Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–2006

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Occupation zones in Iraq as of September 2003

The post-invasion period in Iraq followed the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a multinational coalition led by the United States, which overthrew the Ba'ath Party government of Saddam Hussein. This article covers the period starting May 1, 2003, after American president George W. Bush officially declared the end of major combat operations.

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[edit] Military occupation

A military occupation was established and run by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which later appointed and granted limited powers to an Iraq Interim Governing Council. Troops for the invasion came primarily from the United States, the United Kingdom and Poland, but twenty-nine other nations also provided some troops, and there were varying levels of assistance from Japan and other allied countries. Tens of thousands of private security personnel provided protection of infrastructure, facilities and personnel.

Coalition and allied Iraqi forces have been fighting a stronger-than-expected militant Iraqi insurgency, and the reconstruction of Iraq has been slow. In mid-2004, the direct rule of the CPA was ended and a new sovereign and independent Interim Government of Iraq assumed the full responsibility and authority of the state. The CPA and the Governing Council were disbanded on June 28, 2004, and a new transitional constitution came into effect. <ref>Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period, March 8, 2004.</ref> Sovereignty was transferred to a Governing Council Iraqi interim government led by Iyad Allawi as Iraq's first post-Saddam prime minister; this government was not allowed to make new laws without the approval of the CPA. The Iraqi Interim Government was replaced as a result of the elections which took place in January 2005. A period of negotiations by the elected Iraqi National Assembly followed, which culminated on April 6, 2005 with the selection of the leaders who currently head Iraq, among them Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and President Jalal Talabani. The Prime Minister al-Jaafari leads the majority party of the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA). The UIA is a coalition of the al-Dawa and SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) parties. Both parties are Tehran backed, and were banned by Saddam Hussein.

Jalal Talabani is the long time leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the two main Kurdish parties. The three main Kurdish provinces have extensive autonomy, with their own parliament. They have not experienced any considerable insurgency. Most Kurds welcomed the American invasion, and danced in the streets when Saddam was captured. Iraqi Kurdistan is experiencing an economic boom, with many expatriates returning home to take part in rebuilding the country that was devastated during the rule of Saddam Hussein.[citation needed]

[edit] Legal status of the coalition presence

The multinational forces still exercise considerable power in the country and, with the New Iraqi Army, conduct military operations against the Iraqi insurgency. The role of Iraqi government forces in providing security is increasing.

According to Article 42 of the Hague Convention, "[t]erritory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." <ref>Laws of War : Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907. The Avalon Project, Yale Law School</ref> The International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative states: "the wording of Security Council resolution 1546 . . . indicates that, regardless of how the situation is characterized, international humanitarian law will apply to it." <ref>Research Initiative Policy Brief (ed., concerning the application of international humanitarian law)</ref>

There may be situations... where the former occupier will maintain a military presence in the country, with the agreement of the legitimate government under a security arrangement (e.g., U.S. military presence in Japan and Germany). The legality of such agreement and the legitimacy of the national authorities signing it are subject to international recognition, whereby members of the international community re-establish diplomatic and political relations with the national government. In this context, it is in the interest of all the parties involved to maintain a clear regime of occupation until the conditions for stability and peace are created allowing the re-establishment of a legitimate national government. A post-occupation military presence can only be construed in the context of a viable, stable and peaceful situation. <ref>Template:Cite paper</ref>

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 in 2004 recognized the end of the occupation and the assumption of full responsibility and authority by a fully sovereign and independent Interim Government of Iraq. <ref>Iraq Resolution Endorses Plan for Transition, Elections. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546, June 8</ref> Afterwards, the UN and individual nations established diplomatic relations with the Interim Government and began planning for elections and the writing of a new constitution.

Despite the continuing insurgency, conditions were stable enough to conduct elections. John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, has indicated that the United States government would comply with a United Nations resolution declaring that coalition forces would have to leave if requested by the Iraqi government. "If that's the wish of the government of Iraq, we will comply with those wishes. But no, we haven't been approached on this issue — although obviously we stand prepared to engage the future government on any issue concerning our presence here." <ref>MacAskill, Ewen, Richard Norton-Taylor, and Rory McCarthy, "U.S. and UK look for early way out of Iraq". The Guardian, January 22, 2005</ref>

[edit] 2003

[edit] Fall of Saddam Hussein's regime

On May 1, 2003, President Bush declared the "end of major combat operations" in Iraq, while aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln with a large "Mission Accomplished" banner displayed behind him.

The weeks following the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime were portrayed by American media as generally a euphoric time among the Iraqi populace. New York Post correspondent Jonathan Foreman, reporting from Baghdad in May 2003, wrote that looting was less widespread than reported, and that "the intensity of the population's pro-American enthusiasm is astonishing". <ref>Foreman, Jonathan, "Bad Reporting in Baghdad". News Corporation, Weekly Standard, May 12, 2003, Volume 008, Issue 34. (Originally in May 12, 2002 issue: You have no idea how well things are going.)</ref> There were widespread reports of looting, though much of the looting was directed at former government buildings and other remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime. There were reports of looting of Iraq's archaeological treasures, mostly from the National Museum of Iraq; up to an alleged 170,000 items, worth billions of U.S. dollars <ref>"Looters ransack Baghdad museum - Thousands of valuable historical items from Baghdad's main museum have been taken or destroyed by looters. " BBC, April 12, 2003.</ref>: these reports were later revealed to be vastly exaggerated. <ref>Meier, Barry, "Aftereffects: Relics; Most Iraqi Treasures Are Said to Be Kept Safe". The New York Times, Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 20, Column 1, May 6, 2003.</ref> <ref>Bogdanos, Matthew, (Marine Col.) "Briefing on the Investigation of Antiquity Loss from the Baghdad Museum". United States Department of Defense, September 10, 2003.</ref> Cities, especially Baghdad, suffered through reductions in electricity, clean water and telephone service from pre-war levels, with shortages that continued through at least the next year. <ref>Baker, David R., "Bechtel nowhere near done; Reconstruction in Iraq going slowly -- airports patched up, but water, power way behind". San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, 2004.</ref>

[edit] Insurgency begins

In the summer of 2003, the U.S. military focused on hunting down the remaining leaders of the former regime, culminating in the killing of Saddam's sons Uday Hussein and Qusay Hussein on July 22. In all, over 200 top leaders of the former regime were killed or captured, as well as numerous lesser functionaries and military personnel. However, even as the Ba'ath party organization disintegrated, elements of the secret police and army began forming guerilla units, since in many cases they had simply gone home rather than openly fight the invading forces. These began to focus their attacks around Mosul, Tikrit and Fallujah. In the fall, these units and other elements who called themselves Jihadists began using ambush tactics, suicide bombings, and improvised explosive devices, targeting coalition forces and checkpoints. They favored attacking the unarmored Humvee vehicles, and in November they successfully attacked U.S. rotary aircraft with SAM-7 missiles bought on the global black market.

[edit] Saddam captured and elections requests

In December, Saddam himself was captured, and with the weather growing cooler, U.S. forces were able to operate in full armor or "battle rattle", which reduced their casualty figures. The provisional government began training a security force intended to defend critical infrastructure, and the U.S. promised over $20 billion in reconstruction money in the form of credit against Iraq's future oil revenues. At the same time, elements left out of the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance (IPA) began to agitate for elections. Most prominent among these was Ali al-Sistani, Grand Ayatollah in the Shia sect of Islam. The United States and the Coalition Provisional Authority it helped install opposed allowing democratic elections at this time, preferring instead to eventually hand-over power to an unelected group of Iraqis. <ref>Steele, Jonathan, "Why the US is Running Scared from Elections in Iraq". The Guardian, January 19, 2004.</ref> More insurgents, some evidently connected with international terrorist groups, and with conduits to neighboring Iran and Syria, stepped up their activities. The two most turbulent centers were the area around Fallujah and the poor Shia sections of cities from Baghdad to Basra in the south.

[edit] 2004

[edit] Spring uprisings

In the spring, the United States and the Coalition Provisional Authority decided to confront the rebels with a pair of assaults: one on Fallujah, the center of the "Mohammed's Army of Al-Ansar", and another on Najaf, home of an important mosque, which had become the focal point for the Mahdi Army and its activities. In Fallujah four private military contractors, working for Blackwater USA, were ambushed and killed, and their corpses desecrated. In retaliation a U.S. offensive was begun, but it was soon halted because of the protests by the Iraqi Governing Council and negative media coverage. A truce was negotiated that put a former Baathist general in complete charge of the town. The 1st Armored Division along with the 2nd ACR were then shifted south, because Spanish, Salvadorian, Italian, Ukrainian, and Polish forces were having increasing difficulties retaining control over Nasiriya, Al Kut and Najaf. The 1st Armored Division and 2nd ACR relieved the Spanish, Salvadorian, Poles and Italians, and put down the overt rebellion. At the same time, British forces in Basra were faced with increasing restiveness, and became more selective in the areas they patrolled. In all, April, May and early June represented the bloodiest months of fighting since the end of hostilities. The Iraqi troops who were left in charge of Fallujah after the truce began to disperse and the city fell back under insurgent control. In the April battle for Fallujah, U.S. troops killed about 600 insurgents and a number of civilians, while 40 Americans died and hundreds were wounded in a fierce battle. U.S. forces then turned their attention to the al Mahdi Army in Najaf.

