- Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–present
Infobox Military Conflict
campaign=Iraq War, Post-Invasion
caption=Occupation zones in Iraq as of September 2003
May 1, 2003– present
2003 invasion of Iraq
New Iraqi Army
commander1 = flagicon|Iraq
Contractors*~182,000 (118,000 Iraqi, 43,000 Other, 21,000 US [http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-na-private4jul04,0,5419234,full.story "Private contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Iraq"] . By T. Christian Miller. "
Los Angeles Times." July 4, 2007.] [http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,660198347,00.html "Contractor deaths add up in Iraq"] . By Michelle Roberts. " Deseret Morning News." Feb. 24, 2007.]
New Iraqi Army
~60,000 [cite news |last=Nasrawi |first=Salah |coauthors=Katherine Shrader |title=Saudis reportedly funding insurgents |publisher=Seattle Times |date=
2006-12-08|url= http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/iraq/2003467318_iraqsaudi08.html] [cite news |last=Ricks |first=Thomas E. |coauthors=Ann Scott Tyson |title=Intensified Combat on Streets Likely |publisher=Washington Post |date= 2007-01-11|url= http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/10/AR2007011002581_pf.html ] al Qaeda/others
1,300+ [Pincus, Walter. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/16/AR2006111601509.html "Violence in Iraq Called Increasingly Complex"] . "
Washington Post," November 17, 2006.]
casualties1= Iraqi Security Forces (post-Saddam, Coalition allies) Police/military killed: 10,020 (6,490 police and 3,530 Military) "See":
Casualties of the Iraq War
Coalition dead (3,937 US, 143 UK, 136 other): 4,216iCasualties.org (was lunaville.org). Benicia, California. Patricia Kneisler, "et al.", [http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx "Iraq Coalition Casualties"] .]
Coalition wounded (29,978 US, ~350 UK, 295 other): 29,411 [http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/ "Casualties in Iraq"] . ] [http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInIraqBritishCasualties.htm "Defence Internet Fact Sheets Operations in Iraq: British Casualties"] . UK Ministry of Defense.]
Contractors dead (US 242): 1,025 [cite web|url=http://www.peaceactionme.org/us-iraq-casualties-rise-57-274|title=www.peaceactionme.org/us-iraq-casualties-rise-57-274 ] [http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/04/reconstruction_.html "Reconstruction report: 916 death claims for civilian contractors in Iraq"] . "
USA Today" April 30, 2007.] [ [http://icasualties.org/oif/Civ.aspx "Iraq Coalition Casualties: Contractor Deaths - A Partial List"] . icasualties.org] [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5035874.html]
Contractors missing or captured (US 9): 17
Contractors wounded & injured: ~13,000 [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/05/us/05contractors.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin "Contractors Back From Iraq Suffer Trauma From Battle"] . By James Risen. "
New York Times." July 4, 2007.]
1,270 suicide bombers
total: 11,592 to 12,807+ listed on
a representative list of reports 19,000 Killed [ [http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2007-09-26-insurgents_N.htm 19,000 insurgents killed in Iraq since '03 - USATODAY.com ] ]
Detainees: 21,000 [cite web|url=http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/06/09/iraq.main/index.html|title=edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/06/09/iraq.main/index.html ] [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070721/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_coming_home "Iraq pullout would face many unknowns"] "Associated Press"]
casualties3=***Total deaths (all excess deaths) Johns Hopkins - As of June 2006: 654,965 (range of 392,979–942,636). 601,027 were violent deaths (31% attributed to Coalition, 24% to others, 46% unknown)PDFlink| [http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf "Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey"] |242 KiB . By Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, and Les Roberts. "
The Lancet," October 11, 2006] PDFlink| [http://web.mit.edu/CIS/pdf/Human_Cost_of_War.pdf The Human Cost of the War in Iraq: A Mortality Study, 2002-2006] |603 KiB . By Gilbert Burnham, Shannon Doocy, Elizabeth Dzeng, Riyadh Lafta, and Les Roberts. A supplement to the second Lancet study.]
War-related & criminal violence deaths (all Iraqis) Iraq Health Minister. Through early November 2006: 100,000-150,000 [http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2006/11/11/2003335773 "Iraqi death toll estimates go as high as 150,000"] . "
Taipei Times," November 11, 2006.] [http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/09/europe/EU_GEN_Austria_Iraqis_Killed.php "Iraqi health minister estimates as many as 150,000 Iraqis killed by insurgents"] . " International Herald Tribune." November 9, 2006.]
War-related & criminal violence deaths (civilians) Iraq Body Count - English language media only: 69,045-75,495 [ [http://www.iraqbodycount.org Iraq Body Count project] .]
notes= *Contractors (
U.S. government) perform "often highly dangerous duties almost identical to those performed by many U.S. troops."
**"injured" refers to those casualties reported as injured, diseased, or requiring medical air transport.
***Total deaths include all additional deaths due to increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poorer healthcare, etc.
