Coalition Provisional Authority
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The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) سلطة الائتلاف الموحدة was established as a transitional government following the invasion of Iraq by the United States, United Kingdom and the other members of the multinational coalition which was formed to oust the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Citing UN Security Council Resolution 1483 (2003), and the laws of war, the CPA vested itself with executive, legislative, and judicial authority over the Iraqi government from the period of the CPA's inception on April 21, 2003, until its dissolution on June 28, 2004.
 History of the CPA
The Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), established by the United States Government following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, was intended to act as a caretaker administration in Iraq until the creation of a democratically elected civilian government.
Retired United States Army Lieutenant General Jay Garner was appointed as the Director of ORHA in January of 2003. Upon the dissolution of ORHA and the creation of the CPA, he then became the first chief executive of the CPA. Due to his past military experiences in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and his reconstruction efforts in northern Iraq during Operation Provide Comfort, Garner's credentials and close ties to the U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made him an obvious choice for the job. His term, however, lasted only from April 21, 2003, until he was replaced abruptly less than a month later by L. Paul Bremer on May 11, 2003.
Garner's swift dismissal from his post by U.S. authorities came as a surprise to many within the CPA. In an interview with the BBC program Newsnight, Garner publicly stated that his preference was to put the Iraqi people in charge as soon as possible and to do it with some form of elections. Privately, there was intense pressure from the U.S. Government to begin a process of removing members of the Ba'ath Party from their positions within the Iraqi government and military. Garner's refusal to implement this "de-Ba'athification" of Iraqi society as a matter of public policy infuriated several senior members of the U.S. Government, and led directly to his dismissal.
Upon assuming his post in May 2003, L. Paul Bremer also assumed the title of U.S. Presidential Envoy and Administrator in Iraq, and was frequently called Ambassador by numerous media organizations and even by the White House itself. However, Mr. Bremer's Ambassadorial post was never confirmed by the U.S. Senate, his credentials were never formally presented to the Iraqi government, and there was no true U.S. diplomatic mission present in Iraq at that time. Both Garner and Bremer were frequently referred to as Proconsuls in the press, which was the title given to governors of foreign provinces in the Roman Empire.Department of Defense, and as Administrator, Bremer reported directly to the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Although troops from several of the coalition countries were present in Iraq at this time, the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) was the primary military apparatus charged with providing direct combat support to the CPA to enforce its authority during the occupation of Iraq.
While many of Saddam Hussein's ornate palaces were looted in the days immediately following the invasion, most of the physical structures themselves survived, relatively intact. It is in these numerous palaces situated throughout the country that the CPA chose to set up office in order to govern. Several of these palaces were retained by the U.S. Government even after the transition of power back to the Iraqi people.
The CPA was also responsible for administering the Development Fund for Iraq during the year following the invasion. This fund superseded the earlier UN oil-for-food program, and provided funding for: Iraq's wheat purchase program, the currency exchange program, the electricity and oil infrastructure programs, equipment for Iraq's security forces, Iraqi civil service salaries, and the operations of the various government ministries.July 22, 2003, the CPA formed the Iraqi Governing Council and appointed its members. The Council membership consisted largely of Iraqi expatriates who had previously fled the country during the rule of Saddam Hussein and also with many outspoken dissidents who had been persecuted by the former regime.
Though still subordinate to the CPA, the Iraqi Governing Council had several key responsibilities of its own. Its duties included appointing representatives to the United Nations, appointing interim ministers to Iraq's vacant cabinet positions, and drafting a temporary constitution known as the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), which would be used to govern Iraq until a permanent constitution could be written and approved by the general electorate.December 14, 2003, the CPA held a press conference at the Iraqi Forum convention center within Baghdad's Green Zone to announce that former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein had been taken into custody the previous night from a foxhole in a town near Saddam's home town of Tikrit, Iraq. Present at the announcement was Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez of the U.S. Army, Administrator Bremer, members of the British and American intelligence agencies, several members of the Iraqi Governing Council, and a large room full of journalists representing news organizations from around the world.
In order to defeat possible insurgent planning, the CPA transferred power to the newly appointed Iraqi Interim Government at 10:26 AM local time on June 28, 2004. The CPA thus disbanded, L. Paul Bremer left Iraq that same day.