[edit] Transfer of sovereignty

In June, the United States transferred limited sovereignty to a caretaker government, whose first act was to begin the trial of Saddam Hussein. The government began the process of moving towards elections, though the insurgency, and the lack of cohesion within the government itself, led to repeated delays.

Militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr used his grass-roots organization and Mahdi Militia of over a thousand armed men to take control of the streets of Baghdad. The CPA soon realized it had lost control and closed down his popular newspaper. This resulted in mass anti-American demonstrations. The CPA then attempted to arrest al-Sadr on murder charges. He defied the American military by taking refuge in the Holy City of Najaf. Through the months of July and August, a series of skirmishes in and around Najaf culminated with the Imman Ali Mosque itself under siege, only to have a peace deal brokered by al-Sistani in late August. <ref>Dominick, Brian, "U.S. Forces Bombard Holy Site After Al-Sadr Offers to Leave". The NewStandard, August 20, 2004.</ref> Al-Sadr then declared a national cease fire, and opened negotiations with the American and government forces. His militia was incorporated into the Iraqi security forces and al-Sadr is now a special envoy. This incident was the turning point in the failed American efforts to install Ahmed Chalabi as leader of the interim government. The CPA then put Iyad Allawi in power, ultimately he was only marginally more popular than the convicted felon Chalabi.

The Allawi government, with significant numbers of holdovers from the Coalition Provisional Authority, began to engage in attempts to secure control of the oil infrastructure, the source of Iraq's foreign currency, and control of the major cities of Iraq. The continuing insurgencies, poor state of the Iraqi Army, disorganized condition of police and security forces, as well as the lack of revenue hampered their efforts to assert control. In addition, both former Baathist elements and militant Shia groups engaged in sabotage, terrorism, open rebellion, and establishing their own security zones in all or part of a dozen cities. The Allawi government vowed to crush resistance, using U.S. troops, but at the same time negotiated with Muqtada al-Sadr.

[edit] Offensives and counteroffensives

Beginning November 8, American and Iraqi forces invaded the militant stronghold of Fallujah in Operation Phantom Fury, capturing or killing many insurgents and civilians. Many rebels were thought to have fled the city before the invasion. U.S.-backed figures put insurgency losses at over 2,000. Ruined homes across the city attested to a strategy of overwhelming force. It was the bloodiest single battle for the U.S. in the war, with 92 Americans dead and several hundred wounded. A video showing the killing of at least one unarmed and wounded man by an American serviceman surfaced, throwing renewed doubt and outrage at the efficiency of the U.S. occupation. <ref>Miklaszewski, Jim, "cleared in mosque shootings probe; Military concludes3 unarmed insurgents were slain in self-defense". NBC News, May 4, 2005.</ref> The Marine was later cleared of any wrongdoing because the Marines had been warned that the enemy would sometimes feign death and booby-trap bodies as a tactic to lure Marines to their deaths. November was the deadliest month of the occupation for coalition troops, surpassing April.

In December, 14 American soldiers were killed and over a hundred injured when an explosion struck an open-tent mess hall in Mosul, where President Bush had spent Thanksgiving with troops the year before. The explosion is believed to have come from a suicide bomber.

[edit] 2005

[edit] Iraqi elections and aftermath

On January 13, an election for a government to draft a permanent constitution took place. Although some violence and lack of widespread Sunni Arab participation marred the event, most of the eligible Kurd and Shia populace participated. On February 4, Paul Wolfowitz announced that 15,000 U.S. troops whose tours of duty had been extended in order to provide election security would be pulled out of Iraq by the next month. <ref>"U.S. to pull out 15,000 from Iraq; The U.S. is to withdraw about 15,000 troops from Iraq from next month, the deputy defence secretary has announced". BBC News, February 4, 2005.</ref>February, March and April proved to be relatively peaceful months compared to the carnage of November and January, with insurgent attacks averaging 30 a day from the average 70.

Hopes for a quick end to an insurgency and a withdrawal of U.S. troops were dashed at the advent of May, Iraq's bloodiest month since the invasion of U.S. forces in March and April 2003. Suicide bombers, believed to be mainly disheartened Iraqi Sunni Arabs, Syrians and Saudis, tore through Iraq. Their targets were often Shia gatherings or civilian concentrations mainly of Shias. As a result, over 700 Iraqi civilians died in that month, as well as 79 U.S. soldiers.

During early and mid-May, the U.S. also launched Operation Matador, an assault by around 1,000 Marines in the ungoverned region of western Iraq. Its goal was the closing of suspected insurgent supply routes of volunteers and material from Syria, and with the fight they received their assumption proved correct. Fighters armed with flak jackets (unseen in the insurgency by this time) and sporting sophisticated tactics met the Marines, eventually inflicting 30 U.S. casualties by the operation's end, and suffering 125 casualties themselves. The Marines succeeded, recapturing the whole region and even fighting insurgents all the way to the Syrian border, where they were forced to stop (Syrian residents living near the border heard the American bombs very clearly during the operation). The vast majority of these armed and trained insurgents quickly dispersed before the U.S. could bring the full force of its firepower on them, as it did in Fallujah.

[edit] Announcements and renewed fighting

On August 14, 2005 the Washington Post<ref>Wright, Robin, and Ellen Knickmeyer, "U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq; Administration Is Shedding 'Unreality' That Dominated Invasion, Official Says". Washington Post, August 14, 2005.</ref> quoted one anonymous U.S. senior official expressing that "the United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges... 'What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground'". On September 22, 2005, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said that he had warned the Bush administration in recent days that Iraq was hurtling toward disintegration, and that the election planned for December was unlikely to make any difference. <ref>MacAskill, Ewen, "Country is hurtling towards disintegration, Saudis warn". Guardian, September 24, 2005.</ref> U. S. officials immediately made statements rejecting this view <ref>Pleming, Sue, "U.S. rejects Saudi view Iraq near disintegration". Reuters, September 23, 2005.</ref>.

[edit] Constitutional ratification and elections

The National Assembly elected in January had drafted a new constitution to be ratified in a national referendum on October 15, 2005. For ratification, the constitution required a majority of national vote, and could be blocked by a two thirds "no" vote in each of at least three of the 18 governates. In the actual vote, 79% of the voters voted in favor, and there was a two thirds "no" vote in only two governates, both predominantly Sunni. The new Constitution of Iraq was ratified and took effect. Sunni turnout was substantially heavier than for the January elections, but insufficient to block ratification.

Elections for a new Iraqi National Assembly were held under the new constitution on December 15, 2005. This election used a proportional system, with approximately 25% of the seats required to be filled by women. After the election, a coalition government was formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, with Jalal Talibani as president.

[edit] 2006

The beginning of that year was marked by government creation talks and continuous anti-coalition and attacks on mainly Shia civilians.

[edit] Al-Askari shrine bombing and Sunni-Shia fighting

See Al Askari Mosque bombing

On February 22, 2006, at 6:55 a.m. local time (0355 UTC) two bombs were set off by five to seven men dressed as personnel of the Iraqi Special forces who entered the Al Askari Mosque during the morning. Explosions occurred at the mosque, effectively destroying its golden dome and severely damaging the mosque. Several men, one wearing a military uniform, had earlier entered the mosque, tied up the guards there and set explosives, resulting in the blast.

Shiites across Iraq expressed their anger by destroying Sunni mosques and killing dozens. Religious leaders of both sides called for calm amid fears this can erupt into a long-awaited Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq.

On March 2 the director of the Baghdad morgue fled Iraq explaining, "7,000 people have been killed by death squads in recent months."<ref>http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1721366,00.html</ref> The Boston Globe reported that around eight times the number of Iraqis killed by terrorist bombings during March 2006 were killed by sectarian death squads during the same period. A total of 1,313 were killed by sectarian militias while 173 were killed by suicide bombings.<ref>http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2006/04/02/iraq_militias_wave_of_death/</ref> The LA Times later reported that about 3,800 Iraqis were killed by sectarian violence in Baghdad alone during the first three months of 2006.<ref>http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-civilians7may07,0,1349034.story</ref> During April 2006, morgue numbers show that 1,091 Baghdad residents were killed by sectarian executions.<ref>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4756911.stm</ref>

Insurgencies, frequent terrorist attacks and sectarian violence lead to harsh criticism of US Iraq policy and fears of a failing state and civil war. The concerns were expressed by several US think tanks<ref>http://www.brookings.edu/fp/saban/analysis/20060215_iraqreport.htm</ref><ref>http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=17724&prog=zgp&proj=zme</ref><ref>http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=3980</ref><ref>http://www.boell.de/downloads/demokratiefoerderung/dobbins_americas_role.pdf</ref> as well as the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad.<ref>http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&hn=30700</ref>

In early 2006, a handful of high ranking retired generals begin to demand Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's resignation due in part to the aforementioned chaos that resulted from his management of the war.

