Saturday, March 31, 2018

Review Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq

Review Record, Jeffrey, Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq, Dulles: Potomac Books, 2010

It’s odd that 15 years after the Iraq war there is still discussion about what caused it. Was it the weapons of mass destruction, the oil, neoconservatives, or other factors? Much of that is due to the Bush administration whose stated goals WMD and Iraq’s connection to Al Qaeda both proved to be based upon a house of cards. Jeffrey Record’s Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq is one of the best attempts to answer the question of why the U.S. invaded Iraq. Rather than having a grand strategy, Record found that there was a confluence of different personalities and ideas within the White House that all converged on Iraq. These were roughly divided into two main camps, neoconservatives that wanted to spread democracy via overthrowing Saddam Hussein and others that wanted to maintain the supremacy of the United States in the world after 9/11.

This Day In Iraqi History - Mar 31

1934 Iraqi Communist Party founded
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1941 Pan-Arab Golden Square officers decided to remove PM Hashemi in coup
1981 Egypt began selling military equipment to Iraq in Iran-Iraq War
1985 UN Sec Gen arrived in Iran Told Iraqi air raids killed 1450 civilians and wounded
1989 Iraq exported oil for 1st time from Basra after Iran-Iraq War closed down ports
1989 Israel said Iraq embarked on crash course to build a nuclear bomb and a missile
            to deliver it
1991 Govt op to retake Sulaymaniya from Peshemerga began
2000 UN Res 1293 doubled amount of spare parts Iraq could import to maintain its
            oil industry under Oil for Food program
2002 Blair offered a division and UK bases to US for invasion
2003 Saddam didn’t give televised speech as expected Instead Information Minister Sahaf
did calling on Iraqis to carry out suicide missions against the invaders
2003 1st car bomb in Iraq hit US checkpoint north of Najaf
2003 US forces engaged Fedayeen and Republican Guard south of Baghdad
2003 US forces launched raid on Shatra Dhi Qar after receiving information Ali Hassan
            al-Majid Chemical Ali was there
2003 British military believed it could start popular uprising in Basra to take city
            rather than having to attack it
2003 Sir David Manning told British would have huge shortage of troops for postwar
            operations in Iraq
2003 UK Foreign Office official wrote For Sec Straw saying Iraqis mistrusted US and
            US occupation would be humiliation and untenable
2003 Israeli Infrastructure Min Paritzky said he wanted to reopen Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline
by end of 03 Based upon promises made by Chalabi before war he would get Iraq to export oil to Israel
2004 US Committee on US pre-war intel on WMD said that US intel was “dead wrong”
            on almost all its judgments about Iraq
2004 Insurgents ambushed Blackwater convoy and killed 4 contractors in Fallujah 2
            were strung up on bridge
2004 Bush gave CPA 48 hours to resolve Blackwater attack in Fallujah
2004 Bush gave speech US would not give into violence in Iraq and fighting terrorism
2004 Sadrists marched to Green Zone in Baghdad to protest US occupation
2005 Silbermann-Robb report called US pre-war intel on Iraq one of largest intelligence
            failures in US history
2005 Silbermann-Robb report US intel data on Iraq was worthless and analysis wrong
2005 Silbermann-Robb report US lacked significant new intel on Iraq WMD so relied
            on Gulf War and 90s UN inspections and extrapolated from them
2005 Silbermann-Robb report US relied upon Iraqi defectors that were lying and
            ignored problems with their stories
2005 Silbermann-Robb report US relied upon satellite photos that showed nothing
2005 Silbermann-Robb report US intel claimed Iraq made WMD advances that were
            technically impossible
2005 Silbermann-Robb report US intel ignored reports that Iraq no longer had any
2005 Silbermann-Robb report UN inspectors disproved most of US case against Iraq’s
            WMD but were ignored
2005 Robb-Silberman report found CIA had little on Iraq’s nuke program outside of
            aluminum tubes but became basis for Oct 02 National Intel Est on Iraq’s WMD
2005 Silbermann-Robb report said that aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were for
            rockets not centrifuges Example of misinterpretation by US intel
2005 Robb-Silberman report said aluminum tubes was a technical assessment which
            CIA failed at Went with assumptions rather than facts
2005 Robb-Silberman report CIA never looked at Iraqi rockets to see whether they
            fit aluminum tubes CIA and DIA created theory on tubes that rejected all criticism
2005 Robb-Silberman report found British and Australian intelligence didn’t
            believe aluminum tubes were for centrifuges
2005 RAND study showed post-war planning for Iraq was inadequate and never
            considered security of Iraqi public
2006 100 insurgents attacked Muqtadiya police headquarters killing 19 police and
            freed 33 prisoners
2007 Maliki made 1st trip to Anbar and met with tribal leaders and provincial council
            who complained about Baghdad’s neglect
2008 IRGC-QF Gen Suleimani met with Pres Talabani and VP Mahdi to try to
            negotiate ceasefire between Maliki and Sadr
2008 Maliki said would continue to go after Mahdi Army in Basra that didn’t follow
2008 Maliki aide said plan was to divide Mahdi Army between those that followed
            Sadr’s ceasefire and those that continued fighting
2008 Mahdi Army fired rockets at Green Zone for another day
2008 Interior Min announced 1000s of police would be fired for refusing to fight Mahdi
2008 Report 2 army regiments refused to fight Mahdi Army in Baghdad
2008 Mass grave with 52 bodies of ISI victims found in Zahmann Diyala River
2009 British ended military mission in Iraq
2009 Deadline for power sharing and provincial elections in Kirkuk passed with no
2010 VP Hashemi said an Arab should be president no longer a Kurd
2010 Iraqiya said it would implement Art 140 on disputed areas to try to get Kurdish
            backing for Allawi as premier
2010 Sadr said there would be a referendum on who his followers wanted as premier
2011 Pres Barzani said he would prosecute security members who fired on
            demonstrators in Sulaymaniya
2011 Protests in Kalar, Sulaymaniya become violent with rocks thrown at security
2012 Oil Ministry paid oil companies in Kurdistan $650 mil for exports
2014 IS released 2nd annual al-Naba report on its operations
2014 IS held parade in Abu Ghraib
2014 Fmr Communications Min Allawi Fmr Fin Min Issawi and 8 general mangers
            charged with corruption
2014 Mutahidun claimed 44 civilians killed by Hashd in Buhriz, Diyala with
            complicity of ISF
2015 Tikrit freed from IS 1st stories emerged of Hashd looting afterward
2015 Diyala council voted to remove confidence from Gov Yacoub for stealing
            aid for displaced
2016 PM Abadi presented his list of technocratic ministers
2016 Sadr called off his protests after Abadi announced cabinet

