Thursday, March 22, 2018

Review Green, Daniel and Mullen, William, Fallujah Redux, The Anbar Awakening and the Struggle With Al-Qaeda

Review Green, Daniel and Mullen, William, Fallujah Redux, The Anbar Awakening and the Struggle With Al-Qaeda, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2014

Fallujah Redux is not about the two well known Battle of Fallujah fought in 2004, but rather how the U.S. and Iraqi forces along with local tribes attempted to secure the district during the 2007 Surge. It was written by Daniel Green who was a Naval Reserve officer and General William Mullen III who commanded the 2nd Battalion of the 6th Marines at the time. Green worked with the Fallujah government and on a tribal outreach effort, while Mullen was involved in combat operations. The book is written in an interesting style with each author trading off chapters writing about their specific experiences. When they arrived in the city in 2007, it was feared that the insurgents had almost regained the initiative, and the Anbar Awakening, which had started in Ramadi had not stretched east yet. Green and Mullen were part of the U.S.-Iraqi effort that helped bring Fallujah back from the brink.

This Day In Iraqi History – Mar 22

1921 UK Cabinet approved Colonial Sec Churchill’s choice of Feisal as new
            ruler in Mesopotamia
1973 Kuwait demanded Iraq withdraw its troops from its territory after gunfight
            on Mar 20 Iraq refused
1974 CIA memo said neither US nor Iran wanted a Kurdish govt but didn't want its
            conflict with Iraq resolved
1975 Iran ended military aid to KDP
1977 Baath Regional Command kicked out members who wanted leniency after
            anti-govt riots during Karbala pilgrimage
1981 Iraq fired missiles at Dezful and Ahvaz Iran in shift in war as Iraq stopped
            major land attacks
1982 Iran launched Op Fath ol-Mobin to retake Shush Was largest military operation
            up to that time in Iran-Iraq War
1983 Helicopter crash revealed Italy providing advanced electronic equipment to Iraq
1984 Soviet Union agreed to build a new nuclear power plant in Iraq to replace Osirak
            facility destroyed by Israel in 1981
1985 Tehran Tabriz Shiraz and Isfahan bombed by Iraqi air force War of Cities
1988 Start of 2nd Anfal Campaign to destroy PUK and DKP bases in Sulaymaniya and
1988 Qara Dagh, Sulaymaniya hit with chemical artillery shells as start of 2nd Anfal
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1990 Canadian Gerald Bull working on supergun for Iraq found dead in Brussels
            Mossad believed to be responsible
1991 US shot down another Iraqi fighter after warned it no flights during uprisings
1991 UN diplomat Martti Ahtussari issued report that sanctions had hurt ability of Iraq to
            feed its people
2002 UK Foreign Office Pol Dir Ricketts memo to Foreign Sec Straw said US
            scrambling to find Iraq-Al Qaeda links and argument unconvincing
2002 UK Foreign Office Pol Dir Ricketts memo to Foreign Sec Straw said no signs
            Iraq working on its WMD or nuke programs
2002 MI6 Dir Gieve letter to Home Office secretary said no evidence Iraq involved
            in 9/11
2002 MI6 Dir said Iraq not involved in anti-west terrorism since 93 attempt on ex-Pres
2002 UK Def Min Hoon warned Blair if UK helped overthrow Saddam it would
            have to stay in Iraq for years
2002 Bush said that Iraq had not allowed verification of its destruction of its WMD
2003 British forces seized Rumaila oil field in Basra
2003 US forces reached Nasiriya and secured bridges across the Euphrates
2003 US bombed Baghdad again
2003 Saddam received report large U.S. force attacking west Iraq Led him to believe
            invasion coming from Jordan not Kuwait
2003 CIA officials told Wash Post they were always skeptical of Iraq-Niger uranium
            story that was used in Bush State of Union
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 Rumsfeld demanded that all Americans to run Iraqi ministries be from Pentagon
            ORHA head Garner said no time for replacements
2003 International protests in several major cities against Iraq war
2004 Unemployed protest in Basra turned violent Stones and Molotov cocktails
            thrown at British forces
2004 Rice Wash Post OpEd said would have been irresponsible not to look for link
between Iraq and 9/11
2008 Maliki told Gen Petraeus of his plans to attack Mahdi Army in Basra for 2nd
2010 9 provinces from central and southern Iraq demanded recount in election
2010 Iran got Shiite parties to agree to keep Talabani as president
2011 Gorran told Pres Barzani had to make good on his promises of reform after
            protests in Sulaymaniya
2011 When police tried to break up protest in Halabja violence broke out with one
            policeman killed
2013 IS took over Buhriz, Kirkuk
2013 Anbar councilman filed lawsuit over provincial vote being postponed in Anbar
2015 Badr head Ameri called Iraqi army weaklings for asking for Coalition air strikes
2016 Sadr said he had come up with 90 nominations for Abadi’s new cabinet