[edit] British hand Muthanna province to Iraqis

On July 12, 2006, Iraq took full control of the Muthanna province, marking the first time since the invasion that a province had been handed from foreign troops to the Iraqi government. In a joint statement, the U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and the U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, hailed it as a milestone in Iraq's capability to govern and protect itself as a "sovereign nation" and said handovers in other provinces will take place as conditions are achieved. "With this first transition of security responsibility, Muthanna demonstrates the progress Iraq is making toward self- governance," the statement said, adding that "Multi-National Forces will stand ready to provide assistance if needed." At the ceremony marking the event, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated, "It is a great national day that will be registered in the history of Iraq. This step forward will bring happiness to all Iraqis."<ref name=happines>BBC News. "Iraq province power transferred", July 13, 2006.</ref><ref name=muthanna>Hamid Fadhil. "Iraq takes over province, clashes in Baghdad", Reuters, July 13, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Forward Operating Base Courage handed over to Nineveh province government

A former presidential compound of Saddam Hussein, dubbed Forward Operating Base Courage by Coalition forces, was handed over to the Nineveh province government on July 20, 2006. The main palace had been home to the 101st Airborne Division Division Main Command Post, Task Force Olympia CP, and the Task Force Freedom CP. The palace served as the last command post for the Multinational Force-Iraq–Northwest. U.S. soldiers had spent the summer restoring the palace for the eventual handover. Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Turner II, commanding general, Task Force Band of Brothers stated at a ceremony marking the occasion "The turnover of Forward Operating Base Courage is one of the larger efforts towards empowering the Iraqi people and represents an important step in achieving Iraqi self-reliance...The gains made during the past three years demonstrate that the provincial government, the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police are increasing their capabilities to take the lead for their nation’s security." Duraid Mohammed Da’ud Abbodi Kashmoula, the Nineveh province governor, stated after being handed the key to the palace "Now this palace will be used to benefit the Iraqi government and its people."<ref>Gravelle, Dennis, "Iraqi government takes over Mosul base". MNF-Iraq.com, July 21, 2006.</ref><ref>Campbell, L.C., "U.S. Troops Restore Base to Hand Back to Iraqis". defendamerica.mil, May 26, 2006.</ref>

[edit] British troops leave Camp Abu Naji

On August 24, 2006, Maj. Charlie Burbridge, a British military spokesman, said the last of 1,200 British troops left Camp Abu Naji, just outside Amarah in Iraq's southern Maysan province. Burbridge told Reuters that British troops leaving the base were preparing to head deep into the marshlands along the Iranian border, stating "We are repositioning our forces to focus on border areas and deal with reports of smuggling of weapons and improvised explosive devices from across the border." The base had been a target for frequent mortar and rocket barrages since being set up in 2003, but Burbridge dismissed suggestions the British had been forced out of Amara while acknowledging the attacks had been one reason for the decision to withdraw, the second being that a static base did not fit with the new operation. "Abu Naji was a bulls-eye in the middle of a dartboard. The attacks were a nuisance and were a contributing factor in our planning," to quit the base, he said, adding "By no longer presenting a static target, we reduce the ability of the militias to strike us..We understand the militias in Maysan province are using this as an example that we have been pushed out of Abu Naji, but that is not true. It was very rare for us to take casualties." Burbridge stated that Iraqi security forces would now be responsible for day-to-day security in Maysan but stressed that the British had not yet handed over complete control to them. Muqtada al-Sadr called the departure the first expulsion of U.S.-led coalition forces from an Iraqi urban center. A message from al-Sadr's office that played on car-mounted speakers throughout Amarah exclaimed "This is the first Iraqi city that has kicked out the occupier...We have to celebrate this occasion!" A crowd of as many as 5,000 people, including hundreds armed with AK-47 assault rifles, ransacked Camp Abu Naji immediately after the last British soldier had departed despite the presence of a 450-member Iraqi army brigade meant to guard the base. The looting, which lasted from about 10 a.m. to early evening, turned violent at about noon when individuals in the mob shot at the base. The Iraqi troops asked the province's governor for permission to return fire, a decision the British military highlighted as evidence of the security force's training. "It demonstrated that they understand the importance of civilian primacy, that the government -- and not the military -- is in charge," Burbridge said in a phone interview with the Washington Post. Injuries were reported on both sides, but no one was killed. Burbridge attributed the looting to economic factors rather than malice, stating "The people of Amarah -- many of whom are extremely poor -- saw what they believed to be a bit of an Aladdin's cave inside." Residents of Amarah, however, told the Post that antipathy toward the British was strong. "The looters stole everything -- even the bricks...They almost leveled the whole base to the ground," said Ahmed Mohammed Abdul Latief, 20, a student at Maysan University.<ref>Paley, Amit R., "British Leave Iraqi Base; Militia Supporters Jubilant". Washington Post, August 25, 2006.</ref><ref>Colvin, Ross, "British troops adopt WWII tactics". Reuters, August 24, 2006.</ref><ref> Paley, Amit R., "Looters Ransack Base After British Depart". Washington Post, August 26, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Situation in and around Baghdad

A US general says on August 28, 2006 violence has fallen in Baghdad by nearly a half since July, although he acknowledged a spike in bombings in the past 48 hours. "Insurgents and terrorists are hitting back in an attempt to offset the success of the Iraqi government and its security forces," Maj Gen William Caldwell told reporters. After meeting Iraqi Defence Minister Abdul-Qader Mohammed Jassim al-Mifarji, UK Defence Minister Des Browne said Iraq was moving forward. "Each time I come, I see more progress," he said.<ref>"http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5293278.stm Fierce battles in south Iraq city ]". BBC- News, August 28, 2006.</ref>

The American military command acknowledged in the week of October 16, 2006 that it was considering an overhaul of its latest security plan for Baghdad, where three months of intensive American-led sweeps had failed to curb violence by Sunni Arab-led insurgents and Shiite and Sunni militias.<ref>"http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/20/world/middleeast/21iraqcnd.html?ex=1318996800&en=a542d37a1dff56f9&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss Attack on Iraqi City Shows Militia’s Power ]". New York Times, October 20, 2006.</ref>

Numerous car and roadside bombs rocked the capital November 9, 2006 morning: In the Karrada district, a car bomb killed six and wounded 28 others. Another car bomb killed seven and wounded another 27 in the northern Qahira neighborhood. In South Baghdad, a mortar then a suicide car bomber killed seven and wounded 27 others near the Mishin bazaar. Near the college of Fine Arts in north-central Baghdad, a car bomb targeting an Iraqi patrol killed three and wounded six others. Two policemen were injured when they tried to dismantle a car bomb in the Zayouna district. A car bomb on Palestine Street in northeastern Baghdad meant for an Iraqi patrol killed one soldier but also wounded four civilians. Yet another car bomb in southern Baghdad wounded three people. And another car bomb near a passport services building in a northern neighborhood killed 2 people and wounded 7 others.

A roadside bomb in central Baghdad killed two and wounded 26 others. A police patrol was blasted by a roadside bomb near a petrol station; four were killed in the explosion. Another four people were wounded in the New Baghdad neighborhood by yet another roadside bomb. A bomb hidden in a sack exploded in Tayern square killing three and wounding 19. Another bomb in the Doura neighborhood killed one and wounded three. Mortars fell in Kadmiyah killing one woman and injuring eight people, and in Bayaladat where four were wounded.

Also in the capital, a group of laborers were kidnapped November 9, 2006 morning; five bodies were recovered later in the Doura neighborhood, but at least one other body was found in Baghdad November 9, 2006. Gunmen killed a police colonel and his driver in eastern Baghdad. And just outside of town, police arrested two people in a raid and discovered one corpse.<ref name=antiwar1>"http://www.antiwar.com/updates/?articleid=9986 "Thursday: 81 Iraqis Killed, 183 Injured]". antiwar.com, November 9, 2006.</ref>

November 10, 2006, Iraqi police recovered 18 bullet-riddled bodies in various neighborhoods around the capital. Police were unable to identify the bodies.