View the Iraq History Timelines

Friday, March 30, 2018

Security In Iraq, Mar 22-28, 2018

The number of incidents reported in Iraq during the fourth week of March surpassed the yearly mean due to an increase in Islamic State attacks as well as an ongoing operation by Turkey against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Those two factors also resulted in a very high death count for the week. March is shaping up to be the month that IS switched from scattered hit and run attacks after railing from its territorial defeat to when it regrouped and converted back to openly confronting the Iraqi government. It has access to rural areas from Anbar and Ninewa straight across to Diyala, and has targeted local officials and security forces. These are the same tactics it used in its comeback after the Surge.

This Day In Iraqi History - Mar 30

1921 Cairo Conference decided on indirect rule in Iraq Would make Faisal King
            of a pro-British Iraqi govt allowing withdrawal of British forces 
1921 Cairo Confernce decided to keep UK High Commissioner for Iraq British advisers
            in govt naval presence in Basra and RAF squadrons in rest of country
1939 King Ghazi gave pan-Arab speech saying he was interested in Arab brothers in
            Syria Palestine Kuwait
1940 Fmr PM Said put together new govt with Rashid Gaylani becoming PM Said
            became Foreign Minister Had backing of British
1980 Baath made membership in Dawa punishable by death
1982 Saddam admitted that Iraqi forces retreated from southern Iran
1984 UN condemned use of chemical weapons in Iran-Iraq War but didn’t mention
            Iraq as perpetrator
1984 US banned export of 5 chemicals to Iraq that could be used to make chemical
1991 Saddam’s troops re-entered Dohuk and Irbil to put down Kurdish rebellion
1991 Majid al-Khoei met with Saudi intelligence and was turned down for aid because
            US objections
1995 INC and PUK attacked Iraqi forces in Kirkuk district destroying 2 brigades hoping
            to create a revolt against Saddam
2002 Gen Franks presented new revised Iraq war plan to Bush
2003 British began 2nd attack to take Basra city with 600 commandos
2003 UK Defense Minister Hoon told US didn't think taking Basra City important US
            wanted UK to hold south oil fields & Um Qasr port
2003 US intensified air strikes on Republican Guard units with 800 sorties
2003 Saddam believed U.S. invasion was stalemated
2003 Saddam’s secretary told Iraqi For Ministry to tell France and Russia they would
            only accept an unconditional withdrawal by U.S.
2003 Iraqi TV aired footage of Saddam Qusay and Uday handing out medals and money
            to soldiers
2003 Rumsfeld told ABC that US knew exactly where Iraq’s WMD were Claimed they
            were around Tikrit and Baghdad
2003 Rumsfeld accused Syria of giving military aid to Iraq Syria claimed US
            committing crimes vs Iraqi civilians
2003 Dep Sec of Def Wolfowtiz said Iraq war about WMD and that they would
            eventually be found
2003 Blair foreign policy adv Sir Manning worried that Baghdad when attacked could
            turn into drawn out urban battle
2003 Iraqis shot down US Apache helicopter during invasion
2006 Report Albu Mahal went from insurgency to fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq after
            objected to Islamic law being imposed
2006 Report Albu Mahal entered into months of fighting with Salmani and Karabila
            tribes allied with Al Qaeda in Iraq in WAnbar Qaim dist Was expelled
2006 Report Albu Mahal went to US formed Desert Protectors Got help to have
            tribesmen join Iraqi army
2008 Sadr announced ceasefire in Basra but said Mahdi Army would not give up their
2008 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen Suleimani helped negotiate Sadr ceasefire
2008 Mahdi Army fired rockets at Green Zone again
2008 Tribes in Dhi Qar and Dulaim in Wasit joined govt in crackdown against Mahdi
2008 Nasiriya said to be cleared of Mahdi Army
2008 SIIC held pro-govt demonstration in Karbala against Sadr
2010 Allawi complained about Iran’s interference in forming new Iraqi government
2010 VP Hashemi said Iran trying to unite Shiite parties behind 2nd Maliki term
2011 Accountability and Justice Comm ruled 2 nominees for Interior and Defense
            Ministers made by Maliki were disqualified for Baathist past
2011 Turkey’s Erdogan went on tour of Iraq to Baghdad 1st Sunni leader to go to Najaf
            shrine 1st Turkish leader to go to Irbil
2012 Pres Barzani said Maliki becoming authoritarian
2016 Kurdish Alliance said they would not give up any of their ministers
2016 Supreme Council MP complained that Abadi didn’t consult with others about
            his reforms

