Saturday, February 24, 2018

Iraq Continues To Rank As One Of Most Corrupt Countries In World


Transparency International released its annual “Corruptions Perceptions Index” report for 2017, and Iraq was again near the bottom of the list. Iraq was ranked the 12th most corrupt country in the world. It received a score of 18 with 0 being the most corrupt and 100 being the least. Last year, Iraq was the 11th most corrupt country with a score of 17. For the last several years, Iraq has received a similar low figure with 16 from 2013-2015 and 18 in 2012. Previously, Transparency International used a 0-10 score and Iraq was continuously in the bottom 10 nations. Transparency International used 13 differences sources from 12 different institutions to score countries in 2017. A nation must be included in at least three references to be placed on the list.

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 24


1917 British retake Kut from Ottomans in 2nd Battle of Kut
1921 Churchill met with French who argued against Feisal being put in power in
            Mesopotamia because of his record in Syria against France
(Musings On Iraq article on Churchill’s views on Mesopotamia)
1955 Iraq signed security treaty with Turkey which England eventually joined Would
            become anti-Communist Baghdad Pact
1955 Iraq got control of Habaniya and Shaiba air bases from England UK would come
            to aid of Iraq in war and continue with military supplies under Baghdad Pact
1984 Iran ended Ops Dawn 5 and 6 attacking Basra after just 9 days with few gains
1984 Iranians started Op Khaibar attacking Hawizeh Marshes in Basra
1986 2nd Iraqi attempt to retake Fao from Iranians failed 10,000 Iraqis and
            30,000 Iranians killed
1986 Iran’s Wa al-Fajr 9 attacked Sulaymaniya to try to draw Iraqi forces away from
            Fao Peninsula Basra
1986 UN Resolution 582 deplored use of chemical weapons in Iran-Iraq War but
            didn’t say who was using them
1986 UN Resolution 582 also called for immediate cease-fire in Iran-Iraq War
1990 Saddam gave speech about liberating Jerusalem and warning US could take
            over Persian Gulf
1990 Saddam was trying to determine Israel’s policy towards Iraq before he decied
            to invade Kuwait
(Musings On Iraq article on Saddam’s motivation for threatening Israel before the Kuwait invasion)
1991 U.S. led Coalition attacked Iraqi ground forces to liberate Kuwait in Operation
            Desert Sabr
1991 US-Saudi Voice of Free Iraq began broadcasting calling on Iraqis to rise up and
            overthrow Saddam Allawi and Iraqi National Accord also part of radio station
1991 Saddam told aides that Coalition airpower would limit troop movement but
            Iraqi soldiers were better because of experience in Iran-Iraq War
1991 Saddam and aides believed that U.S. casualties would lead to end of Gulf War
2001 Powell said Iraq had not developed any significant WMD capability and UN
            sanctions worked
2002 CENTCOM intel staff completed first draft of intel estimate for Iraq invasion
2003 US UK Spain tabled 2nd draft resolution to UN saying Iraq had not taken
            opportunity to disarm 
2003 Russia France Germany tabled counter draft resolution at UN calling for step by
            step disarmament process in Iraq
2003 Turkish cabinet agreed to allow US forces to be deployed for Iraq invasion in
            return for $1 bil in aid
2003 Turkish Foreign Min asked US for $92 bil in aid and allowing Turkish troops into
            Kurdistan in return for US using Turkey for Iraq invasion
2003 CIA denied Newsweek story that Hussein Kamal claimed Iraq destroyed its
            WMD in 90s He did say that
2003 NSC meeting on Iraq oil sector Said US should not determine industry Went over
            rebuilding and getting sector back on line after war
2003 Bush told NSC important to get Iraqis to be seen running oil sector after war
2003 Bush worried about oil shocks due to invasion Saudis said they would handle prices
2003 US outlined general humanitarian relief plan for postwar Iraq including finances and
            implementation
2011 All universities and institutes in Irbil closed to stop student protests
2011 Kurdistan Students’ Union told students in Irbil had to end protests or all
            services at school would be closed to them
2011 Protests in Halabja turned violent as govt building burned and 3 died
2011 Kurdish protests spread to southern Kirkuk province
2014 ISIS released statement in Ninewa attacking Maliki and telling people not to vote in
            election
2016 Sources said Iran told Abadi he needed to keep Shiite quotas in any new govt

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Security In Iraq, Feb 15-21, 2018