For explanations of the wide variation in casualty estimates, see:
Casualties of the conflict in Iraq since 2003Campaignbox Iraq WarThe post-invasion period in Iraq, also known as the Occupation of Iraq, [cite news|title=Saudi King Condemns U.S. Occupation of Iraq |publisher=New York Times |date=March 2007 |url =http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/world/middleeast/29saudicnd.html?ex=1332820800&en=da8a156f30f093ea&ei=5124&partner=digg&exprod=digg] and the Liberation of Iraq [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/part1.html White House FAQ] ] followed the 2003 invasion of Iraqby a multinational coalition led by the United States, which overthrew the Ba'ath Party governmentof Saddam Hussein. This article covers the period starting May 1, 2003, after United States president George W. Bushofficially declared the end of major combat operations.
military occupationwas 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 Kingdomand 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 Iraqhas 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. [ [http://www.cpa-iraq.org/government/TAL.html Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period] , March 8, 2004.] Sovereignty was transferred to a Governing Council Iraqi interim governmentled by Iyad Allawias 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 Assemblyfollowed, which culminated on April 6, 2005with the selection of, among others, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafariand President Jalal Talabani. The Prime Minister al-Jaafari led the majority party of the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), 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.Fact|date=February 2007
Legal status of the coalition presence
The US dominated 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, "territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." [Laws of War: [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/hague04.htm Laws and Customs of War on Land] (Hague IV);
October 18, 1907. The Avalon Project, Yale Law School] The International Humanitarian LawResearch 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." [ [http://www.ihlresearch.org/iraq/feature.php?a=51 Research Initiative Policy Brief] ("ed"., concerning the application of international humanitarian law)]
: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. [cite paper | author=International Humaniatarian Law Initiative | title=Military Occupation of Iraq: Application of IHL and the Maintenance of Law and Order | date=
April 14, 2003| url=http://www.hiciraq.org/infocentre/general/files/IHL_and_Maintenance_of_law_and_order.pdf]
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 in 2004 looked forward to the end of the occupation and the assumption of full responsibility and
authorityby a fully sovereign and independent Interim Government of Iraq. [ [http://www.usembassy.it/file2004_06/alia/a4060913.htm Iraq Resolution Endorses Plan for Transition, Elections] . U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546, June 8] 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 deemed stable enough to conduct elections, despite the objections of the United States government but pursuant to the insistence of Grand Ayatollah Sistani. John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, has indicated that the United States government would comply with a
United Nationsresolution 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." [MacAskill, Ewen, Richard Norton-Taylor, and Rory McCarthy, " [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1396221,00.html U.S. and UK look for early way out of Iraq] ". The Guardian, January 22, 2005]
May 10, 2007, 144 Iraqi Parliamentary lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,271210,00.html Iraq Bill Demands U.S. Troop Withdraw] Associated Press, " Fox News", May 10, 2007] On June 3, 2007, the Iraqi Parliament voted 85 to 59 to require the Iraqi government to consult with Parliament before requesting additional extensions of the UN Security Council Mandate for Coalition operations in Iraq. [ [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1180960615762&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull Iraqi parliament wants say in extension of US-led forces] Associated Press, " The Jerusalem Post", June 5, 2007] The current UN mandate under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1790expires on December 31, 2008.
Fall of Saddam Hussein's regime
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 Postcorrespondent 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". [Foreman, Jonathan, " [http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/629xnqei.asp Bad Reporting in Baghdad] ". News Corporation, Weekly Standard, May 12, 2003, Volume 008, Issue 34. (Originally in May 12, 2002issue: You have no idea how well things are going.)] 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: [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2942449.stm 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.] these reports were later revealed to be vastly exaggerated. [Meier, Barry, "Aftereffects: Relics; [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40B11F73B580C758CDDAC0894DB404482 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.] [Bogdanos, Matthew, (Marine Col.) " [http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030910-0660.html Briefing on the Investigation of Antiquity Loss from the Baghdad Museum] ". United States Department of Defense, September 10, 2003.] 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. [Baker, David R., " [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/04/17/BUGAI66IF61.DTL Bechtel nowhere near done] ; Reconstruction in Iraq going slowly -- airports patched up, but water, power way behind". San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, 2004.]
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 Husseinand Qusay Husseinon July 22. [MacFarquhar, Neil (2003), Hussein's 2 Sons Dead in Shootout, U.S. Says, "The New York Times," July 23, 2003, p. A1: "United States troops surrounded the house today and killed the two men in a ferocious shootout...."] 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, Tikritand 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 Humveevehicles, and in November they successfully attacked U.S. rotary aircraft with SA-7missiles bought on the global black market. On August 19, the UN Headquarters in Baghdadwas destroyed in the Canal Hotel Bombing, killing at least 22 people, among them Sérgio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General.
addam captured and elections urged
In December, Saddam himself was captured. The provisional government began training a security force intended to defend critical infrastructure, and the U.S. promised over $20 billion in reconstruction aid in the form of credits 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 its Coalition Provisional Authority opposed allowing democratic elections at this time, preferring instead to eventually hand over power to an unelected group of Iraqis. [Steele, Jonathan, " [http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0119-08.htm Why the US is Running Scared from Elections in Iraq] ". The Guardian, January 19, 2004.] More insurgents 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.
In the spring, the United States and the
Coalition Provisional Authoritydecided 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 Armyand its activities. In Fallujah four private security 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, Salvadoran, 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 Spaniards, Salvadoran, 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 200 resistance fighters, 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.
Transfer of sovereignty
In June 2004, under the auspices of
United Nations Security CouncilResolution 1546 the Coalition 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.
Muqtada al-Sadrused 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. [Dominick, Brian, " [http://newstandardnews.net/content/?action=show_item&itemid=858 U.S. Forces Bombard Holy Site After Al-Sadr Offers to Leave] ". The NewStandard, August 20, 2004.] 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 Chalabias leader of the interim government. The CPA then put Iyad Allawiin 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.
Offensives and counteroffensives
November 8, American and Iraqi forces invaded the militant stronghold of Fallujah in Operation Phantom Fury, killing and capturing many insurgents. Many rebels were thought to have fled the city before the invasion. U.S.-backed figures put insurgency losses at over 2,000. 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. [Miklaszewski, Jim, " [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7738733/Marine cleared in mosque shootings probe; Military concludes3 unarmed insurgents were slain in self-defense] ". NBC News, May 4, 2005.] 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.