View of the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Political Posturing By Iraq And Turkey

Iraq and Turkey have been trying to avoid a confrontation over the latter’s threat of a military operation into Ninewa’s Sinjar. As part of that process Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Turkey’s Premier Binali Yildrim had a conversation where they each promised to respect each other’s sovereignty, while in practice neither was doing so.

This Day In Iraqi History – Mar 29

1946 Iraq-Turkey Friendship Treaty Would cooperate over Tigris and Euphrates
            Security education communication economies
1947 Sayid Salih Jabr became premier 1st Shiite PM of Iraq
1982 Saddam offered to withdraw to international border between Iran-Iraq Rejected by
1984 US intel found Iraq buying equipment from West German company to make
            chemical weapons W. Germany denied story
1984 US intel reported Iraq had 5 sites producing chemical weapons for Iran-Iraq War
1987 Ali Hassan al-Majid given special powers over all govt agencies in northern
            Iraq to deal with Kurds
1991 Iraqi troops recaptured Kirkuk from Kurdish rebels
1991 Iraqi troops captured Tanuma, Basra from rebels
1994 Saddam became prime minister of Iraq
2002 Gen Franks briefed military service chiefs on Iraq war planning
2003 UK Embassy in Washington Bush mad at press reports invasion not going
            according to plan
2003 1st Suicide bomber in Iraq war hits US checkpoint in Najaf killing 4 soldiers
2003 Iraq VP Ramadan said suicide bombers would become routine in Iraq and
            threatened England and US with them
2003 VP Ramadan said that foreign fighters had arrived in Iraq to help defend it against
2003 Iraqi govt removed commander of Iraqi air defense in Baghdad after
            missiles misfired and hit the capital
2003 Iraq fired 2 SCUDS at Kuwait but shot down by US Patriot missiles
2006 US intel report said 1707 Sunni and Shiite families moved in Baghdad after
            Askari bombing Mahdi Army kidnapping and executing people
2007 National Police kidnapped 5 British security guards from Eastern Baghdad
2007 New US Amb Ryan Crocker arrived in Iraq
2007 Suicide bombings in Baghdad kill 82
2008 Fighting between ISF and Mahdi Army continued in Karbala, Hillah, Baghdad,
2008 Mahdi Army fired rockets at Green Zone again in retaliation for Charge of Knights
2008 Maliki delegation met with Sadr in Iran to work out ceasefire in Basra
2008 Sadr said he was talking with Ayatollah Sistani to negotiate ceasefire with Maliki
2008 Sadr also called for Qais Khazali and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq to rejoin his organization
2009 Provincial election results announced State of Law won 126 of 440 seats 28%
            ISCI went from 200 to 50 seats
2009 Maliki govt said in talks with Asaib Ahl Al-Haq to get 5 British hostages it
            kidnapped released
2009 PKK rejected call by Pres Talabani and Pres Barzani to disarm
2009 Sahwa in Dora, Baghdad protested over not getting paid by govt
2009 US and ISF disarmed Sahwa in Fadhil, Baghdad after fighting broke out day before
when its commander arrested
2010 Peshmerga withdrew from Jalawla, Diyala after argument over control of
            disputed areas with Baghdad
2011 Maliki presented nominees for security ministries never filled after 2010
2011 Najmuddin Karim elected governor of Kirkuk
2011 ISI attacked Tikrit provincial council building leaving 150 casualties
2011 Parliament human rights committee found chronic abuses in Diyala prisons
including torture
2011 Opposition parties boycotted KRG parliament because govt hadn’t responded
            to protest demands
2011 Turkish Premier Erdogan went to Kurdistan first Turkish leader to visit region
2015 Most Hashd had pulled out of Tikrit op to protest US airstrikes
2015 Abadi met with Hashd leaders to talk about Tikrit offensive and their
            protests over US airstrikes
2015 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq said it would not join future ops in Anbar and Ninewa
            if US involved
2016 Deadline set by Sadr for Abadi to announce new technocratic cabinet
2016 State of Law said Abadi ready to present candidates for cabinet but
            ruling parties were not cooperating

