Monday, November 14, 2011

Latest Charts, Maps, And Figures On Iraq From The Special Inspector General For Iraq Reconstruction

Every three months the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) releases its quarterly report to Congress. The SIGIR is one of the best sources for up to date facts and figures about Iraq, especially since some of Baghdad’s numbers are old or exaggerated. For instance, throughout this summer the Electricity Ministry has claimed that it has produced around 9,000 megawatts of power each day. According to the SIGIR the government only provided an average of 7,316 megawatts per day from August to October 2011, a 1,684 megawatt difference. Below are some of the major charts, maps, and figures from the SIGIR’s latest paper.

Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq Map

The United States will continue with two training missions in Iraq after the December 2011 troop withdrawal deadline based upon the Strategic Framework Agreement that was signed in 2008 by the Bush administration. One is run by the State Department to assist the Iraqi police and Interior Ministry, and the other is by the Pentagon to aid the Defense Ministry and the military. The latter is known as the Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq (OSC-I). It operates out of ten facilities spread across the country with a mix of civilian, military and contractors as staff. One is in Irbil city, Irbil in Kurdistan with three personnel. Another is at Kirkuk Airbase in Tamim province with 110 staff that trains Iraqi personnel on planes and helicopters. One is at Taji, Salahaddin with 55 military personnel that also works with the Iraqi Air Force. There are four locations in Baghdad province, starting with Forward Operating Base Union III with 160 personnel that is the main office for the entire program next to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Sather Airbase with 46 staff that flies people in and out of Baghdad International Airport and supports the Iraqi Air Operations Center. Forward Operation Base Shield has 27 personnel and aids the Ministry of Interior, and finally there is Besmaya with 212 personnel that assist Iraq’s armored forces, mainly the M1A1 Abrams tank. In the south, there are two offices in Basra. One is in Basra city’s air base with 4 personnel that help with the country’s southern radar system, and the other is at the Um Qasr port with 54 personnel that helps train the Iraqi Navy. In total, the Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq will have a staff of 920. The State Department also wants to eventually have just under 200 trainers of its own operating in Iraq. That means whether Washington and Baghdad are able to work out a deal to keep combat troops in Iraq into 2012, there will remain around 1,000 American trainers to help with Iraq’s security forces.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Iraq Reconstruction Funds 2003-2011

From 2003-2011 Iraq has received $182.27 billion in reconstruction funds. The largest amount came from Baghdad itself with $107.41 billion. Some of that was spent by the Coalition Provisional Authority from 2003-2004, which had control of the country’s money under the Development Fund for Iraq. Next was the United States with $61.83 billion, and last was the international community with $13.03 billion in aid and loans. The chart below shows that reconstruction assistance peaked in 2004 with approximately $45 billion, and then dramatically dropped to just over $10 billion the next year. Since then, aid has gone up and down, but Iraq’s contribution has steadily increased. For 2011, there will be just under $30 billion available for rebuilding the country with nearly 80% coming from Baghdad. Iraq still needs billions more to overcome all of the years of neglect it has faced due to wars and sanctions since the 1980s.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Unspent U.S. Aid For Iraq 2011

When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, it said that it would help with the reconstruction of the country. As the insurgency took off, and the country fell into civil war, the emphasis changed to security. Now that the U.S. military is withdrawing, those priorities are still in place. The United States has $1,394 million to spend on the Iraqi security forces for the remainder of the fiscal year, $220 million for the State Department’s police training program run by its Bureau of International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, compared to only $301 million for economic development. In total, that’s $1,915 million that has yet to be expended, 84% of which, $1,614 million, is for Iraq’s military and police. With the United States moving towards a more traditional diplomatic relationship with Iraq, the question will be whether aid will shift in the future to the economic front and away from security. With Washington’s constant emphasis upon the threat posed by Iran that change probably won’t happen in the short-term.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Recent Security Incidents