November 11, 2006, two bombs planted in an outdoor market in central Baghdad exploded around noon, killing six and wounded 32 people. A car bomb and a roadside bomb were detonated five minutes apart in the market, which is in an area close to Baghdad's main commercial center. The U.S. military said it has put up a $50,000 reward for anyone who helps find an American soldier kidnapped in Baghdad. The 42-year-old Army Reserve specialist, Ahmed K. Altaie, was abducted on October 23 when he left the Green Zone, the heavily fortified section where the United States maintains its headquarters, to visit his Iraqi wife and family.

A suicide bomber killed 25 Iraqis and wounded 45 November 12, 2006 morning outside the national police headquarters' recruitment center in western Baghdad, an emergency police official said. They were among dozens of men waiting to join the police force in the Qadessiya district when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt. In central Baghdad, a car bomb and roadside bomb killed four Iraqi civilians and wounded 10 near the Interior Ministry complex. And in the Karrada district of central Baghdad, one Iraqi was killed and five were wounded when a car bomb exploded near an outdoor market November 12, 2006 morning. Gunmen shot dead an Iraqi officer with the new Iraqi intelligence system as he was walking towards his parked car in the southwestern Baghdad neighborhood of Bayaa. Two civilians were killed and four more were wounded when a roadside bomb hit a car in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Zayuna.<ref name=cnn121106>"http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/11/12/iraq.main/index.html Suicide bomber attacks police recruitment center]". CNN, November 12, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Situation in other cities

November 9, 2006.<ref name=antiwar1>"http://www.antiwar.com/updates/?articleid=9986 Thursday: 81 Iraqis Killed, 183 Injured]". antiwar.com, November 9, 2006.</ref>

  • Suwayrah: Four bodies were recovered from the Tigris River. Three of them in police uniforms.
  • Amarah: A roadside bomb killed one and wounded three others in Amarah. Gunmen also shot dead a suspected former member of the Fedayeen paramilitary.
  • Muqdadiyah: Gunmen stormed a primary school and killed three: a guard, a policeman and a student.
  • Tal Afar: A roadside bomb in Tal Afar killed four, including a policeman, and wounded eight other people. Two policemen were killed and four civilians were injured when a rocket landed in a residential neighborhood.
  • Mosul: Six people were shot dead, including one policeman.
  • Latifiya: Four bodies, bound and gagged, were discovered.
  • Baqubah: Eight people were killed in different incidents.

November 11, 2006.<ref name=cnn121106>"http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/11/12/iraq.main/index.html Suicide bomber attacks police recruitment center]". CNN, November 12, 2006.</ref>

  • Latifiya: Gunmen killed a truck driver and kidnapped 11 Iraqis after stopping four vehicles at a fake checkpoint south of the capital. At the fake checkpoint in Latifiya, about 25 miles south of Baghdad, gunmen took the four vehicles -- three minibuses and a truck -- along with the kidnapped Iraqis. The Iraqis -- 11 men and three women -- were driving from Diwaniya to Baghdad for shopping when they were stopped. The gunmen left the three women and kidnapped the 11 men, the official said.
  • Baqubah: North of the capital near Baquba, a suicide car bomb explosion killed two people at the main gate of a police station in Zaghanya town.

[edit] Al-Qaeda

Iraq says it has arrested the country's second most senior figure in Al-Qaeda on September 3, 2006, "severely wounding" an organization the US military says is spreading sectarian violence that could bring civil war. The National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie summoned reporters to a hastily arranged news conference to announce that al Qaeda leader Hamid Juma Faris al-Suaidi had been seized some days ago. Hitherto little heard of, and also known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, Suaidi was captured hiding in a building with a group of followers. "Al Qaeda in Iraq is severely wounded," Rubaie said. He said Suaidi had been involved in ordering the bombing of the Shi'ite shrine in Samarra in February 2006 that unleashed the wave of tit-for-tat killings now threatening civil war. Iraqi officials blame al Qaeda for the attack. The group denies it. Rubaie did not give Suaidi's nationality. He said he had been tracked to the same area north of Baghdad where US forces killed al Qaeda's leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June 2006. "He was hiding in a building used by families. He wanted to use children and women as human shields," Rubaie said. Little is publicly known about Suaidi. Rubaie called him the deputy of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, a shadowy figure, probably Egyptian, who took over the Sunni Islamist group from Zarqawi.<ref name=tvnz>"Iraq captures al Qaeda deputy". One- News, September 4, 2006</ref>

The US military says al Qaeda is a "prime instigator" of the violence between Iraq's Sunni minority and Shi'ite majority but that U.S. and Iraqi operations have "severely disrupted" it.<ref name=tvnz>"Iraq captures al Qaeda deputy". One- News, September 4, 2006</ref>

See also: Al-Qaeda in Iraq

[edit] Security handover to Iraq's army

A Zogby poll in February 2006 determined that a majority of U.S. troops serving in Iraq think that the U.S. should exit the country within a year, i.e. before February 2007.<ref>http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075</ref> The poll found:

  • "An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately"
  • "89% of reserves and 82% of those in the National Guard said the U.S. should leave Iraq within a year, 58% of Marines think so."

Washington is anxious for Iraq's army to take over security and pave the way for a withdrawal of its 140,000 troops. But a handover ceremony on September 2, 2006 was postponed at the last minute, first to September 3, 2006 , then indefinitely, after a dispute emerged between the government and Washington over the wording of a document outlining their armies' new working relationship. "There are some disputes," an Iraqi government source said. "We want thorough control and the freedom to make decisions independently." US spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson played down any arguments and expected a signing soon: "It is embarrassing but it was decided it was better not to sign the document." Practically, US troops remain the dominant force. Their tanks entered the southern, Shi'ite city of Diwaniya on September 3, 2006 . The show of force came a week after Shi'ite militiamen killed 20 Iraqi troops in a battle that highlighted violent power struggles between rival Shi'ite factions in the oil-rich south.<ref>"Iraq captures al Qaeda deputy". One- News, September 4, 2006</ref>

[edit] Abu Ghraib

On September 2, 2006, the Abu Ghraib prison was formally handed over to Iraq's government. The formal transfer was conducted between Major General Jack Gardner, Commander of Task Force 134, and representatives of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice and the Iraqi army.<ref name=transfer>Associated Press. "Inmates transferred out of Abu Ghraib as coalition hands off control", September 3, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Iraqi government takes control of the 8th Iraqi Army Division

On September 7, 2006, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed a document taking control of Iraq's small naval and air forces and the 8th Iraqi Army Division, based in the south. At a ceremony marking the occasion, Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq stated "From today forward, the Iraqi military responsibilities will be increasingly conceived and led by Iraqis." Previously, the U.S.-led Multinational Forces in Iraq, commanded by Casey, gave orders to the Iraqi armed forces through a joint American-Iraqi headquarters and chain of command. Senior U.S. and coalition officers controlled army divisions but smaller units were commanded by Iraqi officers. After the handover, the chain of command flows directly from the prime minister in his role as Iraqi commander in chief, through his Defense Ministry to an Iraqi military headquarters. From there, the orders go to Iraqi units on the ground. The other nine Iraqi division remain under U.S. command, with authority gradually being transeferred. U.S. military officials said there was no specific timetable for the transition. U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said it would be up to al-Maliki to decide "how rapidly he wants to move along with assuming control...They can move as rapidly thereafter as they want. I know, conceptually, they've talked about perhaps two divisions a month." The 8th Division's commander, Brig. Gen. Othman al-Farhoud, told The Associated Press his forces still needed support from the U.S.-led coalition for things such as medical assistance, storage facilities and air support, stating "In my opinion, it will take time [before his division was completely self-sufficient.]"<ref name=milhandover>Associated Press. "Iraq assumes command of military today", September 7, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Anbar province reported as politically "lost" to U. S. and Iraqi government

On September 11, 2006, it transpired that Colonel Peter Devlin, chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq, had filed a secret report, described by those who have seen it as saying that the U.S. and the Iraqi government have been defeated politically in Anbar province. According to The Washington Post, an unnamed Defense Department source described Devlin as saying "there are no functioning Iraqi government institutions in Anbar, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has become the province's most significant political force." The Post said that Devlin is a very experienced intelligence officer whose report was being taken seriously.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>.

The next day, Major General Richard Zilmer, commander of the Marines in Iraq, stated: "We are winning this war... I have never heard any discussion about the war being lost before this weekend."<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] Iraq takes over security responsibility for southern Dhi Qar province

On September 21, 2006, Italian troops handed security control of the Dhi Qar province to Iraqi forces, making Dhi Qar the second of the country's 18 provinces to come under complete local control. At a ceremony in Nasiriyah marking the handover, Italian Defense Minister Arturo Parisi told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "The Italian contingent is going back. The mission is accomplished - the security of the province is in your hands." Italy has about 1,600 troops in the country, mostly in Nasiriyah, and that force is expected to be withdrawn by year’s end. Dhi Qar is populated mainly by Shiite Muslims and has not experienced the sectarian violence that has plagued other provinces of Iraq.<ref name=dhiqar>"Iraq takes over security responsibility for southern Dhi Qar province from Italian troops", Associated Press, September 21, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Participating nations

For more details on this topic, see Multinational force in Iraq.