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Mar 28

1982 Saddam ordered Iraqi forces to withdraw from Shush Lost 3 divisions
            25,000 casualties 15-20,000 captured
1982 Iran suffered 30,000 casualties due to human wave attacks during Op Fath
            ol-Mobin to retake Shush
1990 US-UK officials seized equipment at Heathrow Airport meant for nuclear triggers
1991 SCIRI head Hakim said Shiite rebels in south only fighting in rural areas after
            lost cities to Iraqi army
1991 Iraqi intelligence memo said it had contacts with bin Laden
1997 Sec of State Albright said Iraq had lied and blocked UN inspections Said inspections
            and sanctions had contained Iraq
1998 UN Res 1154 okayed agreement between UN Sec Gen and Iraq to allow inspectors
            into presidential palaces and other sites
2002 Arab League called on Iraq to comply with all UN resolutions and end
            sanctions Rejected military action
2002 Gen Franks briefed Joint Chiefs on Iraq war plans Said he would be ready by
2003 Gen Wallace Cmdr US V Corps told press war not going as planned due to
            resistance of Fedayeen
2003 US 173rd Airborne Brigade and Peshmerga took Irbil
2003 US and UK military meeting Surprised Iraqis weren’t rising up against Saddam
2003 UN Res 1472 extended Oil for Food program for 45 days after US
2003 US forces received warning of imminent WMD attack
2003 Rumsfeld accused Syria of sending military aid to Iraq
2003 British accused Syria of allowing foreign fighters to use its territory to enter Iraq
2003 Chief weapons inspector Blix said US gave up on inspections in early 2003
2003 Aid ship arrived in Um Qasr Basra with 200 tons of food medicine and
            blankets for Iraqis
2003 Bush told group of veterans important to win the peace after the war
2004 CPA shut down Sadr’s al-Hawza paper for inciting violence
2006 Anbar Revenge Brigade claimed it killed 4 Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders and a member
            of Ansar al-Sunna
2007 ISI set off chlorine bomb in Anbar
2007 Police and militias carried out retaliatory attacks on Sunnis in Tal Afar after truck
bombing day before
2008 Maliki offered money to militiamen that turned in their weapons during Charge
            of Knights op against Mahdi Army
2008 Government spokesman said talks going on with Sadrists
2008 Maliki met with tribes in Basra that supported government
2008 U.S. and British planes bombed Mahdi Army in Basra
2008 Mahdi Army fired rockets at Badr offices in Amarah, Maysan
2008 Fighting in 13 neighborhoods in Baghdad between Mahdi Army and ISF
2008 Pres Talabani met with Gen Suleimani about stopping fighting between govt
            and Mahdi Army
2009 Counterterrorism Unit arrested Fadhil Sahwa leader in Baghdad on terrorism
            charges leading to firefight
2010 Supreme Court ruled that any coalition that gained a majority after elections could
            get 1st opportunity to form a new govt
2010 Supreme Court ruling undermined Allawi’s Iraqiya right to form a new govt and
            gave it to Maliki’s State of Law
2012 Baghdad said it would pay KRG $558 mil for Kurdish oil exports from budget
2013 Iran delivered bodies of Iraqi militiamen killed fighting for it in Syria
2014 Families from Qara Tapa, Diyala started fleeing militias
2016 Abadi said wanted 9 member cabinet with Electricity and Defense ministers
2017 Kirkuk council voted to fly the Kurdish flag over government buildings in

View the Iraq History Timelines

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Turkey Bluffs Its Way Into Getting PKK To Withdraw From Iraq’s Sinjar

After threats of a false military operation, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was able to force the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to withdraw its fighters from Sinjar in western Ninewa along the Syrian border. On March 19, President Erdogan said that Turkey would launch a military operation in Sinjar any time to fight the PKK. He made the same threat two days later. That led the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to demand the PKK to pull out of the district to protect civilians from an impending Turkish threat. Then on March 25, Turkey announced that it was intervening in Sinjar. Back in February, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said that it was planning a military operation in Kurdistan to force the PKK out of both the Qandil Mountains and Sinjar. On March 16, Turkish forces moved 15 kilometers into Irbil in the latest attempt to wipe out the Workers’ Party bases in northern Kurdistan.