Another offensive was launched by insurgents during the month of November in
Mosul. U.S. forces backed by peshmerga fighters launched a counteroffensive which resulted in the Battle of Mosul (2004). The fighting in Mosul occurred concurrently with the fighting in Fallujah and attributed to the high number of American casualties taken that month.
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.
Iraqi elections and aftermath
January 30, 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 Wolfowitzannounced 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. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4235787.stm U.S. to pull out 15,000 from Iraq] ; The U.S. is to withdraw about 15,000 troops from Iraq fro next month, the deputy defence secretary has announced". BBC News, February 4, 2005.] 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.
Announcements and renewed fighting
August 14, 2005the Washington Post[Wright, Robin, and Ellen Knickmeyer, " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081300853_pf.html 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.] 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. [MacAskill, Ewen, [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1577352,00.html "Country is hurtling towards disintegration, Saudis warn] ". Guardian, September 24, 2005.] U. S. officials immediately made statements rejecting this view. [Pleming, Sue, " [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N23652957.htm U.S. rejects Saudi view Iraq near disintegration] ". Reuters, September 23, 2005.]
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 Iraqwas 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 Talabanias president.
The beginning of that year was marked by government creation talks and continuous anti-coalition and attacks on mainly Shia civilians.
Al-Askari shrine bombing and Sunni-Shia fighting
:See "Al Askari Mosque bombing"
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 Mosqueduring 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 the situation could erupt into a long-awaited Sunni-Shia "
civil war" in Iraq.
March 2the director of the Baghdad morgue fled Iraq explaining,"7,000 people have been killed by death squads in recent months." [cite web|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1721366,00.html/|title=Baghdad official who exposed executions flees] 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. [cite web|url=http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2006/04/02/iraq_militias_wave_of_death/|title=Iraqi militia's wave of death] The LA Timeslater reported that about 3,800 Iraqis were killed by sectarian violence in Baghdad alone during the first three months of 2006. During April 2006, morgue numbers show that 1,091 Baghdad residents were killed by sectarian executions. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4756911.stm/|title=Iraq head urges end to bloodshed]
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[cite web|url=http://www.brookings.edu/fp/saban/analysis/20060215_iraqreport.htm/|title=A Switch in Time: A New Strategy for America in Iraq] [cite web|url=http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=17724&prog=zgp&proj=zme/|title=Back From the Brink: A Strategy for Iraq] [cite web|url=http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=3980/|title=The Next Iraqi War? Sectarianism and Civil Conflict] [cite web|url=http://www.boell.de/downloads/demokratiefoerderung/dobbins_americas_role.pdf/|title=America's role in nation-building - from Germany to Iraq] as well as the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad. [cite web|url=http://www.zaman.com/?bl=international&alt=&hn=30700/|title=Khalilzad Admits US Unlocked Pandora's Box in Iraq]
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.
British hand Muthanna province to Iraqis
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."cite news | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5175478.stm | title=Iraq province power transferred | author=BBC News | date= July 13, 2006] cite news | url=http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/07/13/last_chance_for_peace_in_iraq_pm_says/?rss_id=Boston.com+%2F+News | title=Iraq takes over province, clashes in Baghdad | author=Hamid Fadhil | publisher=Reuters | date= July 13, 2006]
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 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." [Gravelle, Dennis, " [http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1071&Itemid=41 Iraqi government takes over Mosul base] ". MNF-Iraq.com, July 21, 2006.] [Campbell, L.C., " [http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/may2006/a052606ls1.html U.S. Troops Restore Base to Hand Back to Iraqis] ". defendamerica.mil, May 26, 2006.]
British troops leave Camp Abu Naji
August 24, 2006, Maj. Charlie Burbridge, a British military spokesman, said the last of 1,200 British troops left Camp Abu Naji, just outside Amarahin Iraq's southern Maysan province. Burbridge told Reutersthat 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-Sadrcalled 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. [Paley, Amit R., " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/24/AR2006082401917.html?nav=rss_nation/special British Leave Iraqi Base; Militia Supporters Jubilant] ". Washington Post, August 25, 2006.] [Colvin, Ross, " [http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=2006-08-24T124853Z_01_L24546480_RTRUKOC_0_UK-IRAQ-BRITAIN.xml&src=rss British troops adopt WWII tactics] ". Reuters, August 24, 2006.] [ Paley, Amit R., " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/25/AR2006082501315.html?nav=rss_nation/special Looters Ransack Base After British Depart] ". Washington Post, August 26, 2006.]
Situation in and around Baghdad
A US general says on
August 28, 2006violence has fallen in Baghdadby 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 Brownesaid Iraq was moving forward. "Each time I come, I see more progress", he said. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5293278.stm Fierce battles in south Iraq city] ". BBC- News, August 28, 2006.]
The American military command acknowledged in the week of
October 16, 2006that 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. [ [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.]
Numerous car and roadside bombs rocked the capital
November 9, 2006morning: 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, 2006morning; 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. [http://www.antiwar.com/updates/?articleid=9986/ Thursday: 81 Iraqis Killed, 183 Injured] at antiwar.com, November 9, 2006.] 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 23when he left the Green Zone, the heavily fortified section where the United Statesmaintains its headquarters, to visit his Iraqi wife and family.
A suicide bomber killed 25 Iraqis and wounded 45
November 12, 2006morning 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, 2006morning. 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. [http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/11/12/iraq.main/index.html Suicide bomber attacks police recruitment center] CNN, November 12, 2006.]
Violent incidents in other cities
November 9, 2006.
*Suwayrah: Four bodies were recovered from the
TigrisRiver. Three of them were 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."http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/11/12/iraq.main/index.html Suicide bomber attacks police recruitment center] ". CNN, November 12, 2006.]