The number of security incidents dropped slightly in Iraq during the third week of February 2018. That was due to a decline in violence in Diyala and Salahaddin. There were a high number of casualties however, which were caused by more mass graves with Islamic State victims being found.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 23


1946 Tawfiq Suwaidi became premier for 2nd time
1959 Communists called for march in Mosul to counter rumors of military revolt
            against Gen Qassim there
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1980 Start of major military operation against Kurds
1986 2nd Iraq counterattack to re-capture Fao Peninsula Failed
1986 KDP launched preparatory attacks in Sulaymaniya to support Iranian offensive
            starting next day in area
1988 1st Anfal Campaign targeted PUK HQ in Jafati Valley, Sulaymaniya
            Yakhsamar Sergalou Bergalou attacked
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1991 Iraq said it agreed to Soviet peace plan and would withdraw from Kuwait
            unconditionally
1991 UN Security Council met Western countries said they weren’t interested in Soviet
            peace plan
1991 Bush ordered Gen Schwarzkop to expel Iraq from Kuwait
1994 Saddam diverted Tigris into southern marshes to put down rebels there
1996 Hussein and Saddam Kamal killed by uncle Ali Hassan al-Majid and members of
tribe after talked into returning to Iraq
1998 UN negotiated Iraq working with UN inspectors again including unrestricted visits,
            but didn’t work
1998 Bin Laden issued fatwa against US sanctions on Iraq and calling for attacks
            against it
1999 State Dept denied that US was using UN inspectors to spy on Iraq but it was
2004 UN Rep Brahimi report said earliest Iraq could hold elections was late 2004-early
            2005
2006 Iraqi govt ordered curfew in Baghdad Salahaddin Diyala Babil after Samarra
            bombing
2006 US report Sadr changed order to kill all Sunnis in east Baghdad Were to be
            taken to Sadr City to be executed instead
2006 US report Iraqi army and police assisting Mahdi Army to kill Sunnis in east
            Baghdad
2006 Insurgents stopped vehicles in Baquba and executed 47 people who were heading
            to protest against Samarra bombing
2006 Sunnis withdrew from talks with United Iraqi Alliance over new govt saying
            authorities were not preventing revenge attacks after Samarra bombing
2006 Sec Gen of Iraqi National Dialogue Front Hayan said revenge attacks after Samarra
            bombing were how a civil war started
2006 Assoc of Muslim Scholars said 168 Sunni mosques attacked 10 imams killed
            15 abducted after Samarra bombing
2006 Interior Min said 18 Sunnis mosques in Baghdad attacked 1 imam killed 1 kidnapped
2006 Study Iran supported Mahdi Army and violence in Iraq while backing Shiite
            parties and Iraqi govt
2007 US Special Forces arrested Ammar Hakim on trip back from Tehran Was only
            released upon protest of Gen Petraeus
2008 Sadr said he failed because US still occupying Iraq and many of his followers
            had left his movement
2011 National Reconciliation Min announced that 5 insurgent groups had agreed
            to join politics
2016 Kurdish Alliance said they didn’t support Abadi’s reform program and wanted
            their quota of positions in his new cabinet

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Iraqi Army Supplied Pro-Iran Hashd With U.S. Abrams Tanks


In February 2018 the Pentagon’s Inspector General (IG) reported that pro-Iran Hashd groups had nine M1A1 Abrams tanks that were originally sold to the Iraqi army. The IG said that some of the tanks were taken by the Hashd from ISIS. During the end of 2017 a few of those tanks were returned to the Iraqi forces. According to a spokesman from the U.S. led Coalition that talked with The Daily Beast the Americans are working with Baghdad to ensure that all nine tanks are back in the army’s hands. The Daily Beast added that several of the nine Abrams were given to the Hashd by the same Iraqi military. That should have come as no surprise. The Abrams tank requires a huge supply chain. That includes 120mm smooth bore ammunition, technical teams to maintain the computer systems, etc. The Hashd do not have those capabilities unless they were supported by the Iraqi military. The Hashd had these tanks since at least 2015, and there was no way they could have kept them running unless the government forces were involved. The irony is that Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has had running feuds with these same pro-Tehran groups over his support of the U.S. and their role in the war against the Islamic State yet they still got some advanced tanks. Those same differences may mean that the Hashd are in no rush to give them back.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 22