The map of “Significant Security Incidents, 7/15/2011-10/15/2011,” shows that the insurgency is concentrated in central Iraq. It operates in the north to Tamim and Salahaddin province, stretching out to the major cities of Anbar in the west, to Baghdad, Babil, Karbala, Wasit, and Najaf provinces in the center. Surprisingly, no major attacks happened in Diyala during this quarter, which is also a hotbed for militant activity. The deadliest attacks during the period were two days worth of bombings in Karbala city from July 15-16 that killed 13, and wounded 100, 30 killed and 60 wounded in multiple bombings in Kut, Wasit on August 15, 22 Shiite pilgrims killed on a bus in Anbar on September 22, and 19 killed and more than 70 wounded in multiple attacks in Baghdad on October 12.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Attacks And Deaths Jan. 2004-Sep. 2011

Two important trends in Iraq’s security situation can be distilled from the chart below on incidents and civilians killed from 2004 to 2011. First, the bottom blue line represents monthly deaths. It shows that casualties peaked at just under 4,000 deaths per month in the last quarter of 2006, and then began a steady decline after that. This decrease began before the Surge started in 2007. This supports the argument made by Doug Ollivant and others, that Iraqis were ending their civil war on their own, before the United States changed tactics and strategy. This wasn’t apparent at the time because attacks continued to rise until the middle of 2007, which is displayed by the black line at the top. The second important trend is that both attacks and deaths have flat lined since 2009. In the 2009 provincial elections, many Sunnis decided to participate, including many insurgents. That led to a precipitous drop in violence. Militants still carry out daily attacks, but they lack the wherewithal to launch major operations except for once every month if that. Many groups have lost so much support and funding that they act more like criminal gangs today, extorting money from businesses to survive, instead of insurgents. Iraq still probably has years of violence ahead of it, but the security situation is completely different than before. Rather than having a civil war or a large insurgency, the country now is facing a serious terrorist threat.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Terrorism In Iraq vs Afghanistan

Afghanistan gets much more attention in the United States today than Iraq, because the Obama administration has focused upon the former. That has led the press to report far more on the Afghan war than Iraq, and given the public the impression that violence in Afghanistan is far worse. A comparison of deaths, casualties, and kidnappings compiled in the State Department’s annual report on terrorism shows that Iraq actually has a worse security situation. From 2006-2010, Iraq had 61%-28% of all victims of terrorism worldwide, compared to just 18%-4% in Afghanistan. In 2010 for instance, 15,109 people were killed, wounded or kidnapped in terrorist acts in Iraq, compared to 9,016 in Afghanistan out of a total of 49,901 around the globe.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Assassinations In Iraq

One of the changes in Iraq’s security situation is that an increasing amount of violence has gone from random acts to more targeted ones. The wave of assassinations that have hit the country this year is a perfect example. The map shows that these types of attacks have occurred in eleven of Iraq’s eighteen provinces. The incidents in governorates such as Anbar, Ninewa, Tamim, and Salahaddin are the work of Sunni insurgents, while Shiite militias and Special Groups probably do hits in Wasit, Maysan, Qadisiyah, and Basra. The attacks are not only meant to undermine the government, but to eliminate political opponents.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Oil And Iraq’s GDP

Iraq is the most oil dependent country in the region. The chart shows that the growth in Iraq’s economy is directly related to how much money it is able to earn from petroleum. When oil prices dipped in late-2008 to early 2009 for instance, because of the world recession, Iraq’s GDP dropped as well, and has only begun to recover as prices have climbed back up because of the unrest in the Middle East. In 2011, Iraq is expected to earn $74.76 billion from its oil industry, which is 68% of the GDP, predicted to be $108.6 billion.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
GDP and Consumer Prices In Iraq vs Middle Eastern/North African Oil Producers

Since Iraq’s civil conflict has ended, economic growth has returned to the country. In 2007 for example, the economy only grew 1.5%. The following year, the sectarian war was over and the country grew 9.8%. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both predicted continued robust expansion of Iraq’s GDP over the next few years. This is largely due to foreign energy companies returning to the country, and their predicted impact upon the oil industry, which is what drives the economy. For 2011, the Central Bank of Iraq and the IMF both believe that Iraq’s GDP will grow 9.6%. In 2012, the IMF believes that Iraq will reach approximately 12%. That is a huge increase from 2010 when the nation’s GDP grew an anemic 0.8%, because of the world recession. The projections for 2011 and 2012 are also much better than for other oil producing countries in the region. For 2010 they are expected to only have 5% GDP, and a little less than that the following year.