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 convert|25|mi|km 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 Baghdadfor 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.
Although Saddam Hussein was accused of having links to Al-Qaeda members, only few Al-Qaeda members were found hiding in Iraq before the invasion, and all were of lower standings.
September 3, 2006, Iraq says it has arrested the country's second most senior figure in Al-Qaeda, "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-Zarqawiin 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." [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411416/825598 Iraq captures Al-Qaeda deputy] ". One- News, September 4, 2006]
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." [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411416/825598 Iraq captures al Qaeda deputy] ". One- News,
September 4, 2006] See also|Al-Qaeda in Iraq
ecurity 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. [cite web|url=http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075/|title=U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006] 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 claims to be eager 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, 2006was 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 Diwaniyaon 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.
September 2, 2006, the Abu Ghraib prisonwas 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.cite news | url=http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/09/03/inmates_transferred_out_of_abu_ghraib_as_coalition_hands_off_control/ | title=Inmates transferred out of Abu Ghraib as coalition hands off control | author=Associated Press | date= September 3, 2006]
Iraqi government takes control of the 8th Iraqi Army Division
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."cite news | url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-09-07-iraq-military_x.htm?csp=34 | title=Iraq assumes command of military today | author=Associated Press | date= September 7, 2006]
Anbar province reported as politically "lost" to U. S. and Iraqi government
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. [cite web|publisher=The Washington Post|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/10/AR2006091001204.html|date=2006-09-11|accessdate=2006-09-12|title=Situation Called Dire in West Iraq; Anbar Is Lost Politically, Marine Analyst Says. (Page A01) |author=Thomas E. Ricks; page A01]
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." [cite web|publisher=Reuters|author=Peter Graff|title=Marines deny losing Iraq's biggest province|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/12/AR2006091201188.html|date=2006-09-12|accessdate=2006-09-12]
Iraq takes over security responsibility in southern Dhi Qar province
September 21, 2006, Italian troops handed security control of the Dhi Qarprovince to Iraqi forces, making Dhi Qar the second of the country's 18 provinces to come under complete local control. At a ceremony in Nasiriyahmarking the handover, Italian Defense Minister Arturo Parisitold 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.cite news | url=http://news.bostonherald.com/international/view.bg?articleid=158592 | title= Iraq takes over security responsibility for southern Dhi Qar province from Italian troops | publisher=Associated Press | date= September 21, 2006]
Iraq takes over security responsibilities in Najaf province
December 20, 2006, U.S. forces handed over control of the southern province of Najaf to Iraqi security forces. Najaf is the third Iraqi province to be turned over to Iraqi forces, but the first such handover by U.S. troops. U.S. forces will remain on standby in case the security situation deteriorates. "If we don't handle the responsibility, history will destroy us", Iraq's national security adviser, Mouwafak al-Rubaie, said at a ceremony in a stadium in Najafcity, the provincial capital. "Transferring responsibility is an indication of the increased capacity of the Iraqi police and the Iraqi army", Maj. Gen. Kurt Cichowski said at the ceremony. [cite news | url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-12-20-najaf-handover_x.htm?csp=34 | title=U.S. transfers security of Najaf province to Iraqis | publisher=Associated Press | date=2006-12-20] [cite news | url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/20/AR2006122000099.html | title=U.S. Transfers Control Of Najaf Province to Iraqi Security Forces | publisher=Washington Post | author=Nancy Trejos and Saad Sarhan | date= December 21, 2006]
Iraqi forces begin process of arming with advanced US weapon systems
Iraq seeks 36
F-16’s, the most sophisticated weapons system Iraq has attempted to purchase so far. The Pentagon recently notified Congress that it had approved the sale of 24 American attack helicopters to Iraq, valued at as much as $2.4 billion. Including the helicopters, Iraq has announced plans this year to purchase at least $10 billion in U.S. tanks and armored vehicles, transport planes and other battlefield equipment and services. Over the summer, the Defense Department announced that the Iraqi government wanted to order more than 400 armored vehicles and other equipment worth up to $3 billion, and six C-130J transport planes, worth up to $1.5 billion. [ [ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122056503871901333.html.html Iraq Seeks F-16 Fighters] ]
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." [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_orbat_coalition.htm Iraq Coalition Troops; Non-U.S. Forces in Iraq] ". Global Security,
August 16, 2005.]
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. [" [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_orbat.htm U.S. Forces Order of Battle] ". Global Security,
March 4, 2005.] The next largest contingent is that of the United Kingdom, with just under 9,000. There are also approximately 20,000 private security contractors of different nationalities under various employers.
Iraqi councils and authorities
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. [Borger, Julian, " [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,810609,00.html U.S. plans military rule and occupation of Iraq] ; Saddam would be replaced by General Tommy Franks". The Guardian, October 12, 2002.] 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 Bremerannounced 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 Councilin 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 Councilwas dissolved, though there was heavy overlap between the two governing bodies.
Coalition Provisional Authority, for administrative purposes, divided Iraq into four security zones (see map): a North zone in the Mosul- Kirkukregion, a Central zone in the Baghdad- Tikritregion, a Southern Central zone in the Karbalaregion and a South zone in the Basraregion. 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. [ [http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39560000/gif/_39560495_iraq_troops6_416map.gifMap of Iraq and Caolition forces] . BBC News (GIF format).]
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. ["IRAQ: [http://www.cidi.org/humanitarian/hsr/iraq/ixl49.html Electricity almost back to pre-war levels] ". United Nations, March 2, 2004.] On July 28, 2005, Iraq's Electricity Minister announced that Iraq's electricity supply had risen to above pre-war levels. [" [http://www.iraqdirectory.com/files/articles/article623.htm Iraq electricity surpasses pre-war levels] ". Iraq Directory, July 28, 2005.]