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Fallujah Redux Interview With Daniel Green On Fallujah During The Surge

Throughout post-Saddam Iraq Fallujah was a trouble spot for the new Iraqi government and the Coalition forces. During the Surge, Navy Reservist Daniel Green worked with tribes in the district and the local government to get them into the fight against the insurgency and help turn the city around. He wrote about his experiences in Fallujah Redux along with General William Mullen III. This is an interview with Green about what happened in Fallujah in 2007. He can be followed on Twitter at @fallujahredux.

This Day In Iraqi History – Mar 21

1921 Colonial Sec Churchill wrote PM George lobbying for Feisal to be approved
            as new ruler of Mesopotamia
(Musings On Iraq article on Churchill’s views on Mesopotamia)
1985 State Dept spokesman claimed US thought Iraq had defeated Iran and
            said Tehran should accept negotiated settlement
1987 Saddam held march in Baghdad for not being defeated in Iran-Iraq War
1991 Govt offensive to retake Kirkuk from Peshmerga began day after Kurds took it
1991 Govt announced state of emergency in Baghdad
1991 UN survey of Gulf War damage to Iraq called it almost apocalyptic Said
            bombing had put Iraq in preindustrial age
2002 Gen Franks met with US commanders in Germany to go over war plans Said war
            was going to happen and they needed to be ready
2003 Shock and Awe bombing campaign started Only lasted 9 hours
2003 US commanders reported that Iraqi soldiers were abandoning their units
2003 Parts of Um Qasr port seized by US forces
2003 British and US forces began seizing oil fields in Basra 15 oil fields set on
            fire by Iraqis
2003 British reached Basra and started fighting Fedayeen
2003 MI6 was trying to incite a popular uprising in Basra against Saddam
2003 Op Viking Hammer launched to destroy Ansar al-Islam camps in Kurdistan
2003 1st Coalition casualties of Iraq war 8 UK 4 US soldiers die in Kuwait helicopter accident
            1 US Marine killed in fighting in Um Qasr
2003 Rice briefed Bush and NSC and all agreed on war goals democracy and put Iraqi
            face on occupation
2003 UK Gen suggested revising postwar plans for Iraq Needed to improve lives of
            Iraqis Balance withdrawal with forces necessary for stability
2003 White House press secretary said no question Iraq’s WMD would be found
2004 11 U.S. soldiers suspended for prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib
2005 State Dept’s Jeffrey told Bush Allawi trying to drag out govt formation process and
            he should stop because was not going to retain premiership
2006 Blair said that Iraq war was part of the struggle between spreading democracy
            vs violence in world
2006 Bush said there was sectarian fighting in Iraq but it was not a civil war after
            Allawi said it was
2006 Insurgents took police station and courthouse in Baghdad Killed 17 police Freed
            20 prisoners
2006 Insurgents took Muqtadiya police station Executed 19 police Freed 33 prisoners
2006 Report insurgents infiltrated into Tal Afar after successful counterinsurgency
            program by 3rd Armored Cav Reg and unit left
2006 CIA report Insurgency undermining political and economic development
            in Iraq
2006 CIA said even if Sunnis given larger role in Iraq govt Al Qaeda in Iraq would
            not stop attacks
2008 Maliki told Gen Petraeus of his plans to take on Mahdi Army in Basra
2010 Maliki asked Supreme Court to interpret what largest bloc meant for forming
            govt after he came in 2nd in eleciotns
2013 Sheikh Abu Risha demanded cabinet reverse delayed provincial elections
            in Anbar
2013 Sadr called cabinet decision to postpone provincial vote in Anbar unconstitutional
2013 Sadr cleric gave Friday sermon calling on Maliki to step down
2016 Sadr said quotas in govt should be ended

View the Iraq History Timelines

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Baghdad Begins Lifting Sanctions On Kurdistan

After the September 2017 independence referendum, Prime Minister Haidar Abadi imposed a series of sanctions upon the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Six months later, the two sides are beginning to reconcile. That led to the lifting of a flight ban into the two Kurdish international airports and the promise to pay all the region’s public employees.