As of September, 2006, there were 21 countries with military forces stationed in Iraq. These were Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, United Kingdom, and the United States. Fiji is also present but under the United Nations banner. <ref>"Iraq Coalition Troops; Non-U.S. Forces in Iraq". Global Security, August 16, 2005.</ref>

Well over 80% of the forces occupying Iraq are American. As of September 2006, there were an estimated 145,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.<ref>"U.S. Forces Order of Battle". Global Security, March 4, 2005.</ref> The next largest contingent is that of the United Kingdom, with just under 9,000 <ref>"Iraq Coalition Troops; Non-U.S. Forces in Iraq". Global Security, August 16, 2005.</ref>. There are also approximately 20,000 private security contractors of different nationalities under various employers.

[edit] Casualties

Summary of casualties of the 2003 invasion of Iraq edit

Possible estimates on the total number of people killed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq vary widely. All estimates of coalition casualties below are as of 2 December, 2006, and include both the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the following Post-invasion Iraq, 2003-2006. See also Casualties of the conflict in Iraq since 2003.

Iraqi Deaths

655,000 total excess deaths up to July 2006 - from the second (October 2006) Lancet survey of mortality. Total deaths (civilian and non-civilian) include all excess deaths due to increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poor healthcare, etc. [1]

49,021-54,397 civilian deaths up to 2 December, 2006 - as compiled from English-language media reports by the Iraq Body Count project (IBC). Civilian deaths due to insurgent/military action and increased criminal violence. [2]

100,000-150,000 - estimate by Iraq's Health Minister in November 2006, based on extrapolating the recent 2006 rate of 100 deaths per day recorded in hospitals and morgues backward to March 2003. War-related deaths (civilian and non-civilian), and deaths from criminal gangs. [3]

"At least 50,000 Iraqis have died violently" - as of June 2006. "Many more Iraqis are believed to have been killed but not counted because of serious lapses in recording deaths. ... The [Los Angeles] Times attempted to reach a comprehensive figure by obtaining statistics from the Baghdad morgue and the Health Ministry and checking those numbers against a sampling of local health departments for possible undercounts." [4]

U.S. armed forces 2,890 dead. 22,021 wounded in action, of which 9,947 were unable to return to duty within 72 hours. 6,570 non-hostile injuries and 17,995 diseases (both requiring medical air transport). [5] [6]
Armed forces of other coalition countries See Multinational force in Iraq

247 total. Breakdown: Australia 2. Bulgaria 13. Denmark 6. El Salvador 5. Estonia 2. Hungary 1. Italy 33. Kazakhstan 1. Latvia 1. Netherlands 2. Poland 18. Romania 2. Slovakia 4. Spain 11. Thailand 2. Ukraine 18. United Kingdom 126. [7] [8] [9]

Coalition deaths by hostile fire. 2,513 of the 3,137 coalition military deaths, including 2,328 of the 2,890 U.S. deaths. [10] [11]
Contractors. 647 total deaths of various nationalities as of September 30, 2006. "...from highly-trained former special forces soldiers to drivers, cooks, mechanics, plumbers, translators, electricians and laundry workers and other support personnel." Employees of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors. [12] [13]
Non-Iraqi civilians

Not counting contractors, at least 201 mostly non-Iraqi individuals have been killed since the 2003 invasion (86 journalists, 37 media support workers, and 78 aid workers). [14] [15] [16] [17]

References

[edit] Iraqi councils and authorities

On October 11, 2002, President Bush's senior adviser on the Middle East, Zalmay Khalilzad, released U.S. government plans to establish an American-led military administration in Iraq, as in post-war Germany and Japan, which could last for several years after the fall of Saddam. <ref>Borger, Julian, "U.S. plans military rule and occupation of Iraq; Saddam would be replaced by General Tommy Franks". The Guardian, October 12, 2002.</ref> In the run-up to the invasion, the U.S. promised a speedy transition to a democratic government, as well as the creation of an Iraqi constitution, and the active role of Iraqis in the establishment of an interim authority and new government. U.S. officials continue to emphasize that the invasion was not about long-term occupation, but about liberation.

In November 2003, Paul Bremer announced the plan to hand over limited sovereignty to the Iraqi governing council by June 30, 2004. A draft constitution was written and approved by the Iraqi Governing Council in March 2004. The United States has stated its plans to enter into what it calls a security agreement with the new Iraqi government and maintain military authority until a new Iraqi army is established. The Bush administration remained committed to this date despite the unstable security situation. The interim Iraqi government was named in May 2004, at which point the Iraqi Governing Council was dissolved, though there was heavy overlap between the two governing bodies.

The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, for administrative purposes, divided Iraq into four security zones (see map): a North zone in the Mosul - Kirkuk region, a Central zone in the Baghdad - Tikrit region, a Southern Central zone in the Karbala region and a South zone in the Basra region. The northern and central zones are garrisoned by U.S. troops, while the Southern Central zone is a garrisoned by a Multi-National Division under Polish command and the South zone is garrisoned by a Multi-National Division under British command. <ref>Map of Iraq and Caolition forces. BBC News (GIF format).</ref>

In the early months of the occupation, looting and vandalism slowed the restoration of basic services such as water, electricity, and sanitation. By Spring 2004, these services were mostly restored to pre-war levels. Ongoing work is continuing to provide sufficient sanitation. Uneven power distribution remained a problem through 2004, with the Baghdad area continuing to have periodic blackouts. <ref>"IRAQ:Electricity almost back to pre-war levels". United Nations, March 2, 2004.</ref> On July 28, 2005, Iraq's Electricity Minister announced that Iraq's electricity supply had risen to above pre-war levels. <ref>"Iraq electricity surpasses pre-war levels". Iraq Directory, July 28, 2005.</ref>

Allegations of human rights violations by the occupying forces have been embarrassing to the Bush administration and the British government. Some of the allegations have been investigated. Several U.S. and British officers have been charged with the abuse of prisoners, and as of the beginning of February 2005, seven American soldiers have been convicted in connection with abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Former Ba'ath Party members and military officers who have no criminal past or human rights abuses have been allowed to return to government positions. <ref>Wright, Robin, and Walter Pincus, "U.S., U.N. Seek New Leaders For Iraq Chalabi and Others Coalition Relied on May Be Left Out". Washington Post, April 24, 2004; Page A01.</ref>

[edit] Reconstruction

For the reconstruction, contracts were awarded to private companies. Initially companies from countries that had opposed the war were excluded from these contracts, but this decision was reversed due to protests. <ref>"Canada barred from Iraq contracts". Associated Press, December 9, 2003.</ref> Political activists and commentators allege that The Pentagon favoured companies like Halliburton, former employer of Vice President Dick Cheney, because they had connections to high-ranking members of the Bush administration <ref>"Halliburton won deal after auditor warns Pentagon saw 'systemic' problems with contracts". Financial Times, March 11, 2004.</ref> <ref>"Cheney may still have Halliburton ties Congressional report finds Vice President still has financial interest in his old company". CNN, September 25, 2003.</ref>. This suspicion had already been a concern during the global protests against the war on Iraq. An audit found that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) may have overcharged the U.S. government $ 61 million, on contracts worth billions, for bringing oil products for the U.S. army into Iraq via a Kuwaiti subcontractor, Altanmia Commercial Marketing Co. <ref>Jehl, Douglas, "Pentagon Finds Halliburton Overcharged on Iraq Contracts". NY Times, December 11, 2003.</ref>

Some also argue that foreign contractors are doing work which could be done by unemployed Iraqis, which might be a factor fueling resentment of the occupation. <ref>Kelley, Matt, "Bid rigging, fraud and damage common in Iraq". Associated Press, April 27, 2004.</ref> <ref>"Evidence Of Waste Of U.S. Taxpayers' Dollars In Iraq Contracts". Middle East Economic Survey, VOL. XLVI No 40, October 6, 2003 (ed., text of a letter sent by Representative Henry A Waxman (D-Calif) to Joshua Bolten, Director, Office of Management and Budget on September 26.)</ref><ref>Hedges, Micheal, and David Ivanavich, "Iraqis say contract bidding is rigged; U.S. lawmaker calls for inquiry]". Houston Chronicle, October 5, 2003.</ref> Further resentment could be inflamed with the news that almost USD9 billion dollars of Iraqi oil revenue is missing from a fund set up to reconstruct Iraq. <ref>"Iraq reconstruction funds missing; Almost $9bn (£4.7bn) of Iraqi oil revenue is missing from a fund set up to reconstruct the country". BBC News, January 30, 2005.</ref>

On August 14, 2005, a Washington Post story<ref>Wright, Robin, and Ellen Knickmeyer, "U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq; Administration Is Shedding 'Unreality' That Dominated Invasion, Official Says". Washington Post, August 14, 2005; A01.</ref> on the administration's effort to lower expectations, quoted Wayne White, former head of the State Department's Iraq intelligence team, as saying "The most thoroughly dashed expectation was the ability to build a robust self-sustaining economy. We're nowhere near that. State industries, electricity are all below what they were before we got there."

