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[casi-analysis] Control of Iraqi army

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Dear all

David Morrison in Belfast has recently written an article for the Labour and
Trade Union Review pointing out that after the handover of power in June,
the Iraqi army will still be under US control. He also points out that in
the event of the elected National Assembly failing to agree a constitution
(and the Kurdish leaders now have a veto over any such agreement) a new
National Assembly has to be elected and so on until they succeed. During
this time the 'transitional' arrangements (complete with US control of te
Iraqi army) continue.

This seems to me to be at the least important but I haven't seen it said
anywhere else. Can anyone confirm or correct it?

He also points out that the area controlled by the Kurds is said to be 'the
territories that were administered by the that government on 19 March 2003
in the governorates of Dohuk, Arbil, Sulaimaniya, Kirkuk, Diyala and
Neneveh.' ie six gobernorates are referred to, not just the usual three. I
assume this means the Kurds controlled all of the first three and some of
the second three (but not Kirkuk and Mosul) but perhaps someone could
confirm this.


Relevant extracts from David Morrison's article follow:

(a) In relation to the control of the army:

'Be that as it may, we do know that the 150,000 or so US (and other)
occupation forces are not leaving Iraq any time soon.  It was always said
that any new Iraqi government would have to make an "agreement" with the
occupying powers that these forces would remain indefinitely.  With 150,000
occupying forces in Iraq, it would have been next to impossible for any
Iraqi government, even a directly elected government, to resist demands made
upon it by the occupying powers.  But the Transitional Law has pre-empted
any such "agreement" by placing the Iraqi Armed forces under US command
until a permanent Iraqi government is in place, that is, until the end of
next year at the earliest.

Article 59(B) says:

"Consistent with Iraq¹s status as a sovereign state, and with its desire to
join other nations in helping to maintain peace and security and fight
terrorism during the transitional period, the Iraqi Armed Forces will be a
principal partner in the multi-national force operating in Iraq under
unified command pursuant to the provisions of United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1511 (2003) and any subsequent relevant resolutions.
This arrangement shall last until the ratification of a permanent
constitution and the election of a new government pursuant to that new

Whether this includes police and border guards is not clear.  But there is
no doubt that the Governing Council has agreed that the Iraqi Army be under
US command until an Iraqi government is elected under a new constitution.

The cover for this bizarre arrangement was provided in Security Council
resolution 1511 passed last October, which transformed the occupation forces
in Iraq into UN forces in all but name, but still under continued US
command, and authorised them to use force to put down resistance to the

This is contained in paragraph 13 of 1511, which reads:

"[The Security Council] Determines that the provision of security and
stability is essential to the successful completion of the political process
as outlined in paragraph 7 above and to the ability of the United Nations to
contribute effectively to that process and the implementation of resolution
1483 (2003), and authorizes a multinational force under unified command to
take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and
stability in Iraq"

Paragraph 14 urges states to contribute to the "multinational force":

"[The Security Council] Urges Member States to contribute assistance under
this United Nations mandate, including military forces, to the multinational
force referred to in paragraph 13 above;"

The Iraqi Army, and perhaps other armed forces as well, is now to be part of
this UN mandated force under US command.

Lest there be any doubt that the entity referred to as "a multinational
force under unified command" is, in fact, the occupying forces commanded by
the US, paragraph 25 says:

"[The Security Council] Requests that the United States, on behalf of the
multinational force as outlined in paragraph 13 above, report to the
Security Council on the efforts and progress of this force as appropriate
and not less than every six months;

So, in practice the "fully sovereign Iraqi Interim Government" to be
installed on 30 June 2004, will have its sovereignty limited just a smidgeon
­ by the presence of some 150,000 foreign troops in the country, but also by
its armed forces being under the command of the foreign power commanding
those troops.'

(b) On the hurdles to be passed before the 'transitional' arrangements come
to an end:

'The transitional period is supposed to last from 30 June 2004 to 31
December 2005.  On 30 June 2004 what is now termed "a fully sovereign Iraqi
Interim Government" is supposed to take power.  Precisely how it is to come
into being is not specified, but it is not going to be by direct elections:
all the Transitional Law has to say about it is

"This government shall be constituted in accordance with a process of
extensive deliberations and consultations with cross-sections of the Iraqi
people conducted by the Governing Council and the Coalition Provisional
Authority and possibly in consultation with the United Nations." (Article

Six months later, this Interim Government is to be replaced by a
Transitional Government formed after direct elections to a National
Assembly.  That there is to be a Transitional Government drawn from a
directly elected Assembly is a concession to the Shia pressure of recent
months: it was not part of the November 15 "agreement", where the unelected
interim government was to continue until the end of next year.  Elections to
the Assembly are supposed to take place by the end of this year, or at the
very latest by 31 January 2005.  Is a census to be carried out, and an
electoral roll prepared, by then?

The National Assembly will have the task of drawing up a constitution for
Iraq.  A draft constitution is supposed to be complete, and ready for
putting to the electorate in a referendum, by 15 August 2005 (Article
61(A)), though this may be extended by 6 months if a majority of Assembly
members request it (Article 61(F)).

If a draft constitution is agreed by the Assembly by 15 August 2005, then a
referendum is supposed to be held by 15 October 2005 (Article 61(B)).
Article 61© prescribes that the ratification of the constitution by the
Iraqi people requires more than a simple majority.  It says:

"The general referendum will be successful and the draft constitution
ratified if a majority of the voters in Iraq approve and if two-thirds of
the voters in three or more governorates do not reject it."

The additional condition gives the Kurds a veto on the constitution if they
vote as a bloc, which was one of the reasons why Shia members of the
Governing Council were reluctant sign up to the Transitional Law.

If the constitution is ratified, elections are supposed to be held under the
new constitution by 15 December 2005, with the new government assuming
office no later than 31 December 2005 (Article 61(D)).

If the National Assembly fails to come up with a draft constitution, or if
the draft constitution isn¹t ratified by referendum, then elections to a new
National Assembly are supposed to be called, which could extend the process

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