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.
Ba'ath Partymembers and military officers who have no criminal past or human rights abuses have been allowed to return to government positions. [Wright, Robin, and Walter Pincus, " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37921-2004Apr23.html 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.]
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. [" [http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20031209.wpent1209/BNStory/National/ Canada barred from Iraq contracts] ". Associated Press,
December 9, 2003.] Political activists and commentators allege that The Pentagonfavoured companies like Halliburton, former employer of Vice President Dick Cheney, because they had connections to high-ranking members of the Bush administration. [" [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4508115/ Halliburton won deal after auditor warns Pentagon saw 'systemic' problems with contracts] ". Financial Times, March 11, 2004.] [" [http://money.cnn.com/2003/09/25/news/companies/cheney/index.htm Cheney may still have Halliburton ties] Congressional report finds Vice President still has financial interest in his old company". CNN, September 25, 2003.] 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. [Jehl, Douglas, " [http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/11/international/middleeast/11CND-PENT.html?ex=1083211200&en=a495a8aabe8e9000&ei=5070 Pentagon Finds Halliburton Overcharged on Iraq Contracts] ". NY Times, December 11, 2003.]
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. [Kelley, Matt, " [http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2004/04/27/news/world/421458792344630787256e830003f3bd.txt Bid rigging, fraud and damage common in Iraq] ". Associated Press,
April 27, 2004.] [" [http://www.mees.com/postedarticles/oped/a46n40d02.htm 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.)] [Hedges, Michael, and David Ivanavich, " [http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/special/iraq/2136626 Iraqis say contract bidding is rigged] ; U.S. lawmaker calls for inquiry] ". Houston Chronicle, October 5, 2003.] 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. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/file_on_4/4216853.stm 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.]
August 14, 2005, a Washington Post story [Wright, Robin, and Ellen Knickmeyer, " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081300853_pf.html 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.] 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). Inspector-general Stuart Bowen, Jr.noted that only 49 of 136 planned water- and sanitation-related projects will be completed.
In April 2007, the New York Times reported that U. S. federal oversight inspectors found that "in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting, and expensive equipment that lay idle. The United States has sometimes admitted ... that some of its reconstruction projects have been abandoned, delayed, or poorly constructed. But this is the first time inspectors have found that projects officially declared as successes—in some cases, as little as six months before the latest inspections—were no longer working properly." [Glanz, James (2007), "Inspectors Find Rebuilt Projects Crumbing in Iraq; Quick Deterioration Seen; Iraqis Share the Blame at Sites Where the U. S. Declared Success." "The New York Times," April 29, 2007, p. 1]
The establishment of a new civilian government of Iraq was complicated by religious and political divisions between the majority
Shi'itepopulation and the formerly ruling SunniArabs. Moreover, many of the people in Saddam's ruling Ba'ath Partywere 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.
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 Afghanistanfollowing 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.
July 13, 2003, an Iraqi Governing Council was appointed by Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator L. Paul Bremer.
United Nations resolutions
May 22, 2003, the UN Security Councilvoted 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 Annanto 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. [Weisman, Steven R., " [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/21/politics/21DIPL.html?pagewanted=print&position= 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)]
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.
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
AyatollahAli 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. [Shadid, Anthony, " [http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A44553-2004Feb15 In Iraqi Towns, Electoral Experiment Finds Some Success] ". Washington Post,
February 16, 2004.]
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
militantactivity 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 Assemblyto 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-Yaouarasked 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.
overeignty for Iraq
June 1, 2004, press conference, President Bush said that he was working with various world leaders to create a U.N. Security Councilresolution 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."
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 alliancecontinued 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, 2005including Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafariand President Jalal Talabanifollowing the Iraqi elections of January 2005.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1790, the mandate of the multinational force in Iraqwas extended until December 31, 2008, after which there is no justification for foreign militaries to remain in the country. On June 6, 2008, the "Independent" reported that the United States was applying pressure to the government of Iraq to sign a “strategic alliance” (not a “treaty”, which would require approval of the US senate), giving US forces broad freedom in continuing to operate in Iraq. [Patrick Cockburn: “ [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-issues-threat-to-iraqs-50bn-foreign-reserves-in-military-deal-841407.html?service=Print US issues threat to Iraq’s $50bn foreign reserves in military deal] ”, " The Independent", June 6, 2008.]
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 112 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." Coalition 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 Statesand 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.
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 Wolfowitzsaid "There's a guerrilla war there but we can win it."
:"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."Fact|date=February 2007 [Simmons, Greg, " [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177982,00.html Dems Doubt Iraq Progress] ". Fox News,
December 7, 2005.]
The Fallujah offensive
Operation Vigilant Resolvewas launched on April 5in response to the March 31murder and mutilation of four of Blackwater's employees. Roads leading into and out of the city were closed. When the U.S. Soldiers and Marines tried to enter, fierce fighting erupted. Members of the Iraqi insurgency opened fire with heavy machine guns, rockets, and rocket-propelled grenades. The Soldiers and 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 5through April 22. Conflicting reports leave it unclear how many of the dead and injured were rebel fighters or women and children. ["Iraq: U.S. Marines Fight Insurgents in Fallujah". The Las Vegas Sun, April 7, 2004.] [" [http://smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/12/1081621869099.html 600 Iraqis killed in Falluja in one week] ". April 12, 2004- 8:52 a.m.] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3619661.stm Scale of Falluja violence emerges] ". BBC, April 12, 2004.] There were also reports of ambulances and aid convoys being used by the insurgents to smuggle weapons and fighters into the city. [Navarro, Lourdes, " [http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2004/04/12/rebels_smuggle_supplies_into_iraqi_city/ Rebels smuggle supplies into Iraqi city] ". Associated Press, April 12, 2004.] 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. [" [http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/04/08/iraq.fallujah.ap/ Marines, insurgents wage furious battle for Fallujah] ". CNN.]