A report of the United States Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found widespread "fraud, incompetence and confusion" in the American occupation's handling of billions of dollars of Iraqi government money and American funds given for reconstruction (NY Times January 25, 2006<ref>http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/25/international/middleeast/25reconstruct.html?hp&ex=1138251600&en=0138ddaecd4566f6&ei=5094&partner=homepage</ref>). Inspector-general Stuart Bowen, Jr. noted that only 49 of 136 planned water- and sanitation-related projects will be completed.<ref>http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=bondsNews&storyID=URI:urn:newsml:reuters.com:20060127:MTFH70618_2006-01-27_00-21-24_N26152510:1</ref>

[edit] Civilian government

For more details on this topic, see Politics of Iraq.

The establishment of a new civilian government of Iraq was complicated by religious and political divisions between the majority Shi'ite population and the formerly ruling Sunni Arabs. Moreover, many of the people in Saddam's ruling Ba'ath Party were perceived as tainted by the association by some parties. In northern Iraq, Kurds had already had effectively autonomous rule for 12 years under the protection of the no-fly zone.

On May 16, 2003, U.S. officials abandoned the plan to cede authority to a democratically chosen interim civilian Iraqi government (similar to what had happened in Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan) and presented a resolution to the UN to give the United States and the United Kingdom broad power and to lift economic sanctions on Iraq, allowing the occupying countries authority to use oil resources to pay for rebuilding the country. Passage of the resolution allowed them to appoint an interim government by themselves.

On July 13, 2003, an Iraqi Governing Council was appointed by Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator L. Paul Bremer.

Image:Iraqcouncil.jpg
The Iraq Interim Governing Council.

[edit] United Nations resolutions

On May 22, 2003, the UN Security Council voted 14–0 to give the United States and Britain the power to govern Iraq and use its oil resources to rebuild the country. Resolution 1483 removed nearly 13 years of economic sanctions originally imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The resolution allows UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to appoint a special representative to work with U.S. and British administrators on reconstruction, humanitarian aid, and the creation of a new government.

The resolution also created the Development Fund for Iraq, which collected funds from oil sales. The fund was initially run by the United States and Britain to rebuild the country, and is overseen by a new advisory body composed of the United Nations and international financial institutions. In June 2004, the New York Times reported that American authorities spent $2.5 billion from Iraqi oil revenue despite agreements that the oil revenues should be set aside for use after the restoration of Iraq's sovereignty. <ref>Weisman, Steven R., "U.S. Is Quietly Spending $2.5 Billion From Iraqi Oil Revenue to Pay for Iraqi Projects". NY Times (Foreign Desk), June 21, 2004. (Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 8 , Column 1)</ref>

On August 14, 2003, the Security Council voted 14–0 to "welcome" the creation of the Iraqi Governing Council. Resolution 1500 stopped short of formally recognizing the governing council as Iraq's legitimate governing body but called it an "important step" towards creating a sovereign government.

[edit] Elections

For several months the United States maintained that it intended to convene a constitutional convention, composed of influential Iraqis. However, European demands for an early election and Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's insistence eventually forced the United States to let the appointed Governing Council serve this function.

In the early months of the occupation, new officials were appointed to several local and regional positions (e.g., mayors, governors, local councils). The officials were chosen from a select group of individuals (including ex-Ba'ath party officials) in an attempt to speed the return to normality and to avoid the election of people opposed to the American and British presence. Certain religious clerics and other officials were considered to be overly radical or dangerous. On occasion the appointed officials were found to behave less than admirably. On June 30, 2003, the appointed mayor of Najaf was arrested on charges of corruption.

By February 2004, democratic elections, under the supervision of the CPA, had already been held at the municipal and city level in some of the southern and northern provinces.<ref>Shadid, Anthony, "In Iraqi Towns, Electoral Experiment Finds Some Success". Washington Post, February 16, 2004.</ref>

On November 15, the Iraqi Governing Council announced that a transitional government would take over in June from the U.S.-led powers, and that an elected government would follow by the end of 2005 once a constitution had been drafted and ratified. The transitional government would be selected in June 2004 by a transitional council formed in May 2004.

The Governing Council revealed the timetable after the United States government, in reaction to terrorist and militant activity against occupying troops and aid organisations, abandoned its earlier plan that a sovereign government would take charge only after creating a constitution and elections held. Jalal Talabani, who was chairman of the council, said the transition would involve "the creation of a permanent constitution by an elected council, directly elected by the people, and also the election of a new government according to the articles of this new constitution before the end of 2005."

In March 2004, an interim constitution was created, called the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period. The document called for the creation of an elected National Assembly to take place no later than January 2005. The question of the election calendar became a matter of importance for Iraq and the U.S.: while a quick election would legitimise the Iraqi government and shed a favourable light on the U.S.-led occupation of the country, the prospect of violence delayed it. It was finally set for January 30, 2005. Though then-President Ghazi Al-Yaouar asked the United Nations to reconsider the electoral schedule several weeks before the election, the legislative election was held on time, creating the Iraqi National Assembly.

The elected assembly drafted a new constitution for Iraq, submitting it to the Iraqi people for review on August 28. On October 15, Iraqis voted to approve the new constitution. On December 15, the first legislative election under the new constitution was held.

[edit] Sovereignty for Iraq

Image:Iraq-sovereign.jpg
U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice gives confirmation of Iraqi sovereignty to U.S. President George W. Bush, who then wrote, “Let Freedom Reign!,” during the opening session of the NATO Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, June 28, 2004.
For more details on this topic, see Iraqi sovereignty.
For more details on this topic, see Politics of Iraq.

In a June 1, 2004, press conference, President Bush said that he was working with various world leaders to create a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the transition from the U.S.-dominated occupation to complete autonomy for Iraq. Under this resolution, Coalition forces would remain in Iraq until the new government could establish security and stabilization: "There is a deep desire by the Iraqis — don't get me wrong — to run their own affairs and to be in a position where they can handle their own security measures." On June 8, Security Council resolution 1546 was adopted unanimously, calling for "the end of the occupation and the assumption of full responsibility and authority by a fully sovereign and independent Interim Government of Iraq by June 30, 2004."

On June 28, 2004, the occupation was nominally ended by the CPA, which transferred limited power to a new Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. The multinational military alliance continued to assist the Allawi government in governing the Iraqis. The purpose of the Occupation of Iraq was, according to U.S. President George W. Bush, purely to bring about a transition from post-war anarchy to full Iraqi sovereignty.

A further milestone in sovereignty was achieved with the creation of a democratically-elected administration on April 6, 2005 including Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and President Jalal Talabani following the Iraqi elections of January 2005.

[edit] Iraqi insurgency

For more details on this topic, see Iraqi insurgency.

Despite the defeat of the old Iraqi army, irregular forces, both Iraqi and external, have conducted attacks against the Coalition and, more recently, the new Iraqi government. In the early months following the "end of major combat operations", insurgents conducted sniper attacks, suicide bombings at road checkpoints, and ambushes, resulting in about 30 multinational force personnel deaths per month.

Sometimes the attackers would say that they were motivated by revenge (e.g., an anti-coalition group claimed the four Iraqis that were allegedly shot at by British soldiers during a demonstration were unarmed and acting peacefully; six British soldiers were later killed by Iraqis). Several Iraqis, reportedly unarmed, were shot in anti-Alliance demonstrations, mostly in the nation's Sunni Arab areas. While Shi'a Muslim areas were mostly peaceful, Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, who returned to Iraq after decades in exile shortly after the occupation began, said: "We are not afraid of the British or American troops. This country wants to keep its sovereignty and the forces of the coalition must leave it." Coaltion forces denied the accusations of targeting unarmed civilians. They said they were fired upon and were returning fire.

The violent insurgency began shortly after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and increased during the occupation. Originally, the insurgents targeted the coalition force (a majority of whom are from the United States and the United Kingdom) and the interim government (eg., the Coalition Provisional Authority) formed under the occupation. The insurgency grew during the period between the invasion of Iraq and the establishment of a new Iraqi government.