Iraq is also looking to do better than other regional nations in terms of inflation. While Iraq’s consumer prices have doubled from 2010 to 2011 because of increasing international commodity prices, they are supposed to stay constant at 5% this year and the next. For other oil exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa however, inflation is suppose to top 10% in 2011 and then go down to around 7% in 2012. Iraqis will be paying lower prices on average than their neighbors. The problem is that Iraqis are much poorer than many of their fellow Arabs and Iranians, so they may not be much better off.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Iraq’s 2010-2011 Budgets

Iraq has greatly benefited from the recent increase in international oil prices. As a result, Iraq has brought in rising revenues, which has helped with its last two budgets even though neither reached the level of petroleum exports set in each. For example, the 2010 budget was based upon an average of 2.1 million barrels a day in exports and $62.50 a barrel price. Iraq ended up averaging 1.89 million barrels, but the average price was $75.62. The nation has done even better in 2011. This year’s budget was based upon 2.2 million barrels per day in exports and a $76.50 price. For the first ten months, Iraq has averaged 2.16 million barrels a day at $104.63. As of September 30, 2011, it has earned $56.07 billion from oil, which is 22% higher than the $45.95 billion the budget was supposed to have spent to that date. That will lead to another large budget surplus for the government since it has never been able to spend all of its money, and it is bringing in much more this year.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Oil Industry

After a rough few years after the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s oil industry has finally recovered. From 2003 to 2006 oil production and exports went through wild fluctuations as the United States, and then Iraqi governments attempted to revive the business after years of neglect due to international sanctions. During that time, oil pipelines also became a favorite target of insurgents hoping to destabilize the new Iraq. Production briefly hit 2.5 million barrels during 2004 several times before falling off. It would not return to that level until 2008. Beginning in late 2010, production and exports have steadily increased because foreign energy companies won the rights to develop some of the country’s oil fields. The problem today is that Iraq’s aging oil infrastructure lacks the capacity to handle the rise in exports, so there will be no dramatic jumps upward until those bottlenecks are solved.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)
Electricity Problems

Iraq has suffered from poor services since the 1980s when the Iran-Iraq War undermined much of the economy. That was made worse by the international sanctions imposed on the country in the wake of the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and then the U.S. invasion, and subsequent war. What the 2003 overthrow of Saddam did do was open Iraq up to many cheap imports, which the public was quick to snatch up. Many of these were appliances, which has greatly increased the demand for power. In fact, that has consistently increased every year for the last eight, and is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. The supply of electricity has also steadily gone up, but not as fast. That has created constant power shortages and blackouts throughout most of the country. In the 3rd quarter of 2011, supply stood at an average of 7,316 megawatts per day, while demand was 14,038, a 6,722 megawatt difference. The government has said that it will solve this problem by 2012 or 2013, but outside experts and the Special Inspector General doubt that will happen. The International Energy Development Organization believes that Baghdad’s plans are not adequate to solve the problem, while the Special Inspector General has found that none of the government’s short-term plans to build power plants has panned out. That will likely continue the present status quo with both supply and demand continuing to go up, but not meeting.
Click on image for larger view (SIGIR)

Ollivant, Douglas, “Countering the New Orthodoxy,” New America Foundation, June 2011

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, “Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report to the United States Congress,” 7/30/11
- “Quarterly Report to the United States Congress,” 10/30/11

Al-Wannan, Jaafar, “Report: Iraq needs $12bn to resolve energy crisis,” AK News, 9/18/11
- “Shahristani: electricity crisis will end in 2013,” AK News, 9/24/11

World Bank, “Interim Strategy Note For The Republic of Iraq For The Period Mid FY09-FY11,” 2/10/09


Steve Donnelly, AICP said...


Really happy that you were, at last, able to publish the SIGIR map which uses the correct Baghdad Amanate (Province) map.

Only took a few years to assimilate into government publications.

Joel Wing said...

Steve didn't notice that until you pointed it out. It is a decided difference becuase on the old maps you could barely see Baghdad.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 24 US led Coalition began expelling Iraq from Kuwait

  865 Samarra organized army under Abu Ahmad son of assassinated Caliph Mutawwakil and brother of Abbasid Caliph Mutasim...