After several failed attempts at ceasefires, the U.S. backed out of the city. A Marine commander stated "We don't want to turn Fallujah 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." [Chandrasekaran, Rajiv, [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6897-2004May6.html Gamble Brings Old Uniforms Back Into Style] ". Washington Post Foreign Service, May 7, 2004; Page A01.]
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. [" [http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/06/19/iraq_fallujah040619 U.S. defends deadly air strike] ". CBC, June 19, 2004.] Allawi condemned the rebellion and called upon the city to surrender Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the Tawhid-e-Jihadgroup who is alleged to be hiding in Fallujah, or face aerial bombing by the United States.
April 4, 2004, coalition forces closed Shiitecleric 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 Iskandariyathat 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-Cityresulting 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, Nassiriyaand 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 7he 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 fire. 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 8to 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. [ [http://www.sunherald.com/mld/thesunherald/news/world/8684094.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp The Sun Herald (of south Mississippi) story] (from the Knight Ridderservices) about the incident over the actions of the insurgents driving the Italian troops from their base in Nasiriyah called "Libeccio" ("southwest wind").] 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 Alimosque ended its call for prayers with a request for divine protection for him, and his followers were clearly large in number. [" [http://www.boston.com/dailynews/137/world/Once_considered_fringe_al_SadrP.shtml Once considered fringe al Sadr movement now leads anti-U.S. fight] ". Boston.com (The New York Times Company), 2005.] 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. [Ryu, Alisha, "Poll: [http://www.vnis.com/story.cfm?textnewsid=999 32% of Iraqi Respondents Strongly Support Moqtada al-Sadr] ". Voice of America News (via Veterans News and Information Service), May 24, 2004.]
In August 2004, al-Sadr attempted a second rebellion, and his al-Mahdi army again incited violence, especially in the
Sadr cityslum area of Baghdad, and in Najaf. U.S. forces responded by pushing into the areas of Najaf controlled by al-Mahdi, sending the militia 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. [" [http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/08/25/iraq.main/ One-day extension for Iraq constitution] ; Shiites, Kurds again fail to reach consensus with Sunnis". CNN, August 25, 2005.]
After the fall of the Baath-regime,people with varying agendas 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, Ireland, 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, sometimes 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 Armstrongand Jack Hensley, South Korean Kim Sun-il, Shosei Kodafrom Japan, and Kenneth Bigleyfrom the UK. Italian Fabrizio Quattrocchiwas 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 journalistshave been kidnapped by armed groups in Iraq since April 2004, when insurgents began targeting foreigners for abduction.
While some hostagetaking seems to be politically motivated, a large number of hostages are taken by criminals as a means of obtaining cash. Iraqis presumed to have high incomes have esepcially been targeted.
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.
As a result of the uprisings U.S. General
John Abizaidin 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. [Hess, Pamela, (Pentagon correspondent) "DOD: [http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040412-053906-3504r.htm Security forces disappoint in Iraq] ". News World Communications, 2004.] On April 16, 2004, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeldannounced 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. [" [http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/8378962.htm Mass Grave of Dead Iraqi Insurgents and Civilians found] ". Real Cities. (ed., Originally from Knight Ridder News Coverage of Washington and the World).] It is unclear whether this mass grave contained dead civilians and/or militants.
Iraq Study Group Report
At a news conference with the British Prime Minister
Tony Blairin Washington on 6 December 2006, President George W. Bushcommented the Iraq Study Group's bipartisan report assessing the current situation of the US-led Iraq Warand making policy recommendations. President Bush admitted for the first time that a "new approach" is needed in Iraq, that the situation in Iraq is "bad there" and that the task ahead was "daunting". [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6217834.stm|title=Bush ponders next Iraq move] President Bush said he would not accept every recommendation by the ISG panel but promised that he would take the report seriously. President Bush is expected to wait for three other studies from the Pentagon, the US State Departmentand the National Security Council before charting the new course on Iraq. [cite web|url=http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/article2056247.ece|title=Cracks appear between Bush and Blair over need for talks with Iran and Syria]
Iraq Coalition members departures
The following countries were members of the "
Coalition of the Willing" and withdrew their troops subsequently:
Nicaraguawithdrew in February 2004, claiming that they were too poor to pay for their deployment.
Netherlandsreported that all Dutch military forces left Iraq by March 7, 2005. [" [http://www.government.nl/actueel/dossieroverzicht/42_18993.jsp Dutch military mission to Iraq] ". Netherlands Government Information Service, 2005.]
South Koreadid not withdraw troops, but on March 19, 2004canceled its plans to deploy an additional 3,600 troops to around Kirkuk; the troops were instead sent to Kurdistan. [" [http://times.hankooki.com/plaza/ap_news.php?cur_date=20040408&page=3 South Korea Considering Two New Sites in Iraq for Deployment] ". Hankooki.com.]
11 March 2004 Madrid train bombingsreinvigorated popular opposition to the occupation in Spain; the ruling Partido Popularwas accused of deceiving the public by blaming the attack on ETArather than fundamentalist Muslims. During national elections held three days later, the anti-war Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, headed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, gained power. On April 17, 2004, the newly-installed Zapatero, fulfilling a campaign promise, ordered the immediate withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq.
* The troops of the
Dominican Republicleft Iraq in early-May 2004.