[edit] Guerrilla war

In late June, 2003 there was some public debate in the U.S. as to whether the insurgency could be characterized as a guerrilla war. On June 17, Army Gen. John P. Abizaid said that forces in Iraq were "conducting what I would describe as a classical guerrilla-type campaign against us. It's low-intensity conflict in our doctrinal terms, but it's war however you describe it." In a statement to Congress on June 18, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said "There's a guerrilla war there but we can win it."

[edit] Sabotage

For more details on this topic, see Iraqi insurgency's sabotage.

Sabotage of oil pipelines and refineries have been a key tactic of the Iraqi insurgency. The United States had intended to quickly rebuild Iraqi infrastructure for production back to pre-war levels, but widespread sabotage slowed down the pace of reconstruction. The administration has set an oil-production goal of 5 million barrels per day, but the president's numbers show that production decreased slightly in 2005 over 2004 from 2.2 million gallons per day to 2.1 million gallons per day. The administration claims that oil production, however, is up from 2003, when oil was produced at 1.58 million barrels per day.

Iraqi analysts have argued that the administration's measures are misleading because the war began in 2003, which pushed production numbers lower than they normally would have been.

"They are way off of their original projections" for where oil production would be now, said Rick Barton, an expert on Iraqi reconstruction at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "It's basically gone nowhere in the entire time we've been there. Of course, they haven't been able to protect the pipelines. You just can't be rebuilding a country during an active war."

<ref>Simmons, Greg, "Dems Doubt Iraq Progress". Fox News, December 7, 2005.</ref>

[edit] Fallujah

For more details on this topic, see Fallujah.

The Fallujah offensive Operation Vigilant Resolve was launched on April 5 in response to the March 31 murder and mutilation of four of Blackwater's employees. Roads leading into and out of the city were closed. When the U.S. Marines tried to enter, fierce fighting erupted. Members of the Iraqi insurgency opened fire with heavy machine guns, rockets, and rocket-propelled grenades. The Marines answered by bringing in tanks and helicopters.

The ensuing firefight resulted in a large number of casualties. Dozens of Marines were killed and injured. Two hundred and seventy-one members of the non-coalition forces were killed and 793 injured, according to official counts for the period of April 5 through April 22. Conflicting reports leave it unclear how many of the dead and injured were rebel fighters or women and children. <ref>"Iraq: U.S. Marines Fight Insurgents in Fallujah". The Las Vegas Sun, April 7, 2004.</ref> <ref>"600 Iraqis killed in Falluja in one week". April 12, 2004 - 8:52AM.</ref> <ref>Scale of Falluja violence emerges". BBC, April 12, 2004.</ref> There were also reports of ambulances and aid convoys being used by the insurgents to smuggle weapons and fighters into the city. <ref>Navarro, Lourdes, "Rebels smuggle supplies into Iraqi city". Associated Press, April 12, 2004.</ref> Coalition officials said that the insurgents used mosques and schools as command posts and weapon-storage facilities. A suicide-bomb-vest factory was discovered by Marines. <ref>"Marines, insurgents wage furious battle for Fallujah". CNN.</ref>

After several failed attempts at ceasefires, the U.S. backed out of the city. A Marine commander stated "We don't want to turn Fallouja into Dresden". The U.S. handed authority of the city over to a former Iraqi general who had served under Saddam Hussein, and whose fighters the U.S. acknowledges may include former members of insurgency.

Afterwards, the city was referred to as "free rebel town"; banners in the city streets proclaimed victory over the United States, and some of its mosques praised the Iraqi insurgency. The general, Muhammed Latif, told Reuters, ""I want the American soldier to return to his camp. What I want more is that he returns to the United States." <ref>Chandrasekaran, Rajiv, Gamble Brings Old Uniforms Back Into Style". Washington Post Foreign Service, May 7, 2004; Page A01.</ref>

U.S. Marines encircled Fallujah with an earth wall, trying to control access to the city, allowing only women and children to leave the city. On June 19, 2004, twenty two Iraqis, among them women and children, were killed in a U.S. air strike on a residential neighborhood. <ref>"U.S. defends deadly air strike". CBC, June 19, 2004.</ref> Allawi condemned the rebellion and called upon the city to surrender Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the Tawhid-e-Jihad group who is alleged to be hiding in Fallujah, or face aerial bombing by the United States.

[edit] Muqtada al-Sadr

On April 4, 2004, coalition forces closed Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's newspaper al-Hawza, claiming that it contained incitements to violence. One example provided was that on February 26, an article claimed that a suicide bombing in Iskandariya that killed 53 people was a rocket fired by the Americans, and not a car bomb. In response, al-Sadr launched a day of protests. During these protests, members of the Iraqi insurgency (who may or may not have been tied to al-Sadr) ambushed a Coalition patrol guarding a trash collecting unit in Sadr-City resulting in the deaths of 8 soldiers. Several dozen of al-Sadr's followers were killed during these protests.

The coalition responded by arresting one of al-Sadr's closest aides, leading to al-Sadr calling on his followers to rise up. The next days fighting erupted in many cities in southern Iraq, including Karbala, Kut, Nassiriya and Basra. The CPA announced the existence of a three-month-old arrest warrant, issued by an Iraqi judge, on al-Sadr, claiming that he was responsible for the killing of Coalition-aligned cleric Abdul Majid al-Khoei. The warrant itself inspired further opposition, as Khoei's own followers blamed Baathists for the murder, the Coalition-appointed Iraqi Minister of Justice stated that he had no knowledge of the warrant, and the Iraqi Jurists Association declared the warrant "illegal". Al-Sadr, who had previously created his own parallel government and a militia called the al-Mahdi Army, instructed his followers to no longer follow along with the occupation, and suggested that they attack Coalition soldiers, and his followers took control of several southern cities, often with the support of local authorities and police.

During the first few days of the uprising al-Sadr stayed in Kufa, where he traditionally had a large following. On April 7 he moved to Najaf, into a building close to the shrine of the Imam Ali, the holiest shrine in the Shia faith. After fierce fighting during the first days of the uprising, his followers took control over many cities in southern Iraq. In Kut the Ukrainian occupational contingent was forced out of the city by a rain of mortar fiire. The Italians were contained inside their base in Nassiriya, and in Basra the governor's palace was occupied. In Karbala, Polish and Bulgarian forces were able to hold their own after a battle lasting the whole night. The Alliance reacted by dispensing a reactionary force on April 8 to Kut, forcing al-Sadr followers to melt away into the city's population. The same happened in most of the other cities and control was nominally ceded. Only Najaf and Kufa, which the Americans did not enter, remained effectively under the control of al-Sadr followers. The Coalition sent 2,500 U.S. Marines to Najaf to try to 'arrest or kill' al-Sadr.

Initially hopeful that al-Sistani would force al-Sadr to capitulate, the coalition was disappointed when, while he called for all sides to show restraint, he focused instead on condemning coalition activities in Fallujah. In mid-May 2004, a U.S. lead force began pushing into Najaf. In the process, they invaded several mosques to seize weaponry, and there were reports of damage to some of Shia Islam's holiest shrines. U.S. forces, using their superior fire power and air support, inflicted a steady stream of al-Mahdi army casualties; al-Sadr and hospital officials disputed the numbers, and both claimed that many of them were civilians. The al-Mahdi were only able to inflict few American casualties, but on May 17, it was reported that the Al-Madhi army drove Italian troops from their base in Nasiriyah <ref>The Sun Herald (of south Mississippi) story (from the Knight Ridder services) about the incident over the actions of the insurgents driving the Italian troops from their base in Nasiriyah called "Libeccio" ("southwest wind").</ref>. Ten Italians were wounded, along with 20 al-Mahdi army fighters wounded and two killed, in the assault. The base was peacefully retaken the next day in a negotiated settlement with local clan leaders.

While the Alliance continually insisted that he had little support, and there were limited clashes with the smaller SCIRI, he was seldom condemned by his more senior clerics. Islamic courts expanded their influence in areas he controlled. The Imam Ali mosque ended its call for prayers with a request for divine protection for him, and his followers were clearly large in number. <ref>"Once considered fringe al Sadr movement now leads anti-U.S. fight". Boston.com (The New York Times Company), 2005.</ref> Many believed that al-Sistani did not speak out against al-Sadr for fear of turning Shiite against Shiite. A poll found that, in mid-May 2004, 32% of Iraqis strongly supported al-Sadr, and another 36% somewhat supported him. <ref>Ryu, Alisha, "Poll: 32 Percent of Iraqi Respondents Strongly Support Moqtada al-Sadr". Voice of America News (via Veterans News and Information Service), May 24, 2004.</ref>

In Augsust 2004, al-Sadr attempted a second rebellion, and his al-Mahdi army again incited violence, especially in the Sadr city slum area of Baghdad, and in Najaf. U.S. forces responsded by pushing into the areas of Najaf controlled by al-Mahdi, sending the milita reeling. Supported by helicopter gunships, the U.S. military managed to kill several hundred al-Mahdi fighters, and further close in on the Iman Ali mosque, where al-Sadr had made his base. Brutal fighting raged between U.S. troops and al-Madhi militiamen in a cemetery outside the mosque. To avoid damaging the sacred mosque in a direct raid, a political solution was sought, and a deal was struck between al-Sistani and al-Sadr ended his rebellion. In September 2004, a program encouraged al-Madhi members in Sadr city to exchange their guns into authorities for a financial compensation, and the slum was almost fully pacified.