This Day In Iraqi History – Mar 27

1918 British defeated Ottomans in Battle of Khan al-Baghdadi
1979 Saddam told Baath meeting that Iraq was going to get a nuclear weapon
            with help of Soviets so he could go to war with Israel 
1979 Saddam believed having a nuclear bomb would allow a conventional war of
            attrition with Israel that could cost 50,000 Iraqi casualties
1979 Saddam discussed with advisers how to punish countries that backed Sadat’s
            peace treaty with Israel
1981 Start of second attempt by Islamic Conference to negotiate ceasefire in Iran-Iraq
1984 Iraq began tanker war in Iran-Iraq War
1991 2nd day fighting between Iraqi forces and peshmerga on Khanaqin-Jalawla road,
1991 White House spokesman said that US had made no promises to Shiites or Kurds
            and US public not interested in getting involved in an Iraqi civil war
1995 Fighting between KDP and PUK killed 100 in Irbil
1996 UN Resolution 1051 set up monitoring system for Iraqi imports-exports
under Oil for Food program
2003 U.S. forces entered Samawa, Muthanna and encountered fierce fighting by Fedayeen
2003 Iraqi forces began withdrawing in Kirkuk Looting started
2003 Iraq DefMin reviewed war Told US capturing transportation hubs attacking
            multiple targets at same time Report ignored by Saddam
2003 ORHA had meeting of all 4 postwar groups to come up with unified plan for Iraq
            Didn’t happen
2003 4 postwar Iraq groups had all been created separately within Bush admin
            with no coordination between them
2003 Dep Sec Def Wolfowitz told House of Reps committee Iraq oil would pay for
2003 USAID disaster response team entered Um Qasr, Basra to assess humanitarian
            situation in city
2003 Report sent to Washington that after examination 2 trailers found during invasion
            were not mobile WMD labs as originally thought
2003 Pres Assad called on Arab countries to stand up against US invasion
2003 Iraqi govt claimed 350 civilians killed in Coalition air strikes during invasion
2004 Marine patrol got into 36 hr gunfight in Fallujah
2007 Anbar council said no oversight of border crossings and 40% of tariffs stolen
            due to corruption
2007 2 truck bombs hit market targeting Shiite Turkmen in Tal Afar leaving
152 dead 347wounded
2007 Shiite Turkmen launch retaliatory attacks in Tal Afar killing 70 after truck bombs
2007 1920 Revolution Brigade leader killed by ISI for refusing to join it and talking
with govt
2007 US Mil intel report that Iranian intelligence working with Badr and Mahdi Army
            to assassinate Industry Ministry officials
2008 Presidential Council approved General Amnesty Law
2008 Sadrists kidnapped Baghdad Operations Command spokesman
2008 Mahdi Army attacked Iraqi army units moving from Nasiriya to Basra
2008 Basra police chief escaped assassination attempt
2008 Mahdi Army fired rockets at Green Zone for 2nd day
2008 Police in New Baghdad abandoned checkpoints 400 of 550 in 4th National Police
            Brigade deserted rather than fight Mahdi Army
2008 US told that Maliki did not want US advisers in Charge of Knights just US
2008 Fighting started between ISF and Special Groups in northern and southern Dhi
2008 Pipeline in Basra blown up cutting exports in 1/3
2010 Kurdish Alliance said wanted assurances on Kirkuk and Article 140 before it joined
            any new govt
2011 Iraq parliament cancelled deal with Chinese National Petroleum Corp for Ahdab
            field in Wasit
2012 Baghdad hosted Arab Summit marking major move back into Arab politics
2014 Islamic Party accused ISF of being involved in killing civilians in Buhriz, Diyala
2015 Tikrit operation re-started after US airstrikes requested by PM Abadi
2015 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq accused US of trying to save IS in Tikrit
2016 Supreme Council complained that Abadi not consulted with them over his
2016 Sadr went into Green Zone to start his own sit in protests

View the Iraq History Timelines

Monday, March 26, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Mar 26