Honduraspulled all troops out of Iraq in May 2004. [" [http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/04/19/spain.withdraw/ Honduras rushes to pull out troops] ". CNN, April 20, 2004.]
Philippinesput a hold on new deployments and were planning to pull out shortly, but on July 16, 2004, the Philippinesordered the withdrawal of all of its troops in Iraq in order to comply with the demands of terrorists holding Filipino citizen Angelo de la Cruzas a hostage. De la Cruz was confirmed released on July 20, after all Philippine troops had left Iraq.
Thailand, who was already planning not to renew their troop commitment after September, withdrew in late-August 2004. [James, Nilloc, " [http://www.thaipro.com/thailand_00/293_thailand-troops-iraq.htm Thai troops begin withdrawal from Iraq] ". Thailand Search Engine, August 15, 2004.]
New Zealandwithdrew its 60 troops in late-September 2004. New Zealand supplied troops after the new Iraq government had been put into place. It did not support or take part in the Coalition of the willing.
Portugalwithdrew in February 2005. [" [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/15/iraq/main680400.shtml More Nations Pulling Out Of Iraq] ". CBS News, March 15, 2005]
Italyalso announced the withdrawal of their troops on March 16, 2005, a few days after the controversial killing of Sismiagent Nicola Calipariand injury of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrenaby U.S. troops at a mobile roadblock(see Rescue of Giuliana Sgrena). Eventually, Prime Minister Berlusconi took back his word after discussions with George W. Bush. The last Italian troops left Iraq on December 1, 2006.
Bulgariadid not pull out, but let any of its troops who wanted to leave go home; 62 out of 480 had left as of April 17, 2004. On May 5, 2005, Bulgaria's parliament voted to remove their troops by the end of 2005. [" [http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/05/05/news/bulgaria.php Bulgaria pulling troops out of Iraq] ". The International Herald Tribune (from the Agence France-Presse), May 6, 2005] The last Bulgarian troops left Iraq in January 2006.
* The last Ukrainian troops left Iraq in December 2005.
* The last
Japanese peace keeping troops departed in July 2006.
* The last Slovak troops left Iraq in February 2007 [http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-01/27/content_5662652.htm]
* While not a departure, in February 2007
Tony Blairannounced that Operation Sinbad, a joint British-Iraqi operation against Shiite militias in Basra, was "now complete", and news sources report that Blair will announce the withdrawal of 1500 of Britain's 7000 troops in southern Iraq. A senior British commander in southern Iraq called the move "another important milestone on the road to Iraqi self-reliance." [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/world/europe/21britain.html/ Britain to announce trimming of Iraq force] - The New York Times, Alan Cowell, February 21, 2007.]
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 propelled 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 gunrounds 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 engagementthat dictate a passive-but-ready posture. Patrolling soldiers spend nearly eight hours a day in sector and accrue nearly 30 patrols per month.
U.S. permanent facilities
In October 2004, Iraq's interim government transferred to U.S. ownership convert|104|acre|km2 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. [cite web|url=http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/3876208.html|title=US's embassy is biggest secret in Baghdad]
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. [cite web|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20060831015421/http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/paulrogers/April06.htm|title=From Cold War to Long War]
The U.S. is in the process of building 14 bases known as enduring bases. Four are unknown as to name and location. The other ten are: Green Zone in Baghdad, Camp Anaconda at Balad Airbase, Camp Taji in Taji, Camp Falcon-Al-Sarq in Baghdad, Post Freedom in Mosul, Camp Victory-Al Nasr at Baghdad Airfield, Camp Marez at Mosul Airfield, Camp Renegade in Kirkuk, Camp Speicher in Tikrit and Camp Fallujuh. [cite web|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20070419131118/http://www.fcnl.org/iraq/bases_text.htm|title= If the U.S. is ultimately leaving Iraq, why is the military building 'permanent' bases?] [cite web|url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/iraq-intro.htm|title=Iraq Facilities]
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
United States military in IraqIOverview of US military in Iraq.
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 JapanThe post World War IIU.S. occupation of Japan1945 - 1952
Morgenthau PlanThe post World War IIU.S. occupation of part of Germany1945 - 1955 (Germany was not fully sovereign until 1991)
History of Germany since 1945
Eisenhower and German POWs
GARIOAGovernment And Relief In Occupied Areas
IBN Sina Hospital, Baghdad Iraq
256th Infantry Brigade
* 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
* " [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/15/international/middleeast/15nations.html U.N. Criticizes Iraq Occupation Oil Sales] ". New York Times,, Cash Flow,
December 14, 2004.
*cite web | title=Iraq Coalition Casualty Count | url=http://icasualties.org/oif/ | accessmonthday=June 29 | accessyear=2005
*cite news | title=Non-U.S. Forces in Iraq | date=
March 15, 2005| publisher=GlobalSecurity.org | url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_orbat_coalition.htm
*cite paper | author=Iraq Body Count | title=A Dossier of Civilian Casualties in Iraq 2003-2005 | year=2005 | url=http://reports.iraqbodycount.org/a_dossier_of_civilian_casualties_2003-2005.pdf
*cite news | last=Gillan | first=AudreyMaggie | title=Shocking images revealed at Britain's 'Abu Ghraib trial' | date=
January 19, 2005| publisher=Guardian Unlimited | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1393637,00.html
*cite news | title=In Pictures: Alleged prisoner abuse near Basra | date=
January 19, 2005| publisher=Guardian Unlimited | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,8542,1393803,00.html
*cite news | title=Seven soldiers charged with Iraqi's murder | date=
February 3, 2005| publisher=Guardian Unlimited | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,11816,1405166,00.html
*cite news | title=Iraq timeline:
February 1, 2004to 31 December, 2004| date=January 2005 | publisher=Guardian Unlimited | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/page/0,12438,1151021,00.html
*cite news | last=Carroll | first=Rory | title=Meet the men who Britain and the U.S. hope will take over the battle against Iraqi insurgents - if they live long enough | date=
February 4, 2005| publisher=Guardian Unlimited | url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1405777,00.html
External links, recordings, articles, and further reading
* [http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=4067737 How young women survive as refugess in Post Saddam Iraq]
* [http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=us_occupation_of_iraq_tmln Searchable timeline of Iraq occupation]
* [http://www.anestforjesus.org/stories/2nd_Saddam_Hussein_Video_-_In_the_morg.php The end of Saddam Hussein (video