This Day In Iraqi History – Mar 20

1933 Rashid al-Gaylani became premier of Iraq, would hold office 3 times
1971 Ex-Def Min and VP Tikrit assassinated in Kuwait by Bakr govt
1973 Kuwait sent troops to try to expel Iraq building base on its territory leading to
            gunfight 3 killed US thought part of Soviet plot in Persian Gulf
1981 Iraqi attack on Susangard failed after 1 day Turning point in war Iraq couldn't
            capture anymore Iranian land
1983 Saddam executed 6 members of the Hakim family including 3 brothers of
            Ayatollah Hakim
1985 Iraqi counter attack forced Iranians back into Maysan-Basra marshes 20,000
            Iranians 14,000 Iraqis killed
1986 US condemned Iraq at UN for violating international law by using chemical
weapons in Iran-Iraq War
1991 Kirkuk fell to Kurdish rebels
1991 Kurdish leaders said that all of Iraqi Kurdistan had been liberated from Iraqi
1991 Ayatollah Khoei made to appear with Saddam on TV to denounce Shiite uprising
            Ayatollah Khoei then placed under house arrest in Najaf
1995 Op Steel 35,000 Turkish troops invaded Kurdistan to attack PKK who withdrew
            forces from border before op
1996 UN and Iraq sign agreement to allow for Oil for Food program
2003 US Amb to UN Negroponte letter to Security Council said Iraq failed to comply
            with weapons inspectors since end of Gulf War justifying use of force
2003 State Dept legal adviser Taft said Iraq hadn’t complied with UN resolutions since
            1990s justifying use of force
2003 Gen Franks said Special Forces were in control of Anbar desert to prevent SCUD
2003 U.S. forces crossed into Iraq and attacked Um Qasr port in Basra
2003 British commandos attacked Fao Peninsula
2003 British received reports Iraqi forces disintegrating in south and might have to
            intervene in war earlier than planned
2003 Iraq fired several SCUD missiles at Kuwait One destroyed by Patriot Missile
2003 Saddam speech said war “shameful crime” Said US would give up out of fear
            of Iraqi soldiers
2003 Iraq halted oil flows due to start of war
2003 China France and Russia criticized the Iraq invasion
2003 Bush signed executive order freezing all Iraq funds in US Money would later
            be used to run and rebuild Iraq
2003 Blair thought Iraq wanted to draw Coalition into cities for street fighting and
            afraid of WMD attacks
2003 Bush and Blair discussed sudden collapse of Iraqi forces during start of
2003 ORHA staff went to CENTCOM in Qatar and found military had parallel
            post-war admin set up isolated from ORHA
2003 UN Sec Gen Annan called on Security Council to change Oil for Food program
            so he instead of Iraqi govt could run it
2003 Turkey asked for written guarantee from US it would allow Turkish troops into
            Iraq US said no
2004 Bombings against Shiite pilgrims in Karbala during Ashura left 165 dead more
            than 230 wounded
2004 Suicide bombers attacked Shiite pilgrims during Ashura at Khadmiya shrine
2004 Protest in Khadimiya Baghdad against attacks aimed at pilgrims in Baghdad and
2004 Ayatollah Sistani blamed US occupation for not securing borders for bombings
            of pilgrims in Baghdad and Karbala
2004 6 US soldiers charged with prisoner abuse for Abu Ghraib scandal
2005 Rumsfeld blamed Turkey for not letting 4th Inf Div to invade Iraq from north
            for violence in Iraq
2005 Rumsfeld claimed if Turkey let US forces in would have captured more Baathists
            and lessoned insurgency
2005 Rumsfeld said that CENTCOM Cmdr Gen Franks didn’t want more troops in Iraq
            after invasion
2006 Bush talked about successful counterinsurgency in Tal Afar by US Claimed
            showed US strategy working
2006 Tal Afar successful counterinsurgency by US unit stationed there and not part
            of larger US strategy in Iraq
2006 Report 2002 Iraq’s Foreign Min Sabri agreed to work with US Told US intel
            Iraq had no biological weapons Had cache of chemical weapons
2006 Report 2002 Iraq’s Foreign Min Sabri told US intel Saddam wanted a nuclear bomb
2007 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq’s leader Qais Khazali along with his brother Laith and
            Hezbollah commander Ali Musa Daqduq were captured by the British in Basra
2012 Pres Barzani gave speech attacking Maliki’s misrule
2013 Sadrists ended boycott of parliament over postponement of provincial voting in
Anbar and Ninewa
2014 IS held parade in Fallujah

