Baghdad where foreign press stayed
2011 Maliki visited Kuwait after Kuwait premier visited Iraq in 1st high level meet between 2 countries
since 1990
2016 Allawi said no reason to remove cabinet until Abadi presented a strategic plan
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reidar Visser on PM Abadi’s reform program)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Review The Great Betrayal, How America Abandoned The Kurds And Lost The Middle East


Review Phillips, David, The Great Betrayal, How America Abandoned The Kurds And Lost The Middle East, London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2019

The Great Betrayal, How America Abandoned The Kurds And Lost The Middle East reads like it had been in the works by author David Phillips of Columbia’s Program on Peace Building and Rights, but then got rushed into publication because of current events. It starts off as a short history about the Kurdish drive for independence since World War I and how the west had repeatedly stymied their attempts. The second half of the book is about modern Iraqi politics, Syria and the Kurds and that’s where the story goes off the rails. Phillips has a poor understanding of present day Iraq, and by the end of the book he has chapters that only marginally deal with the Kurds and are more about the war in Syria, and the failures of the Obama and Trump administrations to deal with that conflict. The roots of Phillips’ problems is that he forgets about his original thesis about the Kurds being abandoned to focus upon how Obama and Trump lost the Middle East.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 15

1923 UK Head of Board of Trade Sir Graeme told Iraq commission Iraq too costly and British
should withdraw
1936 Def Ministry complained that UK War Office ignored arms purchases and deliveries and that was
undermining Iraqi army
1949 2 Communist politburo members hanged by PM Said to put down protests
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1964 Arif govt and Mustafa Barzani started talks to try to end KDP revolt
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1984 Iraq, Egypt, Argentina and Swiss companies signed contract to develop long range missile
1984 Iranian Op Al Fajr 5 began Largest operation to date in war Included 2/3 of Iran’s manpower 400,000
men in 15 division Attacked Wasit towards Kut Aim was to cut Baghdad-Basra road
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Voice of America commentary called for end of dictatorships after fall of Ceausescu in Romania
Named Iraq
1991 Pres Bush called on Iraqi military and people to overthrow Saddam twice
(Musings On Iraq article on how US encouraged 1991 uprising)
(Musings On Iraq interview with National Univ of Singapore’s Fanar Haddad on the impact of the 1991 uprising)
1991 US Task Force 1-41 first Coalition troops to cross into Iraq to carry out recon and combat missions
1991 US 1st Cav Div launched probing attack into Iraq
1991 US Task Force 1-32 breached Iraqi defensive berm and entered Iraq in deception attack to convince
Iraq that invasion would come through Wadi Al-Batin
2001 US and UK planes bombed Iraq’s air defense system as part of no fly zone
2002 VP Cheney told Council on Foreign Relations action needed to be taken against Saddam for his
aggressive actions support of terror WMD threat
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq’s Future The aftermath of regime change)
2003 Protests in more than 600 cities around world against going to war with Iraq
2003 Bush told Rumsfeld to slow troop deployments because getting ahead of diplomacy
2006 Study Iraqi insurgency dominated by few large groups Sunni identity became basis for groups
Had no program for future of Iraq Iraqi insurgents rejected politics Believed they could win
2007 Pres Talabani claimed Mahdi Army commanders had left Iraq for Iran because Sadr supported the
Surge and wanted Baghdad secured Sadr and militiamen had fled to avoid being arrested and killed by U.S.
2009 Iraq Election Comm said fraud took place in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces but only effected small fraction
of votes
(Musings On Iraq article on voter fraud in 2009 provincial election)
2010 Maliki reversed order to have all raids authorized by him Came after he protested US-Iraq raid on
Kataib Hezbollah

Thursday, February 14, 2019

PM Mahdi Launches Latest Anti-Corruption Initiative In Iraq

(Iraqi Parliament)

At the end of January 2019 Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi announced his new anti-graft campaign. That focused around a new Supreme Anti-Corruption Council. Every Iraqi administration since 2005 has said that it would stand up to theft and stealing, but they have done little to actually combat it. Mahdi’s effort is likely to go the same way.

$30 Billion Pledged A Year Ago For Rebuilding-Economic Development In Iraq Stuck In Red Tape

Feb 2018 Kuwait Conference (AFP/Getty Images) A year ago Kuwait hosted a three day conference to raise money for Iraq. Originally prom...