Thursday, October 19, 2017

Inside Iraq’s Oil Sector Interview With Gary Vogler


Gary Vogler worked extensively in Iraq’s oil sector starting in 2002 when he was recruited by the Pentagon to plan for postwar situations. That group was then folded into the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) and then the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Vogler would later work as a contractor and consultant in Iraq until 2015, and was involved in several major projects. He recently published a book about his experiences Iraq and the Politics of Oil, An Insider’s Perspective.

This Day In Iraqi History – Oct 19


1948 All Jewish Iraqi govt workers fired after creation of Israel
1958 Gen Bakr forced to retire after Col Arif lost power struggle with Gen Qasim
            within govt
1980 Saddam speech said Iraq couldn’t win war because outnumbered by Iran
2003 Powell said US had found evidence of Iraq’s WMD programs & that
            Saddam always wanted nuclear weapons
2004 Head of aid group Care was kidnapped in Baghdad Later killed by insurgents
2004 Iraq conspiracy theorist Mylroie wrote OpEd in NY Sun that Iraq was training
            foreigners to carry out terrorist attacks and working with Islamic groups
2005 Saddam’s trial started and pled his innocence
2005 Rice told about Senate Clear Hold Build counterinsurgency plan for Iraq Was not
            discussed with US military beforehand
2005 US Iraq Cmdr Gen Casey US Iraq Amb Khalizad later asked Rice
            what Clear Hold Build was & why not consulted
2005 Rumsfeld complained to Rice that he did not back Clear Hold Build and he
            was not consulted about it
2006 IED killed Amara police chief from Badr Police arrested brother of suspected
bomber from Mahdi Army 2 days of fighting started
2006 Mahdi Army stormed 3 police stations manned by Badr in Amara
2006 US general said Op Together Forward II failed to reduce violence in Baghdad
2006 US Iraq Cmdr Gen Casey US Amb Khalzad gave press conference saying
            Op Together Forward II in Baghdad working
- 2013 IS held parade in southern Fallujah

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kurds Fall Back To 2014 Borders


For the second day, the Peshmerga continued to withdraw from territory they occupied during 2014. All did not go peacefully however as there was a short gun battle at Mosul Dam.

This Day In Iraqi History – Oct 18


1980 Pres Carter called on Iraq to withdraw from Iran Carter was trying to get
            US hostages held by Tehran released
1984 Iran launched Op Dawn 7 to recapture the city of Mehran Won back some
            Iranian territory
2001 CIA report on story that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger Said Iraq
didn’t have facilities to process uranium
2001 WSJ OpEd by ex-CIA Dir Woolsey said Iraq behind 9/11
2002 Sec of Def Rumsfeld told Under Sec of Def Feith to create postwar planning
            office for Iraq Cancelled few days later
2002 Cancellation came from White House that didn’t want postwar planning
            because could derail invasion

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kirkuk Aftermath: PM Abadi And PUK Winners, KDP Losers, KRG Done For?


Golden Division sitting in Governor Karim’s seat in Kirkuk City (Rudaw)

Prime Minister Haidar Abadi’s move in Kirkuk went from a possible disaster to an unmitigated success. After fighting broke out in the morning of October 16 the Kurds withdrew and the Iraqi forces took all the positions they wanted plus Kirkuk city and areas of northeast Diyala. This was the result of a deal with the major wing of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which has left the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and President Massoud Barzani hanging high and dry, and threatens the future of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

This Day In Iraqi History – Oct 17


1973 Saddam said govt and KDP were far apart on autonomy talks for Kurds
1980 UN Security Council discussed Iran-Iraq War Addressed by Iran PM and Iraq
            Foreign Minister
1980 Iran For Min told UN Iraq was aggressor Saddam wanted to overthrow Iranian
            govt Iraq backed by superpowers & Arab countries
1980 Iraq For Min said Iran violated treaties attacked border towns never replied to
            letters calling for negotiations
1980 UN Security Council backed Secretary General’s attempts to negotiate a ceasefire
            in Iran-Iraq War
1987 Iraq held national census
1994 Iraqi defector Saadi claimed he went to Jordan with Mukhabarat to buy nuke
            material from Russians for a bomb
2001 NY Times article reported Iraqi defector saw Iraq training terrorists at Salman
            Pak to take airliners
2001 NY Times reported INC said that Iraq diplomat met bin Laden in 98 and offered
            him safe haven
2001 NY Times article Czech Inter Min said 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraqi intel
            officer in Prague
2003 Iraqi prisoner photographed stripped and handcuffed to cell door by US jailers
            at Abu Ghraib
2003 Gunfight outside Sadr office in Karbala killed 3 US soldiers and 7 Iraqis
2004 Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda Tawhid wal Jihad
            became Al Qaeda in Iraq
2004 Heavy fighting in east and south Fallujah between US forces and insurgents
2006 NSC started review of Iraq strategy to come up with new one
2016 Mosul campaign started with joint operations between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga


Monday, October 16, 2017

Fighting Breaks Out Between Federal Forces And Peshmerga In Salahaddin And Kirkuk


The game of brinkmanship blew up in the faces of Baghdad and Irbil on October 16 as talks gave way to fighting in south Kirkuk and Tuz Kharmato in Salahaddin.

This Day In Iraqi History – Oct 16


1973 Iraqi, Syrian and Jordanian forces attacked Israeli positions but were turned back
2001 CIA Dir Tenet met with UK officials and agreed no Iraq-9/11 connection
2002 Iraq held elections where Saddam voted president for another 7 years
2002 Iraq renewed offer for new UN inspections after US rejected deal
2002 French Pres Chirac said no Iraq Al Qaeda ties & attacking Iraq could
            lead to new terrorist attacks
2003 UN Resolution 1511 set 12/15/03 as date for Iraqi Governing Council to
            submit plan for interim govt & constitution
2012 Maliki removed Shababi after he refused to stop dinar re-valuation Appointed ally
            Turki as new bank head
2017 As Iraqi forces moved towards military base and oil fields in south Kirkuk fighting
            broke out with Peshmerga
2017 Were also clashes in Tuz Kharmato between Hashd and Peshmerga


Sunday, October 15, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Oct 15


1927 1st successful oil well started at Baba Gargur field in Kirkuk
1960 Islamic Party complained to Gen Qasim that his govt neglected religion while
            accepted Communists
1960 Islamic Party asked Qasim to ban Communists and their media while releasing
            any cleric arrested since 1958 coup
1973 Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi offensive in southern Syria failed to achieve results
1980 Iraq Foreign Minister Hamadi presented Iraq’s case to UN claiming it acted in
            self-defense in Iran-Iraq War
1994 Iraq withdrew troops from Kuwait border after Russian diplomacy and UN
            Resolution 949 that demanded withdrawal
1994 UN Res 949 demanded Iraq’s full cooperation with UN inspectors
1995 Saddam won referendum with 99.9% of vote for him to be president for 7 more
years
1997 Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr gave sermon saying No! Yes is just for
            God mocking Yes to Saddam slogan
1997 Turkey’s Op Dawn ended against PKK in Kurdistan
2001 CIA report from Rome said that Italian intel said Iraq tried to buy uranium from
            Niger but didn’t see much merit in it
2001 Under Sec of Def Feith briefed NSC on plan for governing postwar Iraq with
             3-star general in charge of military and civilian administrator
2001 White House spokesman said no connection between Iraq and anthrax letters
            sent to Wash DC
2002 Rumsfeld wrote list of 29 things that could go wrong with Iraq War One was
            finding no WMD
2002 Rumsfeld's list was to point out possible problems so war could be successful 
2003 Powell said that his claims about Iraq’s WMD program had been proven
2003 Rice said CPA’s schedule for Iraq wouldn’t work and new one had to be created
2003 Sadr followers failed to take over Karbala shrine
2004 US put Zarqawi on its terrorist list
2004 Cheney said Iraq could have given WMD to terrorists
2005 Referendum on new Iraqi constitution held
2006 Mujahedeen Shura Council again announced ISI and Islamic State in Baghdad
            Anbar Diyala Kirkuk Salahaddin Ninewa Babil
2006 Islamic State in Iraq said its goal was to govern
2015 Immediately after Baiji refinery liberated Hashd began looting facility and selling
            off equipment to Iraqi and Iranian businesses

View the Iraq History Timeline 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Escalation In Iraq Continues After KRG Referendum, The Kirkuk Challenge


Iraq’s politicians specialize in brinkmanship where they up the ante against each other taking it right to the edge of confrontation. The country is facing another one of those moments in the aftermath of the September 25 independence referendum in Kurdistan. Before the vote, President Massoud Barzani and other Kurdish leaders attacked the central government for being Baathist law breakers, and said that all the disputed areas the Peshmerga occupied would take part in the election. Since then Baghdad has replied in kind with various politicians demanding retaliation. Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has been trying to respond in his own way, while holding off the angry members of the parliament. That saw a huge escalation on October 12-13 when the premier sent troops into the center of Kirkuk demanding the Peshmerga withdraw.