Monday, March 19, 2018

How U.S. Intelligence Created An Iraqi Nuclear Threat In 2002

In 2002, the Central Intelligence Agency said that Iraq had restarted its nuclear weapons program. This was a change from its previous opinion that Baghdad had retained elements of its program, but it had not been reactivated. The Agency suffered from poor analysis and exaggeration to make its argument, and in retrospect should have never made those claims.

This Day In Iraqi History - Mar 19

1917 British forces captured Fallujah from Ottomans
1917 Gen Maude sent message to Iraqis saying British had not come as conquerors
            but liberators
1917 Maude said British would not impose their institutions and called on Arabs to
            help rule
1921 UK Cairo Conference decided that independent Mesopotamia govt would pay
            part of British expenses especially for troops
1921 UK Cairo Conference decided Sir Cox would offer amnesty for those involved in
            1920 Revolt Feisal would offer his services in Mesopotamia as a way into power
1921 UK Cair Conference decided an Anglo-Mesopotamia treaty would be necessary
            to ensure relations between two countries
(Musings On Iraq article on the Cairo conference and the selection of Feisal to be first king of Iraq)
1951 Grenade hit US information office in Baghdad
1963 Iraq sent delegation to Syria to talk about uniting two countries
1981 Iraq attacked Susangard, Iran after ceasefire offer rejected by Khomeini
1982 Iran broke Dezful siege Iraqis lost 10000 dead 15000 wounded 15450 captured
            Iran lost 4000 dead 8000 wounded 6000 captured
1982 Iranian offensive around Dezful recaptured 940 sq mi of Iranian territory from
1982 Saddam sent envoy to Islamic mediation mission with cease-fire proposal and
            offer to withdraw from Iranian territory
1988 End of 1st Anfal campaign that destroyed PUK’s bases in Sergalou and Bergalou,
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1991 Saddam’s troops recaptured Karbala from Shiite rebels Went district to district
            taking young men and executing them
1991 Govt forces arrested Ayatollah Khoei following Shiite uprising 105 relatives staff
            students and clerics arrested in Najaf by govt forces
1991 Bush admin officials accused Iran of trying to overthrow Saddam and place
            friendly Shiites in power in Baghdad
1998 Chalabi and King Hussein sent letter to Clinton saying Saddam should be
2002 CIA Dir Tenet told Senate no Iraq Al Qaeda connection but Iraq couldn’t be
            ruled out from involvement in 9/11
2002 CIA Dir Tenet said no doubt Iraq-Al Qaeda links and Iraq developing nuclear
2002 DIA Dir Adm Wilson briefed Senate Armed Services Comm on threats to US
            Didn’t include Iraq Said Iraq contained only residual WMD programs
2003 German French and Russian Foreign Ministries condemn impending Iraq invasion
            saying it had no UN approval
2003 Bush ordered start of war US Polish Australian Special Forces entered southern
            Iraq seizing oil and port infrastructure
2003 Bush called Coalition members to tell them war starting
2003 CIA told Pentagon Saddam Uday Qusay might be at Dora farms in south Baghdad
            Rumsfeld brought intel to White House
2003 Powell Rumsfeld Cheney Rice Hadley all advocated hitting Dora farm to try to take
            out Saddam Uday and Qusay
2003 White House spokesman Fleischer told press disarmament of Iraq had begun
2003 US Stealth bombers hit Dora farm hoping to kill Saddam and family
2003 Bush went on TV to announce war
2003 Army Chief Gen Shinseki told Congress he couldn’t say how much rebuilding
            Iraq would cost
2003 UN inspector said WMD decontamination trucks US pointed out were water or
            fire trucks
2003 Turkish parliament approved US overflights for invasion
2004 Justice Dept drafted opinion that Iraqis and foreigners in Iraq could be taken out
            of the country by CIA Legal experts said violated Geneva Conventions
2004 UN responded to reports that UN officials involved in fraud with Oil for Food
2004 Team arrived in Baghdad to try to come up with interagency plan for rebuilding
            Iraq 1st time happened since invasion
2004 BBC poll of Iraqis 56% said better than year ago 23% About the same 18% worse
            48% right for U.S. to invade Iraq 39% wrong
2006 Iyad Allawi said Iraq was in civil war no matter what others said
2006 Gen Easton who commanded US training effort for Iraqi forces until 2004 said
            Rumsfeld failed to build Coalition in Iraq and ignored advice of military
2011 Maliki said no secret prisons in Iraq after Camp Honor secret prison found
            in Baghdad
2012 Sadrists held Day of the Oppressed protests in Basra for better services
2013 Cabinet announced postponing provincial elections in Anbar and Ninewa for 6
            months because of security
2013 After criticizing Maliki Sadr withdrew his ministers from cabinet
2016 Ruling parties said they would not support Abadi’s new cabinet unless quotas
2016 PM Abadi Pres Masum Speaker Jabouri and political leaders agreed to form 3
            committees to deal with reforms and new cabinet