1918 Battle of Khan Baghdadi between Ottomans and British started
1975 Iranian premier visited Baghdad and laid out steps to implement Algiers
1979 Iraq hosted anti-Sadat meeting to oppose new Egypt-Israel peace treaty
1984 US Special Envoy Rumsfeld arrived in Iraq for 2nd time Rumsfeld presented
            secret proposal for Israeli aid against Iran Iraq rejected offer
1985 Iraq threatened to spread war to all sections of Iran if it didn’t agree to a peace
1991 Fierce fighting between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga on Khanaqin-Jalawla road,
1991 Talabani returned to Iraq after 3 years during Kurdish revolt against Saddam
1991 White House meeting on Iraq revolts Was split over whether to help Iraqis or not
1991 Bush administration said they would not stop Iraq from using helicopters to
            put down uprisings
1991 Bush Natl Sec Adv Scowcorft secretly met Saudi King Fahd who told US to stay
            out of 1991 uprising
1996 Jordanian govt held party celebrating opening of Iraqi National Accord
new HQ in Amman
1996 PUK backed peace deal with KDP although talks had not worked out
1997 SecState Albright said Iraq not cooperating with inspections and US would not
            remove sanctions
2003 US forces began move on Kut, Wasit Surrounded Najaf
2003 US 173rd Airborne Brigade landed in northern Iraq to cooperate with Peshmerga
            move into Kirkuk
2003 Iraq claimed US missile hit market in Baghdad US Air strikes failed to take Iraq
            state TV off the air
2003 Bush and Blair met at Camp David to discuss Iraq invasion
2003 ORHA sent list of 16 sites that needed to be protected in Baghdad to US military HQ
            in Kuwait but was ignored
2003 Rumsfeld told Garner he had some replacements for Americans going to run Iraq
            ministries Wanted them all from Pentagon
2003 British intel report Hope that Iraqi govt would quickly fall within days of
            invasion fading
2008 Badr Brigade got into shootout in Diwaniya likely with Mahdi Army elements
2008 Curfews in Kut Hillah Nasiriya Samawa Diwaniya to stop Sadrist protests
2008 Fighting between ISFand Sadrists continued for 2nd day in Kut Mahdi Army seized
            7 neighborhoods
2008 Fighting between ISF and Mahdi Army in Hillah where Sadrists took 3 districts
2008 Fighting between ISF and Mahdi Army in Karbala
2008 Sadrists walked out of parliament over govt crackdown on movement
2008 US and Iraqi forces began moving into Sadr City as fight against Mahdi Army
            moved from Basra to Baghdad
2008 Fighting between Mahdi Army and ISF in north and east Baghdad
2008 Sadrists said they would call for a no confidence vote against Maliki
2008 Maliki gave gunmen 72 hours to turn in weapons in Basra
2008 Fighting resumed in 5 districts of Basra after short ceasefire
2008 Sadr said he would talk with Maliki if ISF left Basra
2010 Election results announced Iraqiya 91 seats State of Law 89 National Alliance 70
            Kurdish Alliance 43
2010 Pres Talabani and VP Mahdi went to Tehran to talk about national elections
2010 State of Law met with Sadr in Qom to try to win his support for 2nd Maliki
2010 State of Law protest in Amara called for recount in national elections
2010 Human Rights Min said it found 84 mass graves in Baghdad and Diyala all from
post-03 violence
2011 Maliki warned of sectarian conflict in Gulf after Saudi Arabia and UAE sent
            troops to Bahrain
2011 Peshmerga announced withdrawal from parts of Kirkuk after political protests
2012 KRG said it would stop oil exports if it didn’t get paid for what it had already
            shipped Claimed owed $1.5 bil by Baghdad
2012 Pres Talabani announced national conference to solve political differences over
            Maliki govt on Apr 5 Barzani and Allawi said they wouldn’t attend
2013 Cabinet said that it agreed to meet major demands of protesters dealing with
arrests, amnesty, etc Never did
2014 Sadr condemned militias in Diyala after several reports of them killing civilians
            and destroying property
2014 Mutahidun said militias had killed civilians in Buhriz and destroyed houses
            and mosques