1921 War Min Churchill wrote PM George that he thought an Arab govt should
            be created to run Mesopotamia for UK
(Musings On Iraq article on Churchill’s views on Mesopotamia)
1981 Iran rejected UN attempts to negotiate ceasefire as long as Iraqi troops were
            on Iranian territory
1984 Iraq’s attacks on Iranian cities stopped ending 1st War of the Cities
1988 Iraq renewed war of cities by firing missiles at Tehran Iraq wanted to provoke
            UN to get involved again with peace talks
1991 Iraq set Kuwait oil fields on fire
1991 Report Saudis tried to organize Iraqi exiles for post-Saddam Iraq
1998 Newsweek poll showed US support for military action against Iraq dropped from
            40 to 18%
1999 SCIRI UK Rep Bayati said overthrowing Saddam should be done by Iraqis without
            outside interference
2003 Bush administration officially announced it was deploying forces for invasion
            Actually started Dec 02
2003 Spanish Pres Aznar visited Bush Had group call with Blair and Italian Premier
            Berlusconi Decided on 2nd UN resolution on Iraq
2003 ORHA drill found US would not have enough troops for Iraq postwar security
2003 ORHA worried not enough funding for postwar Iraq that could leave behind
            unstable country
2003 ORHA found US had no plans for what kind of govt they wanted in Iraq and
            how to achieve it
2003 ORHA Dep Head thought US had faulty assumptions overly optimistic lacked
            reality on what postwar Iraq would be like
2005 Dawa’s Jaafari became UIA candidate for premier following Jan elections
2006 Zarqawi bombed Askari shrine in Samarra 25 Sunni mosques in Samarra 27
            in Baghdad attacked 3 imam killed 1 kidnapped
2006 US immediately got intel Zarqawi behind Askari shrine bombing Tunisian and
            4 Saudis from Al Qaeda in Iraq did bombing
2006 Tunisian Al Qaeda in Iraq bomber was arrested in June 2006 and explained
            attack
2006 US report Sadr gave orders to kill Wahabis in east Baghdad in retaliation for
            Samarra bombing Meant Sunnis
2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq blamed Baghdad and Shiite militias for Samarra bombing to
            incite attacks on Sunnis
2006 Other insurgent groups blamed Baghdad for Samarra bombing and claimed govt
            was allowing attacks upon Sunni mosques
2006 Sadr offices spread rumor that US military vehicles were seen around Samarra
            shrine before bombing to lay blame on US
2006 Iran blamed US for Samarra bombing
2006 Ayatollah Sistani called for 7 days of mourning peaceful protets and prohibited
            attacks upon Sunnis in wake of Samarra bombing
2006 SCIRI head Hakim blamed US for Samarra bombing claiming it gave aid to
            insurgents
2008 Sadr renewed his freeze on Mahdi Army
2011 Independent Nalya Radio and TV station was set afire in Sulaymaniya probably
            by KDP supporters
2015 Sadr called for followers to protests in Baghdad next Friday calling for reforms


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Short Or Long-Term Occupation Of Iraq


Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq said there were two ideas within the Bush administration on post-war Iraq plans. One scenario was that the U.S. would quickly turn over power to Iraqis like what happened in Afghanistan. The other plan was much longer and consisted of the U.S. ruling Iraq and eventually transitioning over to an Iraqi government. President Bush was initially for the first concept as he was against nation building, but then quickly switched over to the long-term plan when the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was created. That showed the president had no over-arching view of post-Saddam Iraq, and went with whatever his advisers at the time suggested.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 21


1922 UK Sec of War Evans told Foreign Office it should back King Faisal because
            that would allow UK to exit Iraq and escape expenses of running country
1984 Iraq warned that it could use chemical weapons against next Iranian offensive
1986 Iraq fired poison gas shells at Iranians in Fao Peninsula Bad weather dissipated
            effects
1991 Russia announced proposal for Iraq withdrawal from Kuwait in return
            for lifting of sanctions US rejected offer
1999 Govt killed 20 protesting assassination of Ayatollah Sadiq al-Sadr by Saddam
            and arrested 250 across Iraq
2002 Fmr Amb Joseph Wilson left for Niger to investigate Iraq buying uranium from it
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 ORHA staff met in DC to have run through their Iraq postwar plans
2003 Blair met Bush at Camp David to reaffirm their alliance to remove Saddam
2004 Report US did not brief UN inspectors on 21 of 105 WMD sites in Iraq US claimed
            it gave info on all sites
2004 UN Secretary General Annan said UN was ready to assist Iraq with elections but
            couldn’t happen before end of June 2004
2006 PBS Frontline show “The Insurgency” said Iraqi insurgency expanded and
            Islamists replaced former regime members as leaders
2008 Op Sun 800 Turkish troops entered Kurdistan to attack PKK
2011 Group of men attacked protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square while police looked on
2015 National Alliance MPs complained that Abadi didn’t consult with them about his
            reforms
2015 Sadrists said Abadi missed great chance to reform country Sadrists had been
            Abadi’s main supporters

