Home Page


L. Paul Bremer, III
Coalition Provisional Authority
National Security Team Announcement
4 April 2004

Today Iraq passes a major milestone on the path to sovereignty and reliance on its own security forces.

Before I address the major announcement I want to make today, I want to have a few words about events in Najaf today:

For the past 11 months, Iraq has been on the path to democracy and freedom, and it has enjoyed a number of important freedoms which attach to democracy: freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom of the press. We've seen these freedoms exercised vigorously all over the country in the last 10 months in press conferences, in television debates and in peaceful demonstrations. And that is welcome, but those freedoms must be exercised peacefully. This morning a group of people in Najaf have crossed the line, and they have moved to violence. This will not be tolerated. This will not be tolerated by the coalition, this will not be tolerated by the Iraqi people, and this will not be tolerated by the Iraqi security forces.
Ultimately, Iraqis must have responsibility for protecting their own land and people. That is why the Coalition is putting so much emphasis on recruiting and training Iraqis to serve in Iraq’s security forces. That is why the American Government is spending billions of dollars to increase, equip and train Iraq’s security forces.

These efforts are paying off. Every day Iraqis assume greater responsibility for their own security. Iraq’s defense forces are growing-- today there are more than 200,000 Iraqis on duty and their numbers continue to grow.

Maximizing the effectiveness of these forces requires that they operate in concert with the police and other forces, with the benefit of the best intelligence available, and in obedience to the instructions of a democratic government.

To integrate Iraq’s military, intelligence, and political efforts, I am today creating three institutions. Together, they will give Iraq the architecture and means to formulate security policies appropriate to Iraqi security needs. They are:

• the Ministry of Defense,
• the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, and
• the Ministerial Committee for National Security.

These organizations are giving Iraqis the means to defend their country against terrorists and insurgents.
Given Iraq’s recent history, it has also been important to ensure that Iraq’s national security organizations are open to public scrutiny and under political control.

The Transitional Administrative Law, which provides Iraq with the path to elections and democracy, also provides fundamental protections against tyranny. Under the Transitional Administrative Law, civilian control of the military is firmly established. Operational authority over the military flows from the Prime Minister, who must be an elected civilian, through the Minister of Defense, who also must be a civilian, to the military chain of command.

As an additional defense against unchecked power, the Transitional Administrative Law makes the Prime Minister and all other ministers subject to oversight by the elected National Assembly. Iraq has too much sad experience of unbridled power to permit too much power to once again reside in any one set of hands.

Intelligence is the indispensable tool against terrorism. It is the single most valuable tool used to counter the terrorists’ advantages in ruthlessness and initiative.

But as Iraqis and many others know, intelligence services can present their own threats to citizens’ rights and democratic governance. For that reason, the Governing Council is publishing today the complete charter of the Intelligence Service. Now all Iraqis can know the Intelligence Service’s authorities. They will be able to judge its performance against that charter. Additionally, it is important for all Iraqis to know that the new Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) will have no power to arrest people, removing another power abused by Saddam’s mukharabat. The INIS is also forbidden from reporting on domestic political issues or involving itself in the political process. The Director General of the INIS will be appointed by the head of government and confirmed by the National Assembly.

Iraq is fortunate that two of her most distinguished citizens have agreed to accept two vital posts that have been created.

Ali Allawi, a financier with degrees in engineering, planning, and management as well as a record of opposition to Baathism, has agreed to leave his post as interim Minister of Trade to become interim Minister of Defense.

Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed al-Shehwani has agreed to become interim Director General of INIS. His record of service to Iraq began in 1955, when he jointed the Iraqi Army. He rose to the rank of Major General before being forced out by Saddam’s government in 1984. Eventually forced into exile, he returned to Iraq in 2003 to fight against Saddam’s regime.

Gentlemen, I congratulate you both, not just on your new posts, but on your long record of opposition to tyranny. I am sure you will serve the people of Iraq with distinction. The Iraqi people will thank you for your contribution to their future of hope.

Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.
Aash al-Iraq!


A simpler version of this page for printingPrinter-friendly Version

Home | Official Documents | Budget and Finance | Transcripts | Press Releases
Requests for Proposals/Solicitations | Business Center | Webmaster
Privacy and Security Notice

Volunteers For Prosperity First Gov USA Freedom Corps White House Foreign Aid in the National Interest