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was interviewed in Iraq In Context on the 15 year anniversary of the Iraq invasion. I was  quoted by Paul Iddon for "Can majoritarian governance work in Iraq?" for Rudaw. I was cited in How Mass Atrocities End: Studies from Guatemala, Burundi, Indonesia, the Sudans, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Iraq by Bridget Conley-Zilkic and Limited Achievements: Obama's Foreign Policy by Z. Laidi.

Baghdad Paid Half Of KRG’s Salaries, Kurdistan Didn’t Contribute Leading To Protests

Protest in Sulaymaniya over salaries (Rudaw)

On March 18, Baghdad announced it would pay the salaries of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) public workers. It sent 317 billion dinars, $267 million to the KRG’s Finance Ministry. The Kurds responded that they needed 900 billion dinars to pay all their obligations, but 590 billion if it was to cover their employees with their pay cuts that were instituted in 2014 due to the region’s financial crisis. The central government covered 53% of that latter amount, and 35% of the full salaries. According to Iraqi officials this was by design with the Kurds responsible for the other half. Irbil has complained that Baghdad did not provide enough funds, and KRG civil servants have said they only got half their wages.

This Day In Iraqi History – Mar 25

1917 British forces defeated by Ottomans at Battle of Mount Hamrin, Diyala
1982 Iraq asked US to stop Israel from sending weapons to Iran US Said it had no
            say in matter
1982 Reagan admin officials warned that if Iran beat Iraq in Iran-Iraq War would
            endanger western interests
1985 US intel reports Iraq used chemical weapons in fighting in southern Iraq
1998 UN Res 1158 extended Oil For Food Program for another 90 days
2002 UK Foreign Sec Jack Straw told Blair no Iraq-Al Qaeda link and Iraq
            not more of a threat now than before 9/11
2002 Straw argued for following legal path against Iraq via U.N. resolutions
2002 CIA report said foreign govt told it Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2002 New Yorker article said Iraq supporting Al Qaeda via Kurdish Ansar al-Islam
2002 Kurds told New Yorker Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri met Saddam in 1992 Also that Iraq
            was sending WMD to Al Qaeda
2003 Information Minister Sahaf began giving press conferences claiming that U.S. was
            losing war
2003 Russian Amb to Iraq provided U.S. invasion plans to Baghdad including
            invasion routes
2003 UK and ISCI reported locals in Basra rose up against Saddam Fedayeen
2003 UK forces reported Iraqi army was firing mortars on civilians in Basra to put
            down anti-govt revolt
2003 British bombed Basra city
2003 British forces secured Um Qasr town in Basra
2003 British government confirmed its first two combat deaths in Iraq invasion
            killed in Basra province
2003 Heavy fighting between US forces and Fedayeen in Najaf during invasion
2003 US paratroops landed in Kurdistan and began working with Peshmerga
2003 US bombed Republican Guard positions south of Baghdad
2003 Retired generals in TV interviews began saying invasion wasn’t going well because
            didn’t have enough troops
2003 Report that Saddam was thinking of using chemical weapons when US forces
            attacked Baghdad
2003 NY Times facility found outside Najaf was not a chemical weapons site
2003 U.S. forces found chemical weapons gear in Nasiriya
2003 UK General recommended govt plan for its forces to stay in Iraq until March 2004
            for postwar operations
2004 UN proposed investigation into abuses of Oil for Food program
2005 State Dept told Congress wanted to reorganize rebuilding funds with more money
            for services and maintenance Didn’t think Iraq could sustain projects
2006 US Amb Khalizad told ISCI’s Hakim US opposed to Jaafari remaining as premier
Kurdish and Sunni parties were threatening boycott of govt if Jaafari remained in office
2006 Report on captured Iraqi docs said Iraq kept the image it had WMD because helped
            Iraq’s image in Arab world and deterred Israel
2006 Report on captured Iraqi docs Saddam told his top advisers there were no more
2006 Report on captured Iraqi docs Saddam thought France and Russia would stop war
            in UN If US did attack Iraq’s “warrior spirit” would be victorious
2006 Report on captured Iraqi docs Saddam thought internal revolt main threat to his
            regime not US invasion
2006 Report on captured Iraq docs Russian Amb gave Iraq detailed intel on US
            troops movements and invasion plans
2006 Report on captured Iraq docs Saddam thought Iraq winning when war almost over
            and wanted unconditional surrender by US led Coalition
2006 Report on captured Iraq docs Tape Powell played during Feb 03 UN speech
            was Republican Guard making sure area met UN inspections not hiding WMD
2007 4,500 tribesmen asked to join Ramadi police
2008 U.S. Seal team arrived in Basra to liaison with Iraqi forces during Charge of
            Knights op against Mahdi Army
2008 Curfew and vehicle ban imposed on Basra as part of Charge of Knights
2008 Mahdi Army seized 5 of 18 districts in Kut in fight against govt forces
2008 Fighting between ISF and Mahdi Army in Nasiriyah
2008 Mahdi Army kidnapped policemen belonging to Badr in Baghdad
2008 Sadrists protested in Samawa, Muthanna against Charge of Knights
2008 Sadr offices in Baghdad called for civil disobedience to protest Charge of Knights
            shut down 6 districts in capital
2008 Mahdi Army fired rockets at Green Zone
2008 Clashes between Mahdi Army and ISF in east Baghdad and between Mahdi
            Army and SIIC
2008 Fighting between Mahdi Army and police in Hillah
2008 Mahdi Army attacked Sistani and 2 Dawa office in Sadr City
2009 Iraqi embassy in Jordan announced program to register former soldiers who wanted
            to return to Iraq
2010 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq released US contractor it kidnapped Issa Salomi
2010 State of Law threatened lawsuit unless Election Commission made a recount
            of national vote
2010 State of Law members protested in Basra, Najaf, Karbala, Kut calling for recount
2011 ISF blocked all entrances to Tahrir Sq to try to block protests but happened
2011 Were protests in Baghdad, Najaf, Diwaniya, Kut and Hillah against corruption
            and lack of services
2011 Was 2nd protest in Tahrir Sq against reconciliation with former Baathists
2011 Prisoners in Rusafa Prison set up protest camp against poor conditions and
            sectarian warden
2012 VP Hashemi claimed ISF tortured one of his bodyguards to death during
2012 Pres Barzani said that Maliki was abusing his powers and not following Irbil
            agreement made after 2010 elections
2012 Pres Talabani called for reconciliation between Kurdish Alliance and Maliki
2012 Displacement Ministry said Europe was deporting Iraqi refugees and wanted that
            to stop
2012 Electricity Ministry said it would stop importing power in summer 2013 as
domestic production increased Didn’t happen
2013 Committee created to come up with laws to meet demands of protesters Never
2013 Turkey signed trade deal with KRG
2014 Militias held parade in Balad, Salahaddin which local officials tried to deny
2014 IS took over Nibai for one day and then left
2014 IS made call for declaring the caliphate as a trial balloon
2014 Transportation Ministry set up special flights to take ISF members from Mosul
            to homes in Baghdad to avoid attacks along highway
2014 Dozens of Sunni families fled Buhriz, Diyala after being attacked by militias
2015 Officials accused Diyala governor of stealing millions in aid meant for displaced
2015 Gorran presented 3 plans for renewing Pres Barzani’s term
2015 Fight in KRG parliament when KDP members attacked Gorran MPs over Pres
2015 Member of Salahaddin council accused Hashd of kidnapping 125 civilians
            from Dour
2015 US began air strikes on Tikrit Pro-Iran Hashd said they would not take part in op
to re-take city because of US involvement
2015 Hashd accused of blowing up houses and executing 4 civilians in Diyala
2015 2nd Diyala governor adviser killed blamed on Hashd

View the Iraq History Timelines

Saturday, March 24, 2018

PUK Maintains Status Quo Rather Than Deal With Divisions

On March 17, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan met to decide on its new leadership, something that had been put off for five months. Rather than resolve the deep internal divisions within the party it chose to maintain the status quo.