2 January8/07)- Warning: Mature content.]
* [http://www.anestforjesus.org/stories/Saddam_Hussein_Execution_Video.php The end of Saddam Hussein - Warning: Graphic Execution video]
* [http://us.oneworld.net/section/us/latestcoverage/iraq OneWorld.net's Latest Coverage on Iraq]
* [http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/AmerPalace.htm About.com's An American Palace in Iraq and Four Permanent US Bases]
* [http://www.iraqanalysis.org www.iraqanalysis.org] - Information source listings and analysis on post-invasion Iraq
* [http://www.iraqbodycount.org Iraq Body Count] - Independent database listing civilians killed in the Iraq war and occupation
* [http://www.wsws.org/sections/category/news/me-iraq.shtml Latest analysis on Iraq]
* [http://www.frogstylebiscuit.com/index.php?function=set_current_category&name=news&category_id=14 FSB Iraq] FrogStyleBiscuit's Iraq News and Analysis
*cite web | title=Iraq News Archive | work=The White House | url=http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/iraq_archive.html | accessmonthday=July 28 | accessyear=2005
* Lyal S. Sunga, "Dilemmas facing INGOs in coalition-occupied Iraq", in Ethics in Action: The Ethical Challenges of International Human Rights Nongovernmental Organizations, edited by Daniel A. Bell, Cambridge University Press 2007.
*cite web | author=Senator Byrd, Robert | title=A Call for an Exit Door from Iraq | publisher=CommonDreams.org | date=
April 7, 2004| work=Common Dreams News Center | url=http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0407-15.htm | accessmonthday=July 28 | accessyear=2005
*cite paper | author=Cordesman, Anthony | title=U.S. Policy in Iraq: A "Realist" Approach to its Challenges and Opportunities | year=2004 | url=http://www.csis.org/features/040806_USPolicyInIraq.pdf (link broken, redirects to main page)
*cite journal | author=Editorial | title=Is Iraq Another 'Vietnam'? | journal=Monthly Review | volume=56 | issue=2 | month= June | year= 2004 | pages= [http://www.monthlyreview.org/0604editors.htm]
*cite web | title=U.S./Iraq News | work=Mission and Justice | url=http://www.missionandjustice.org/?s=iraq+usa | accessmonthday=Nov 17 | accessyear=2007
* [http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/search.tkl?q=iraq&search_crit=subject&search=Search&date1=Anytime&date2=Anytime&type=form Read Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding Iraq]
* Jason Vest, "Willful Ignorance", "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists", July/August 2005. Discusses U.S. approach to counterinsurgency in Iraq.
*cite paper | author=Sheehan-Miles, Charles | title=Iraq in Transition: An Examination of Iraqi resistance, terrorism, insurgency and organized crime. | year=2005 | url=http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/?Page=Module&ModuleID=48
* [http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=364x574939 "A Recent Surge in Violence..."] - compilation of quotations referring to "a recent surge of violence" in Iraq, September 2003 to March 2006
* [http://www.usip.org/pubs/peaceworks/pwks49.html The Road Ahead: Lessons in Nation Building from Japan, Germany, and Afghanistan for Postwar Iraq] " by Ray Salvatore Jennings May 2003 Peceworks No. 49
United States Institute of Peace
* [http://www.kultursmog.com/Life-Page01.htm Americans are Losing the Victory in Europe] , and [http://www.kultursmog.com/Life-Page02.htm Grim Europe Faces Winter of Misery]
Life magazine January 7, 1946
* [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/draperw.htm Oral History Interview with General William H. Draper Jr.] Chief, Economics Division, Control Council for Germany, 1945–46
* [http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/clayl.htm Oral History Interview with General Lucius D. Clay] Deputy to General Eisenhower, 1945; deputy military governor, Germany (U.S.) 1946; commander in chief, U.S. Forces in Europe and military governor, U.S. Zone, Germany, 1947–49; retired 1949.
* [http://www.marchofwar.com MarchofWar.com - Up-to-date Iraq war clock, war quotes and slogans, plus poll]
* [http://shadewhile.com/contractor1.html Interview with an American Contractor in Iraq]
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,887004,00.html A Policy for Germany]
* [http://wap.oa.yahoo.com/raw?dp=rssnews&u=ap/20070124/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_professor_killed&rn=iraqShiite professor dies in Iraq, Diya al-Meqoter, one of many]
* [http://www.google.com/gwt/n?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smh.com.au%2Farticles%2F2003%2F05%2F19%2F1053196485657.html&_gwt_pg=0&hl=en&mrestrict=xhtml&q=kurdistan+official+shot+dead&source=m&site=search Daoud al-Qaissi, Saddam's singer executed]
* [http://www.wmf.org/iraq.html The World Monuments Fund's Iraq Cultural Heritage Conservation Initiative]
* [http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?issueID=47&articleID=599 Did the United States Create Democracy in Germany? James L. Payne] The Independent Review Volume 11 Number 2 Fall 2006, (Analysis of the axiom that democracy can be imposed)
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