 Member nations
The countries that contributed to the Coalition Provisional Authority:
- Image:Flag of Afghanistan.svg Afghanistan
- Image:Flag of Azerbaijan.svg Azerbaijan
- Image:Flag of Japan (bordered).svg Japan
- Image:Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Kazakhstan
- Image:Flag of South Korea (bordered).svg Republic of Korea
- Image:Flag of Mongolia.svg Mongolia
- Image:Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippines
- Image:Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Uzbekistan
- Image:Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
- Image:Flag of Albania.svg Albania
- Image:Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia
- Image:Flag of Bulgaria (bordered).svg Bulgaria
- Image:Flag of the Czech Republic (bordered).svg Czech Republic
- Image:Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
- Image:Flag of Estonia.svg Estonia
- Image:Flag of Georgia (bordered).svg Georgia
- Image:Flag of Hungary.svg Hungary
- Image:Flag of Italy.svg Italy
- Image:Flag of Latvia.svg Latvia
- Image:Flag of Lithuania.svg Lithuania
- Image:Flag of Macedonia.svg Republic of Macedonia
- Image:Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
- Image:Flag of Poland (bordered).svg Poland
- Image:Flag of Romania.svg Romania
- Image:Flag of Slovenia.svg Slovenia
- Image:Flag of Spain.svg Spain
- Image:Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
- Image:Flag of El Salvador.svg El Salvador
- Image:Flag of Nicaragua.svg Nicaragua
- Image:Flag of the United States.svg United States
 Structure of the CPA
The CPA was divided into three geographic regions. CPA North was headquartered in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, CPA Central was headquartered in Baghdad at Saddam's former Republican Palace, and CPA South was headquartered in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Each region operated semi-autonomously, and all three had the same common goals for reconstruction of the country. Throughout the existence of the CPA, the security situation and levels of civil unrest throughout the country varied by region, and these variances were reflected in the different levels of program successes within the CPA divisions.
 Non-government organizations and private charities and the CPA
 Role of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB)
United Nations resolution 1483 transferred the authority to authorize expenditures from Iraq's oil revenue from the United Nations to the Coalition Provisional Authority -- under certain conditions, including:
- The expenditures were made in an open, transparent manner.
- The expenditures were subject to the supervision of a blue ribbon panel of international financial experts, the IAMB.
- Spending decisions were to be made with meaningful Iraqi input.
The International Advisory and Monitoring Board consisted of senior financial experts from the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development.
The IAMB had serious concerns over the CPA's lack of transparency and lack of adequate financial controls, which were never resolved. The IAMB still exists and is playing a role in the investigations into the CPA's Financial management.
 The CPA's Program Review Board (PRB)
The Program Review Board was an eleven member board that consisted of ten staff members from the CPA and one member of the Iraqi Governing Council. The chair of the Board was also the CPA's Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Finance.
It was the Board's responsibility to review and make recommendations to the CPA Administrator on which contracts should be awarded. In order to ensure transparency, all of the key discussions regarding the pros and cons of the programs under consideration were to be made public. The CPA Administrator was only supposed to make decisions on the awarding of contracts after receiving a recommendation from this committee.
The Notes on Internal Control from KPMG's audit of DFI expenditures was particularly critical of PRB recording keeping failing to fulfill the CPA's transparency obligation. In particular:
- Meetings were held where attendance was not recorded.
- Meetings were held, where decisions were made, where quorum had not been met.
- The Program Review Board never recorded the motions to approve expenditures, who seconded motions, or which members were for or against those motions.
- In the 43 meetings held in 2003 the single Iraqi member of the board only attended two meetings.
- The minutes failed to contain sufficient detail for readers to understand why programs were approved.
- Program decisions that had been tabled, were later approved informally, outside the meetings, with no recording of the reasoning behind the decision.
- The chair of the Board refused to sign off certifying the accuracy of the Board's bookkeeping.
 Privatization of Iraq's economy
See Privatization for a more detailed discussion of arguments for and against privatization.