This Day in Iraqi History - Mar 24

1959 Gen Qasim withdrew Iraq from anti-Communist Baghdad Pact
1973 Saddam visited Moscow to push for stronger Iraq-Soviet cooperation
1986 UN condemned Iraq’s use of chemical weapons in Iran-Iraq War
1988 KDP base hit with poison gas in 2nd Anfal campaign Civilians rounded up and
            men executed by govt forces
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1991 Turkish Pres Ozal met Bush in US and told him an independent Kurdistan in Iraq
            would lead to greater Kurdistan affecting Turkey Syrian Iran
1992 Iraqi army began shelling Kifri as sporadic fighting with Peshmerga continued
1998 French Pres Chirac told PM Blair that sanctions were killing kids in Iraq
2002 Cheney on CNN’s Late Edition called Saddam an evil man that U.S. would deal
2003 US forces reached outside Karbala
2003 US B-52 bombers began attacks on Republican Guard positions south of
2003 British forces took Basra airport Heavy fighting with Fedayeen led British forces
to withdraw from Basra City
2003 British military told govt local Iraqi militias putting up tough fight in Basra
2003 Red Cross warned of humanitarian emergency in Basra city as water running out
2003 Dow Jones reported no WMD found at suspected facility in Najaf
2003 Iran decided to send in operatives and Badr Brigade to carry out ops against US
            in Iraq
2003 Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei and Pres Khatami recorded talking about sending
            forces to 5 Iraq cities to incite anti-US violence
2003 Arab League voted 21-1 demanding U.S. and UK forces withdraw from Iraq
2003 Putin called Bush and said there would be great suffering during war Bush said
            everything would be under control
2003 Tariq Aziz gave presser saying US was after Iraq’s oil
2004 Ex-White House counterterrorism chief Clarke told 9/11 Commission Iraq not
            behind 1993 World Trade Center bombing
2008 PM Maliki launched Charge of Knights against Mahdi Army in Basra He arrived in
            Basra to oversee operation
2009 Sahwa commander in Salahaddin said that Ansar al-Sunna and ISI had
            created new alliance
2010 Maliki announced new anti-corruption campaign
2011 Riot at Rusafa prison over overcrowding
2012 Baghdad and Irbil agreed to increased joint patrols in Diyala
2013 Naqshibandi sent group to Ramadi protest site to try to push it towards
            violence against govt
2014 After Burhiz, Kirkuk retaken from IS Hashd killed at least 2 civilians and
            burned homes
2016 Most ruling parties refused to send candidates for technocratic cabinet to Abadi
2016 Supreme Council suspended its ministers in govt
2016 Head of IS Military Council Anbari killed

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Security In Iraq, Mar 15-21, 2018

During the third week of March attacks remained within the yearly mean, but casualties were up due to a series of bold attacks by the Islamic State plus a Turkish incursion into northern Irbil against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). There are growing signs that the militants are rebuilding five months after they made the transition from a conventional armed force to a terrorist/insurgent group.

This Day In Iraqi History – Mar 23

1923 UK Iraq commission final report said British would not withdraw from Iraq
            Would lead to collapse of King Faisal and humiliation for British
1930 Nuri al-Said became PM, would hold office 8 times Went after opposition
            silenced press controlled parliament became favorite of British
(Musings On Iraq interview with Historian Phebe Marr comparing PM Said with PM Maliki)
1970 Communist leader in Baghdad Khadri found shot in street Baathists suspected
1974 Soviet Defense Minister Grechko arrived in Iraq to try to find compromise with
            Kurds Iran and US told Barzani not to make any deals
1975 Mustafa Barzani and around 100,000 KDP members left Iraq for Iran ending
            Kurdish revolt
1981 Iran said it would not accept ceasefire with Iraq as long as Saddam was in power
1985 Iran ended Op Badr failed attempt to attack Basra city Iraq 10-12,000 casualties
Iran 15,000
1988 PUK base in Sulaymaniya attacked in 2nd Anfal Campaign
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1991 Sadoun Hammadi, a Shiite became premier as Saddam tried to appease Shiites
            while putting down uprising after Gulf War
1997 Memo told Iraqi officials to hide material, documents, equipment from U.N.
            weapons inspectors
2002 Joint Chiefs did paper drill running through Iraq invasion plan
2003 British commandos took control of Um Qasr port while heaving fighting
            continues in the town in Basra
2003 US attacked Nasiriya Heavy fighting led 29 marines killed
2003 US B-52 bombers carried out raids on Baghdad Iraqi govt claimed 106 civilians
2003 British Tornado jet is accidently shot down by US patriot missile killing 2 crewmen
2003 US soldier Jessica Lynch taken prisoner by Iraqi forces during invasion when her
            supply convoy attacked
2003 32 Apache helicopters sent on raid to destroy Reb Guard units in Karbala Turned
            back by Iraqi fire
2003 US forces reached outside Najaf Claimed they found WMD facility Story proved
2003 CENTCOM commander Gen Franks said no doubt Iraq had WMD
2003 White House said no question Iraq had WMD and that they would be found
2003 Intel agents leaked to press they felt pressured by White House to come up with
            intel to justify Iraq war
2004 Fmr Def Sec Cohen said head of Al Qaeda Sudan chemical plant met with
            Iraq chemical weapons scientist in 90s
2006 Report on captured Iraq docs Russian amb gave detailed info to Iraq on US
            invasion force and plans
2006 Report on captured Iraq docs Confirmed Iraq and bin Laden met in Feb 1995
            to talk about cooperation Iraq agreed to air bin Laden’s anti-Saudi tapes
2007 US House of Reps voted to set deadline for US withdrawal by 8/31/08
2007 Iran captured 15 UK Marines in Basra and offered to trade them for release of
            Asaib Ahl Al-Haq leader Qais Khazali
2007 IS attempted assassination of Dep PM Zubaie
2008 Mahdi Army in Sadr City started firing rockets into Green Zone
2011 National Reconciliation Commission claimed 5 insurgent groups agreed to
            put down arms and join political process
2012 ISI broke 19 of its men out of Kirkuk prison
2015 Hashd looted and destroyed 8 houses in Sadiya, Diyala Adviser to Diyala
            governor killed blamed on Hashd

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 20 Ayatollah Khomeini endorsed ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War

  1920 Pro-Independence delegation of Iraqis met UK High Commissioner Wilson who invited 20 pro-British Iraqis Meeting w...