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 20


1940 Gen Umari Mosul garrison commander attempted coup rather than be forced
            to resign by Regent Put down by Golden Square officers
1969 Bakr govt executed opponents in central Baghdad
1985 US and Soviet officials met to discuss ways to end Iran-Iraq War Nothing
            came of it
1991 US 1st Cav Div launched large attack into Iraq Engaged 7 Iraqi divisions
            to deceive Iraqis on where invasion would come from
1995 KDP and PUK resumed fighting in Rawandaz ending ceasefire
1996 Hussein Kamal and brother Saddam Kamal accepted pardon from Saddam
            and returned to Iraq Were later killed
1998 UN Sec Gen Annan met with Saddam to try to restart UN weapons inspections
1998 U.N. report said Iraq’s electricity situation was in dire straights
1998 UN Res 1153 increased Iraq’s exports from $2 bil in oil each 6 months to $5.2 bil
            and expanded imports from food and medicine to infrastructure needs
1999 Supreme Council accused govt of killing Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr
2002 Secret CIA team entered Kurdistan to prepare for ops inside Iraq called
            Northern Iraq Liaison Elements
2002 CIA gave fmr Amb Johseph Wilson talking points for his trip to Niger to
            investigate Iraq-Niger uranium deal
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2002 UK Joint Intel Comm chief Scarlett briefed For Sec Cook on Iraq’s WMD Cook
            thought Iraq didn’t have capability for large scale WMD attack
2003 Chief UN Inspector Blix told Blair intelligence he’d gotten wasn’t great and
            maybe Iraq didn’t have much WMD
2003 UN sources told press US intel on Iraq WMD was not turning up anything
2003 Report interviews with Iraqi scientists by inspectors had not turned up any evidence
            of a nuclear program
2012 Saudi Arabia named its Jordan Ambassador as non-resident ambassador to Iraq as
            relations were slowly improving
2013 Iraq signed deal to build natural gas pipeline from Iran across Iraq to Syria
2016 Abadi said financial crisis meant reforms needed Called for end of quota
            system in govt
2016 Sadr created committee to nominate technocrats for Abadi’s new cabinet

 View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, February 19, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 19


1949 PM Said said Jews had been mistreated in Iraq and warned that things
            could get worse for them due to Israel
1963 New Arif govt started talks with Mustafa Barzani and KDP to end Kurdish
rebellion
1986 US condemned Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against Iran in Fao Peninsula
            in Basra Iran-Iraq War
1987 NSC official said US attempted to assist Iraq in Iran-Iraq War without
            providing it with arms
1990 Saddam demanded that US warships leave the Persian Gulf
1991 US 1st Cav division launched probing attack into Iraq
1995 Saddam representatives met with bin Laden in Sudan who asked for
            broadcast of jihadist lectured and asked for joint ops against Saudis
1995 Iraq-bin Laden meeting confirmed in Iraqi intel report Only confirmed meeting
            between two sides
1996 Saddam’s son-in-law Hussein Kamal sent letter to Iraq asking about returning to
            country after defected to Jordan
1998 Blair said UN weapons inspections had to continue or action would be taken against
            Iraq
1998 Comm for Peace and Security in the Gulf publishes letter to Clinton saying US
            should overthrow Saddam
1998 Report Al Qaeda operative was to travel to Iraq to talk with govt False story
1999 Followers of Ayatollah Sadr met in Saddam City after his assassination by govt
Fired upon by army 80 killed Led to more protests
2002 CIA met with fmr Amb Joseph Wilson to ask if he would go to Niger to
            investigate alleged Iraq yellowcake deal  
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 ORHA head Garner briefed Natl Sec Adv Rice to use Iraqi army and police to
            help rebuilding Iraq after war
2004 UN endorsed CPA’s timetable for transferring power back to Iraqis in June 2004
2004 CPA had to abandon idea of unelected caucuses choosing interim govt to
            write new Iraq constitution
2011 Sulaymaniya protesters went to KDP headquarters to protest shooting of
            demonstrators on Feb 17
2017 Attack on West Mosul began by Iraqi forces

View the Iraq History Timelines