Prior to US occupation, Iraq had had a centrally planned economy. Among other things, it prohibited foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses, ran most large industries as state-owned enterprises, and imposed large tariffs to keep out foreign goods. The CPA issued many binding orders privatizing Iraq's economy and opening it up to foreign investment. CPA Order 39, entitled "Foreign Investment," provided that "A foreign investor shall be entitled to make foreign investments in Iraq on terms no less favorable than those applicable to an Iraqi investor," and that "[t]he amount of foreign participation in newly formed or existing business entities in Iraq shall not be limited...." Additionally, the foreign investor "shall be authorized to...transfer abroad without delay all funds associated with its foreign investment, including shares or profits and dividends..."
By this order, critics assert that the CPA drastically altered Iraq's economy, allowing virtually unlimited and unrestricted foreign investment and placing no limitations on the expatriation of profit. However, these policies accord with current international standards on foreign direct investment which most of the developed world adheres to  . The order concluded, "Where an international agreement to which Iraq is a party provides for more favorable terms with respect to foreign investors undertaking investment activities in Iraq, the more favorable terms under the international agreement shall apply."  According to critics, this order was designed to create as favorable an environment for foreign investors as possible, thereby allowing American and multinational corporations to dominate Iraq's economy. Critics further contend that the controversial policies are fundamentally anti-democratic in that it is not for the United States or any other country or coalition of countries to determine what trade laws Iraqis must live by, and that such rules can only be legitimate if passed initially by an elected Iraqi government free of foreign occupation and domination.  Other's argue that the rules merely bring Iraq's economic law into conformity with modern norms of international trade, that the CPA should not be under any obligation to run Iraq as a totalitarian state simply because that's what its laws were like before the occupationm, and that the previous government and its laws were not democratically legitimate since Saddam Hussein's government was not elected either.
CPA Order 17 granted all foreign contractors operating in Iraq immunity from "Iraqi legal process," effectively granting immunity from any kind of suit, civil or criminal, for actions the contractors engaged in within Iraq.  CPA Order 49 provided a tax cut for corporations operating within Iraq. It reduced the rate from a maximum of 40% to a maximum of 15% on income. Corporations working with the CPA were exempted from owing any tax.  CPA Order 12, amended by Order 54, suspended all tariffs, thus removing the advantage that domestic Iraqi producers had over foreign producers.  . However, a 5% "reconstruction levy" on all imported goods was later reimposed to help finance Iraqi-initiated reconstruction projects. 
CPA Order 57 provided for the appointment of "Inspectors General" to operate within each Iraqi government ministry, for the purposes of rooting out corruption. These Inspectors General were to be "appointed to a 5-year term by the Administrator [Paul Bremer]," and were given sweeping powers "to conduct investigations, audits, evaluations, inspections, and other reviews...."  Critics contend this is a mechanism for ensuring continuing American influence in Iraqi governance even after the transfer of all sovereignty to the country.
Critics of the CPA argue that these policies were not only rather blatant attempts to shape Iraq's economy in the interests of American (and other) investors and against the interests of Iraqis themselves, but also that they were illegal under international law, because an occupying power is prohibited from rewriting the laws of the occupied country.
Others reply that the privatization of Iraq's economy is necessary to help it rebuild after years of state mismanagement and centrally planned economics, and that market economics does not conflict with the interests of Iraqis or provide undo advantage to American or foreign investors versus Iraqi investors. In addition, if the changes to Iraq's economic laws were illegal, than so would be the Transitional Administrative Law, which serves as Iraq's constitution under the Transitional Government.
 Criticism of financial management
In May of 2003 the CPA took over the responsibility for administering the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI). Established from the earlier UN oil-for-food program, the CPA was authorized to manage the DFI, which took in approximately $20 billion in the year after the invasion. The CPA also administered 18.4 billion dollars which the U.S. Congress allocated for Iraqi reconstruction in November 2003, known as the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF).
By June of 2004, the CPA had spent, or allocated, 19.1 billion dollars of the DFI funds -- while spending only 400 million dollars from the IRRF. Critics suggest that Bremer selectively spent from the DFI because it was more free from accounting oversight by the GAO.