By August 2005, al-Sadr had adopted a more conciliatory tone, along with a much lower profile, saying "I call upon all the believers to save the blood of the Muslims and to return to their homes" after an outbreak of violence between some of his followers and those of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. <ref>"One-day extension for Iraq constitution; Shiites, Kurds again fail to reach consensus with Sunnis". CNN, August 25, 2005.</ref>

[edit] Hostages

In response to the occupation, militants have taken foreign and Iraqi hostages, including citizens of both countries that supported and opposed the invasion. This includes citizens of Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, India, Israel, Italy, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The hostage-taking appears to be uncoordinated, with different groups making various demands. Some hostages are released whilst others are killed, often by beheading. Several kidnappings have been claimed by the Tawhid and Jihad (The Unity of God and Holy War) Islamist group, which changed its name to "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" in October 2004. The group was ran by the Jordanian-born Palestinian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The hostages who have been beheaded by Zarqawi's group, and possibly by Zarqawi himself, include Americans Nick Berg, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, South Korean Kim Sun-il, Shosei Koda from Japan, and Kenneth Bigley from the UK. Italian Fabrizio Quattrocchi was shot in the head, possibly by another group, as was British aid worker Margaret Hassan. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 25 journalists have been kidnapped by armed groups in Iraq since April 2004, when insurgents began targeting foreigners for abduction.

On the evening of March 4, 2005, the car leading Giuliana Sgrena, freshly liberated, along with two agents of the Sismi, the Italian Military Intelligence service, was fired upon by U.S. troops. Nicola Calipari, who had negotiated the liberation of the other eight Italian hostages, was killed, while Sgrena and the other agent were wounded; see Rescue of Giuliana Sgrena.

[edit] Fall-out

As a result of the uprisings U.S. General John Abizaid in April 2004 requested an additional 10,000 troops be sent to Iraq after admitting that a number of Iraqi security personnel had abandoned their posts or joined the Iraqi insurgency. <ref>Hess, Pamela, (Pentagon correspondent) "DOD: Security forces disappoint in Iraq". News World Communications, 2004.</ref> On April 16, 2004, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that he had approved General Abizaid's request and had extended the tour of roughly 20,000 soldiers, who were scheduled to be rotated out of Iraq, by three months. A fresh mass grave was found near Ramadi, containing the bodies of over 350 Iraqis <ref>"Mass Grave of Dead Iraqi Insurgents and Civilians found". Real Cities. (ed., Originally from Knight Ridder News Coverage of Washington and the World).</ref>. It is unclear whether this mass grave contained dead civilians and/or militants.

[edit] Iraq Coalition members departures

For more details on this topic, see Multinational force in Iraq.

The following countries were members of the "Coalition of the Willing" and withdrew their troops subsequently:

[edit] U.S. military patrolling

During the "post-war" Iraq occupation, occupying forces have turned their attention to enforcing order through patrolling. These patrols faced insurgents who conduct ambushes using assault rifles, rocket proppelled grenades, and carefully placed and timed explosives. The patrols require armored vehicles capable of stopping at least small arms fire of 7.62 mm machine gun rounds along with mandatory external weapons platforms and tracking equipment. Experience is also key in detecting any potentially threatening, out of place car, box or person while following the rules of engagement that dictate a passive-but-ready posture. Patrolling soldiers spend nearly eight hours a day in sector and accrue nearly 30 patrols per month.

[edit] U.S. permanent facilities

In October 2004, Iraq's interim government transferred to U.S. ownership 104 acres of land beside the Tigris River in Baghdad for construction of a new U.S. embassy. The new facility will be the largest of its kind in the world, the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water. A few details of the embassy complex are available from a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report, though many of the details remain secret. Its construction is budgeted at $592 million.<ref>http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/3876208.html</ref>

Besides the embassy complex, four “super bases” are being built for permanent deployment. One would be adjacent to Baghdad, two would be close to the southern and northern oil fields and the fourth would be in the west towards Syria.<ref>http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/paulrogers/April06.htm</ref>

Sometimes, the term permanent facilities are also used to describe facilities with buildings as opposed to tents, or other make shift structures. Therefore, permanent does not always imply long term.

[edit] See also

  • Reconstruction of Iraq : the transitional period following the multinational forces invaded Iraq in March 2003.
  • 2003 invasion of Iraq : Comprised the multinational forces entry into Iraq by force and the combat between the old Iraqi army and the Coalition forces.
  • 2003 - 2004 occupation of Iraq timeline : Timeline of events during Multinational force's occupation of Iraq, following 2003 invasion of Iraq, and relevant quotations about nature of occupation from officials
  • 2005 in Iraq : Events in Iraq during the year 2005.
  • Invasion and occupation of Iraq casualties : the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the ensuing 2003 occupation of Iraq, and the continuing coalition presence there have come in many forms, and the accuracy of the information available on different types of casualties varies greatly.
  • Human rights situation in post-Saddam Iraq : Various parties expressed concern about the state of human rights in Iraq after the 2003 occupation of Iraq.
  • Iraqi insurgency : the armed campaign being waged by various irregular forces, both Iraqi and external in origin, against the multinational force and the new Iraqi government.
  • Hillbilly armor : a US military slang term coined during the occupation to refer to the improvised vehicle armor being used by some US troops.
  • Iraq and weapons of mass destruction : The Iraqi government's use, possession, and alleged intention of acquiring more types of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) during the reign of Saddam Hussein.
  • Criticism of the Iraq War : A list of common criticisms of the 2003 invasion and subsequent military occupation of Iraq.
  • United Nations actions regarding Iraq : Actions associated with the Gulf War in 1991 and UN Security Council Resolution 1441 in late 2002-2003 with at least 14 other resolutions and 30 statements between those two events.
  • Iraq disarmament crisis : Issue of Iraq's disarmament reached a crisis in 2002-2003, after demands of the complete end to Iraqi production and use of weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq comply with UN Resolutions requiring UN inspectors unfettered access to areas those inspectors thought might have weapons production facilities.
  • Iraq Survey Group : A fact-finding mission sent by the coalition after the 2003 Invasion of Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs developed by Iraq under the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
  • Deployment of Japanese troops to Iraq  : Japanese government's deployment of troops to Iraq.
  • Dover test : Informal test and a journalistic phrase to describe whether the general population is supporting a military action by the public reaction to returning war casualties.
  • Military rule : Military garrisons occupation of all or part of the territory of another nation or recognized belligerent during an invasion.
  • War on Terrorism (in U.S. foreign policy circles, the global war on terrorism or GWOT) is a campaign by the United States and some of its allies to rid the world of terrorist groups and to end state sponsorship of terrorism.
  • Archaeological looting in Iraq : Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, looters have descended upon many archaeological sites, and have begun destroying them and looting artifacts to an alarming degree.
  • Sectarian violence in Iraq : Events that could lead to an Iraqi civil war.
  • Iraq War order of battle : Current list of U.S. and allied military formations and units involved in Iraq.
  • Multinational force in Iraq : More generalised discussion of multinational forces in Iraq
  • Occupied Japan The post World War II U.S. occupation of Japan 1945 - 1952
  • Morgenthau Plan The post World War II U.S. occupation of part of Germany 1945 - 1955 (Germany was not fully sovereign until 1991)
  • History of Germany since 1945
  • Eisenhower and German POWs
  • GARIOA Government And Relief In Occupied Areas
  • IBN Sina Hospital, Baghdad Iraq

[edit] References

Military occupation
<references />
Legal status

2004.

  • Lyal S. Sunga, "Can International Humanitarian Law Play an Effective Role in Occupied Iraq?", 3 Indian Society of International Law Yearbook of International Humanitarian and Refugee Law (2003) 1-21.
Management of the Iraq Reconstruction Program
Other

[edit] External articles and further reading

et:2003. aasta Iraagi okupatsioon es:Ocupación de Iraq de 2003 fr:Guerre en Irak (2003-2005) pl:Okupacja Iraku (2003-2005) ro:Ocuparea Irakului din 2003-2004 sr:Oкупација Ирака 2003.-2005. zh:美军占领伊拉克

Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–2006

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