View the Iraq History Timelines

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Review Earle, Robert, Nights in the Pink Motel, An American Strategist’s Pursuit of Peace in Iraq

Earle, Robert, Nights in the Pink Motel, An American Strategist’s Pursuit of Peace in Iraq, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2008

Robert Earle was a veteran State Department official who was in retirement writing books when he was called back into service by John Negroponte who was just appointed the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq in the summer of 2004. Negroponte wanted Earle to be his “thinker.” His book Nights in the Pink Motel is divided into four sections. Three of those focus upon Earle writing strategy papers for Negroponte and U.S. commander in Iraq General George Casey. The middle section is when Earle got a blood clot in Baghdad, which forced him leave Iraq, and head to Germany for medical treatment. Earle writes in an easy and informal style, and reads like a journal rather than a formal account of events. The main take away from The Pink Motel was that the U.S. dug itself into a hole the first year in Iraq, and even when it tried to come up with a strategy to pull itself out, it fell short.

This Day In Iraqi History - Mar 18

1933 British official warned King Faisal was attempting to make himself dictator
            of Iraq
1948 Railway strike against Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1981 US senator told press Iraq was trying to build a nuclear bomb
1985 Iraq bombed Tehran in retaliation for Iran bombing Baghdad War of Cities
1985 Iran claimed it controlled all the marshes south of Amarah Maysan Iraq
            launched counterattack
1991 Sec of State Baker after tour of Middle East and Soviet Union said most
            leaders thought Saddam would be gone by end of year
1991 Kurdish leader Rahman called for international help with food and medicine
            during uprising None came
2002 UK Amb Meyer met with Dep Sec of Def Wolfowitz who said he was against
            going to UN against Iraq
2003 UN weapons inspectors ended work in Iraq Did 731 inspections at 411 sites and
            found no WMD or nuclear programs
2003 UN suspended Oil for Food program for Iraq due to impending war
2003 US military official told CNN Iraqi troops had VX and mustard gas munitions
2003 UK military given official order to prepare for Iraq invasion
2003 Joint Chief of Staff met to discuss withdrawal plans for post-invasion Iraq
2003 UK Gen Cross warned Blair that there wasn’t enough post-war planning for Iraq
2003 2 British ministers and legal adv to Foreign Office resigned in protest against the
2003 British parliament voted 412 to 149 to endorse Iraq invasion
2003 US named 30 countries willing to join Iraq war Became known as Coalition of
            the Willing
2003 CIA source claimed he saw Saddam and his family at Dora farm south of Baghdad
            CIA Dir Tenet told Bush
2003 Khalizad went to Turkey offering to allow Turkish troops to enter Kurdistan buffer
            zone disarming Peshmerga ops vs PKK if US could use Turkey for invasion 
2004 Fmr OHRA head Garner said he was replaced in Iraq because wanted early
            elections to return power to Iraqis
2006 NSC report Iraqi army largely rebuilt but attacks not decreasing War stalemated
            PM Jaafari incompetent
2009 Sadr issued statement calling on his followers to give up on violence
2011 KRG said that it would form committee to deal with protests in Sulaymaniya
2013 Kurdish MPs meet with Pres Barzani and agreed on boycotting Iraqi parliament
            over disputes with Maliki
2016 Sadr started protests in Baghdad demanding cabinet reforms

View the Iraq History Timelines