However, others contend that the IRRF was not intended to finance the Iraqi government ministries or the Public Distribution System (state food rations from the Oil-for-food program), as the DFI did. The $18.4 billion dollars authorized by the U.S. congress was intended to finance large reconstruction projects such as power and sewage plants, not to provide the day-to-day operating expenses of the Iraqi government. These projects were then in their planning and early site preparation stages so it is not surprising that little money had been disbursed at that point, or that much of the Development Fund for Iraq, which remains virtually the only source of revenue for the Iraqi government, had.
 Audits of the CPA's expenditures of Iraqi funds
- The funds were to be managed in an open, transparent fashion.
- The CPA was to submit to oversight from the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, a blue ribbon panel of senior international banking experts.
The IAMB tried to insist on certain financial controls, with limited success.
 Staffing policies
CPA chief Paul Bremer replied to criticisms of the CPA by pleading that he was burdened by an inexperienced staff, with a high turnover. However, critics of Ambassador Bremer would suggest that he bore the responsibility for setting the CPA's hiring practices, and those hiring practices give the appearance of being highly partisan. All staff were vetted for loyalty by Jim O'Beirne (husband of Kate O'Beirne). Candidates reported being asked about who they voted for for president, whether they believed in capital punishment, their religious background, and even their views on Roe v. Wade.
The PBS program "The Lost Year in Iraq" included this quote from a former counterinsurgency advisor at the CPA:
- The plans counterpart [handling planning for prisons and police], who I had to work with in the Ministry of Interior, was a 25-year old. It was his first job after college. So I asked him- I said, "That's pretty interesting. How big a plan cell do you have?" He said, "I have four guys." I said, "That's pretty small." He said, "Yes, but we're really tight because we're frat brothers."
- Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Joseph Yoswa said the CPA was satisfied with the quality of applicants. Some staffers may have been young and inexperienced, he said, but "we have people right out of college leading troops on the ground.
- Yoswa said the recruiting office had to hire quickly for the Madrid donors conference that fall and "turned to the Heritage Foundation, an educational facility, albeit a conservative one, but primarily a place where you can get good, solid people." He said this was a one-time event and that there was no organized effort to hire Republicans.
- In late October, he said, the Pentagon set up a job site on the Web. Eleven thousand people filled out an application and several hundred of them were hired. "Nowhere did we ask party affiliation," he said.
While the CPA staff did include some young and inexperienced staff, and some staff referred through the Heritage foundation, the vast majority of staff were highly experienced professionals and unassociated with the Heritage Foundation or any other political think tank.
 Simone Ledeen and Michael Fleischer
New York Time's Paul Krugman, who is also a professor of Economics and International Affairs has criticized the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) as turning Iraq into "a playground for right-wing economic theorists, an employment agency for friends and family, and a source of lucrative contracts for corporate donors". To prove his point, Paul Krugman mentioned in a June 29, 2004 article the appointments of Simone Ledeen and Michael Fleischer to CPA.
Professor Krugman wrote:
- If the occupiers often seemed oblivious to reality, one reason was that many jobs at the C.P.A. went to people whose qualifications seemed to lie mainly in their personal and political connections — people like Simone Ledeen, whose father, Michael Ledeen, a prominent neoconservative, told a forum that "the level of casualties is secondary" because "we are a warlike people" and "we love war". 
- In March, Michael Fleischer, a New Jersey businessman, took over. Yes, he's Ari Fleischer's brother. 
Washington Monthly also had a Special Baghdad edition in December 2003, criticizing the CPA:
- Simone Ledeen is serving her country. She is the daughter of Michael Ledeen, the Iran-Contra luminary, AEI scholar, and all-around capo in the neocon mafia. 
In response to Paul Krugman's criticism, former White House staffer Mona Charen defended Simone Ledeen's appointment:
- She had earlier lived and worked in Poland following the liberation from communism. She helped to transform what had been an underground Solidarity book publishing enterprise into a thriving, free market enterprise. 
See Reconstruction of Iraq for a more detailed discussion of Iraq reconstruction efforts.
Although the CPA awarded contracts for essential reconstruction to American firms, some critics claim those firms did relatively little work. Bechtel, for instance, was awarded the contract to repair the Iraqi sewage and drinking water plants. Yet today many Iraqis remain without safe drinking water or adequate supplies of electricity. Coalition military forces were too heavily tasked to provide requisite security for all contractors in Iraq. Contract funds therefore had to be partially shifted from reconstruction activities to meet security requirements that had not been envisioned when the contracts were initially let. Moreover, progress in reconstruction frequently faced setbacks due to insurgency activities designed to disrupt rebuilding of the infrastructure. This insurgent activity significantly slowed reconstruction and required adjustment of project goals due to funds consumed by providing necessary security in excess of that originally planned.
According to USAID, as of October 2003, peak electrical generation had reached pre-war levels of 4,500 MW, and they were then collaborating with Bechtel as well as the Iraqi Interior Ministry and others on some 2,000 MW of projected capacity. The CPA set a goal of 6,000 MW generation capacity for the summer of 2004, which has never been reached. Peak generation capacity of 5,365 MW was achieved in August 2004, six weeks after the transfer of sovereignty. Current generation stands at approximately 5,000 MW. Contracting work involving Bechtel projects is ongoing .
Weekly updates and financial summaries may be found at USAID's Iraq homepage: http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/
A recent update on Iraq's electricity sector may be found here: http://www.export.gov/iraq/pdf/electrical.pdf
 See also
- Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund
- Reconstruction of Iraq
- Civilian Administrator of Iraq
- Provisional Government
- Development Fund for Iraq
- Coalition Provisional Authority Program Review Board
- International Advisory and Monitoring Board
- KPMG audit of the Development Fund for Iraq
- Condoleezza Rice 
- Robert Stein Jr., CPA Regional Comptroller who has plead guilty to fraud
 External links
- , Official Web Page of the Coalition Provisional Authority
- Who's Who in the Coalition Provisional Authority, The Washington Monthly, December 2003.
- Coalition Provisional Authority :Archived site: News releases, mission statements, and budgets from the CPA (English and Arabic).
- USAID Assistance for Iraq Homepage See right column for weekly updates.
- Overview of CPA Orders Affecting Iraq's Commercial Law
- Coalition Provisional Authority - Development Fund for Iraq Introduction, June 3, 2003
- Iraq Project and Contracting Office Website
- Iraq's Economy Past, Present and Future
- Crossed Wires Deprived Iraqis of Electric Power: War Plans Ignored Worn Infrastructure, Washington Post, September 23, 2003
- Iraq - Transitional Administrative Law : English Translation of Iraq's Interim Constitution.
- Foreign Direct Investment Restrictions in OECD Countries Explanation of current common national practices regarding foreign direct investment and foreign ownership in OECD nations, including WTO regulations
- Fair and Equitable Treatment Standard in International Investment Law OECD, 2004
- U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq's Future (Wall St Journal on Iraq's looming "independence"), May 13, 2004
- In Iraq, the Job Opportunity of a Lifetime: Managing a $13 Billion Budget With No Experience Washington Post, May 22nd 2004
- Boston Globe article that recounts questionable fiscal management on the part of the CPA.
- U.S. Funds for Iraq Are Largely Unspent Washington Post, July 4th, 2004.
- A Historic Review of CPA Accomplishments Until June 30, 2006
- Video Seminar on Iraq Coalition Politics: April 20, 2005, sponsored by the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security at the University of Illinois.
- Rules and Cash Flew Out the Window LA Times, May 20, 2005
- Iraq too dependant on Oil Revenue - govt Reuters June 5, 2005
- Iraqis Look at Cuts in Payroll LA Times, June 6, 2005
- Bechtel Iraq Reconstruction Contracts Page
- Bechtel's Dry Run (.pdf) Independent rewiew of Bechtel water rehabilitation work.
- So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go?, The Guardian, July 7, 2005
- U.S. Using Cash as a Defensive Weapon, Washington Post, July 26, 2004
- U.S. Presidential Discussion of War on Terror and Upcoming Iraqi Election, December 12, 2005
- Chandrasekaran, Rajiv, Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq, Washington Post, September 17, 2006
|Presidency of Iraq|
April 9, 2003 – June 28, 2004
Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer