Wolfowitz Says Fear Greatest Factor in Iraqi
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz says that Iraqis' hearts and minds
still need to be won by the United States and coalition forces fighting former
regime elements and terrorists there.
In prepared testimony to the House Armed Services Committee June 22, Wolfowitz
focused on "lessons learned" so far in Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces. In
discussing the "mixed performance" of Iraqi security forces to date, he said
that the greatest factor was fear.
Former regime fighters and terrorists "have so terrorized" Iraqis that many of
them fear retribution on themselves and their families for helping the
coalition, he said.
"Until Iraqis are convinced that Saddam's regime has been permanently and
irreversibly removed ... that fear will remain," said Wolfowitz. Convincing them
that Saddam and his henchmen are finished, he said, will continue to require our
time, our resources and our military forces, in order to build trust among
Iraqis. "That is why," he added, "it is so important in this time of stress to
show that our commitment to their freedom is rock-solid."
Wolfowitz said this necessity to demonstrate commitment makes it "inadvisable to
set a hard deadline for the Multinational Force's mandate in Iraq." Setting a
deadline, he said, "would encourage the terrorists and murderers from Saddam's
intelligence services to wait us out" before again using violence to regain
"Creating artificial deadlines for withdrawal will ... undermine our current
mission ... put at risk the significant gains already made by the Iraqi people
... and will endanger the lives of American soldiers," Wolfowitz said.
The deputy defense secretary laid out the U.S. strategy for Iraq:
-- Transferring authority to a sovereign government;
-- Enhancing security, "the foundation for victory;"
-- Rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure;
-- Enlisting international support; and
-- Building on Iraq's capacity for self-government.
Wolfowitz emphasized that within the broad outlines of the strategy, flexibility
is not only possible but has been accomplished several times already. As
examples, he noted:
-- Creating the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, armed and equipped more like the army
but with a mission more like the police;
-- Requesting a large budget increase for unforeseen Iraqi reconstruction needs;
-- Developing the idea of a transitional government that could take power before
a permanent constitution is ratified;
-- Substituting a two-step process involving an interim government to take power
before legislative elections for a "caucus plan" that Iraqis didn't like; and
-- Revising implementation of de-Ba'athification policy to accommodate entire
professions where party membership was required.
Other topics Wolfowitz dealt with in some detail included the structure and even
the personnel of the Iraqi interim government; the evolving coordination between
the Iraqi interim government and Multinational Force-Iraq; the size and
composition of the Iraqi Security Forces; and the role of NATO and the United
Nations in a new Iraq.
Following is the text of Wolfowitz's prepared remarks:
Written Statement of Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz Prepared for the
House Armed Services Committee June 22, 2004
Mr. Chairman, Congressman Skelton, Members of the Committee, I am happy to be
here today to testify on the recent progress in the transition to Iraqi
sovereignty and my talks last week with Prime Minister Allawi and his national
As President Bush noted recently, the selection of the Iraqi Interim Government
"brings us one step closer to realizing the dream of millions of Iraqis: a fully
sovereign nation with a representative government that protects their rights and
serves their needs."
The transition to Iraqi sovereignty represents the culmination of the more than
a year-long partnership between the Iraqi people and the Coalition forces
serving in Iraq, working together to create a secure environment in which
freedom and prosperity can grow. Whether from Australia or El Salvador, Poland
or the Philippines, we owe a sincere debt of gratitude to the roughly 23,000 men
and women from our 32 Coalition partners.
And of course, our prayers continue to be with all of our people currently
serving in Iraq. I returned last week from a four-and-a-half-day trip that took
us to northern, central western and southern Iraq, visiting all five American
divisions, as well as the British and Polish division commanders in Iraq. In
temperatures consistently above 100 degrees, I saw firsthand the tremendous work
our brave young Americans are doing, and with every trip I make to Iraq I am
consistently amazed at the leaps in progress they are achieving.
They are making America -- and the world -- more secure by helping the Iraqi
people to plant the seeds of peaceful, representative government in the heart of
the Middle East -- a potentially watershed moment in the Global War on Terror.
Whether members of Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard units, or civilians
working with the CPA or one of many NGOs [non-governmental organizations] active
in Iraq, these heroes embody the best ideals of our nation. They serve so that
others may be free and Americans can be secure, and we thank them all for the
sacrifices they endure.
Finally, on behalf of these brave Americans, let me express thanks to the
Congress and the members of this Committee for the continued and unfailing
bipartisan support you give our armed forces. The $25- billion budget amendment
you authorized will ensure that our forces continue to have the full resources
necessary to complete their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. You have signaled
to the world, both to our allies and to our enemies, America's commitment to see
this new struggle against tyranny and barbarism through to the end.
Additionally, I would like to personally thank the members of this committee for
your support of the Commander's Emergency Response Program and I would ask for
your support in conference of the Train and Equip authorities to help U.S.
military forces secure and stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, enhance the ability
of these countries' military and security forces to combat terrorism and support
U.S. and Coalition military operations. Both provisions are extremely vital
tools as we work to rebuild Iraq and provide security for our troops. The
[Defense] Department will continue to work with the Members to increase the
Train and Equip authority to the Ppresident's requested amount of $500 million
in FY 2005.
Our Strategy in Iraq
Speaking at the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony three weeks
ago, President Bush outlined the strategy for helping Iraqis achieve a fully
constitutional government, one that enables Iraq to preserve its territorial
integrity, reject both weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, and live
peacefully with its neighbors. The strategy involves five interdependent phases
to build Iraqi capacity and transfer responsibilities from the Coalition to Iraq
rapidly -- but not recklessly.
Transferring Authority to a Sovereign Iraq. .
The first phase of the Ppresident's plan will become effective on June 30th,
when the Coalition Provisional Authority transfers authority to the Interim
Iraqi Ggovernment -- a body that will consist of a president, two deputy
-presidents, a prime minister and 26 ministries, and will be responsible for
day-to-day governing of Iraqi state affairs, and will work as a full partner in
providing security to Iraq. On July 1, U.S. Embassy Iraq will open for business,
as a full partner in helping to bring democracy, prosperity, and security to
When Iraq becomes sovereign on June 30th, our engagement will naturally change.
But our commitment will not. During this stage, our focus will rest on shaping
and supporting Iraq's political transition, and particularly on setting the
stage for national elections.
Security is the foundation for victory in Iraq -- the foundation on which all
other successes in Iraq are built. As President Bush noted, we are again at war
against philosophies of death and tyranny. In Iraq, the forces presently trying
to derail Iraq's progress towards democracy include the killers who used to work
in Saddam's fascist intelligence services and the Fedayeeen Saddam, Aal- Qaeda-inspired
foreign terrorists, and the gangs that follow Muqtada al-Sadr. Accordingly, a
critical step in the strategy is to help Iraqis fashion the stability and
security on which representative government depends.
Since the beginning of our mission in Iraq, a principal goal has been to
encourage and enable Iraqis to defend, guard and police Iraq for themselves. It
is far better that Iraqis -- who have a native knowledge of everything from city
neighborhoods and regional accents to religious sensitivities and even local
license plates -- deal with problems unique to Iraq. Allowing them to take the
lead in securing Iraq is a major key to victory over the enemies of a free Iraq.
Although there are currently over 200,000 Iraqi Security Forces on duty or in
training, Iraq's security forces are still a work in progress. They require
training, equipment, leadership and team-building to be able to handle
continuing threats -- internal and external -- on their own. We have accelerated
our efforts to recruit, train, equip and, most importantly, mentor Iraqi
security forces. However, U.S. and other international forces will remain
indispensable to preserving security while Iraqi forces build their strength.
This is recognized in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546, which reaffirms the
authorization for Multinational Force-Iraq.
U.S. forces in Iraq will remain under U.S. command, and will have clear rules of
engagement. U.S. commanders, however, will coordinate security efforts closely
with their Iraqi counterparts. These troops will be maintained at the level
required to do the job, as our commanders in Iraq constantly reassess the
numbers of troops they need. As we have often said, and as the Ppresident
reiterated in his recent address to the nation, if our commanders on the ground
ask for more troops, they will get more troops.
Rebuilding Iraq's Infrastructure.
The third step in the Ppresident's plan for victory in Iraq involves rebuilding
Iraq's civil infrastructure -- deeply damaged by decades of Saddam's neglect and
the ravages of three wars Saddam brought upon his people. At present, 16
ministries which will address such programs -- to include Health, Education and
Public Works and Municipalities -- have been handed over to Iraqis who are
running these ministries with full authority. We will continue to work with
Iraqis to build on what has already been achieved in areas such as healthcare
Enlisting International Support.
Investment in Iraq's success is not just an American investment, it is one that
must be shared by the international community. The fourth step in the
Ppresident's plan involves enlisting additional international support for Iraq's
transition to democracy. The U.N. will play a critical role in that process. In
the last couple of weeks, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed
Resolution 1546, endorsing the transition timetable adopted by Iraqis, and
encouraging other U.N. members to add their support. The international community
at large will continue to play a key role in helping Iraq stand on its own feet
-- through such actions as economic assistance, debt relief, and continued
Continue Building on Iraq's Capacity for Self-government.
The fifth step in the Ppresident's plan involves nurturing Iraq's capacity for
representative self-government, that will lead to a constitutional government by
the end of 2005. The Interim Government will serve until representatives to a
Transitional Government are elected, no later than the end of January 2005 --
the first free elections held in Iraqi history.
By the end of 2005, Iraqis are scheduled to vote on a new constitution that will
protect the rights of all Iraqi citizens, regardless of their religion or
ethnicity. This is the historic point when Iraq will have the necessary
legitimacy for durable self-rule. During this process Iraqis will decide for
themselves the exact structure of their permanent government, and the provisions
of their Iraqi constitution.
As important as clarity about these five phases of our strategy is, it is
equally important that we maintain the ability to adjust to rapidly evolving
conditions in Iraq. For history has demonstrated that even the best -laid plans
for post-war reconstruction can go awry if not matched to the realities on the
ground. For example, in World War II, post-war planning for the reconstruction
of Germany began three years before the end of the war. Before the German
surrender, the Joint Chiefs of Staff's blueprint for the occupation of Germany,
JSC 1067, specified tough programs to "prevent Germany from ever again becoming
a threat to the peace of the world." No sooner did military and civilian
officials arrive in devastated Germany after the war, however, than they began
to realize this plan was wholly inadequate. All of the programs specified in JCS
1067, the result of three years' worth of planning, either failed or were
aborted. Eventually, more than two years after VE day, JCS 1067 was replaced
altogether by JCS 1779, which stressed the goal of a "stable and productive
That history demonstrates that the key to post-war reconstruction lies not in
impressive -looking paperwork devised thousands of miles away from the front
line, but flexibility when planning meets reality. In reconstruction, as in war,
plans are at best the basis for future changes. Whereas it took the United
States more than two years to alter its plans after World War II, in less than
15 months this Coalition has repeatedly demonstrated that it can be flexible
when necessary, and it has done so in the face of an evil enemy that continues
to kill and destroy. Examples of this flexibility include:
*-- Creating a new type of indigenous force (the Iraqi Civil Defense
Corps) to fill the gap between the Iraqi police service and an army oriented to
*-- Requesting a large [funding] supplemental when the requirements for Iraqi
reconstruction became clear;
*-- Responding to Iraqi demands for a more rapid resumption of sovereignty by
developing the idea of a transitional government that could take power before a
permanent constitution is ratified;
*-- Dropping the "caucus plan" for selecting the transitional government, when
it turned out to be unpopular with Iraqis, and substituting a two-step process
involving an interim government that will take power before legislative
*-- Revising the mechanisms for implementing the de-Ba'athification policy to
address complaints that the appeals process was not working as intended, and to
respond to the Sunni minority's fears of marginalization.
Although the reconstruction plans first envisioned in the summer of 2002, and
submitted by the CPA to Congress last July, have undergone substantial changes,
it has been the Coalition's ability to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances
that has brought us now to the transfer of sovereignty, and the beginning of
representative government in Iraq.
The Iraqi Interim Government
The first phase of the Ppresident's plan takes effect on June 30th, when the
Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, transferring all
governmental authority to the Iraqi Interim Ggovernment. This Interim
Ggovernment was formed through a process of wide-ranging consultation with
Iraqis, including political leaders, religious and tribal leaders, and civic
associations. The process was led by Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Adviser
on Iraq to the Secretary General of the United Nations, working in consultation
with the CPA and the Iraqi Governing Council.
The Iraqi Interim Ggovernment consists of a president, two deputy presidents,
and a prime minister leading a Council of Ministers. The new government will
also include an Interim National Council and a Judicial Authority. The Interim
National Council will be chosen by a National Conference, to be held in July,
involving at least a thousand Iraqis from across Iraq, and representing every
province in the country, as well as various political parties, tribal leaders,
trade and professional unions, universities, and religious leaders.
The composition of the Iraqi Interim Ggovernment is as follows:
President of Iraq -- Sheikh Ghazi Ajil Al-Yawar
Deputy President of Iraq -- Dr. Ibrahim Jaafari
Deputy President of Iraq -- Dr. Rowsch Shaways
Prime Minister of Iraq -- Dr. Ayad Allawi
Deputy Prime Minister -- Dr. Barham Salih
Minister of Agriculture -- Dr. Sawsan Ali Magid Al-Sharifi Minister of
Communications -- Dr. Mohammad Ali Al-Hakim Minister of Culture -- Mr. Mufeed
Mohammed Jawad al-Jaza'iri Minister of Defense -- Mr. Hazem Sha'alan Minister of
Displacement and Migration -- Ms. Pascale Isho Warda Minister of Education --
Professor Sami Al-Mudhaffar Minister of Electricity -- Dr. Aiham Al-Sammarae
Minister of Environment -- Professor Mishkat Moumin Minister of Finance -- Dr.
Adel Abdul Mahdi Minister of Foreign Affairs -- Mr. Hoshyar Mahmood Mohammed
Zebari Minister of Health -- Dr. Ala'adin Alwan Minister of Higher Education --
Dr. Taher Khalaf Jabur Al-Bakaa Minister of Housing and Construction -- Dr. Omar
Al-Farouq Salim Al-Damluji Minister of Human Rights -- Dr. Bakhtiar Amin
Minister of Industry and Minerals -- Dr. Hajem Al-Hasssani Minister of Interior
-- Mr. Falah al-Nakib Minister of Justice -- Dr. Malik Dohan Al-Hassan Minister
of Labor and Social Affairs -- Ms. Leyla Abdul Latif Minister of Public Works --
Ms. Nasreen Mustapha Berwari Minister of Oil -- Mr. Thamir Abbas Ghadban
Minister of Planning -- Dr. Mehdi Al-Hafidh Minister of Science and Technology
-- Dr. Rashad Mandan Omar Minister of State for Provinces -- Judge Wa'il Abdul
al-Latif Minister of State for Women -- Ms. Narmin Othman Minister of State --
Dr. Kasim Daoud Minister of State -- Dr. Mamu Farham Othman Minister of State --
Mr. Adnan al-Janabi Minister of Trade -- Mr. Mohammed Mostafa al-Jibouri
Minister of Transportation -- Mr. Louay Hatem Sultan Al Erris Minister of Water
Resources -- Dr. Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid Minister of Youth and Sports -- Mr.
Ali Fa'iq Al-Ghabban
This is a remarkable group of individuals. They reflect a wide array of talents
and backgrounds, and they are all committed to serving the interests of the
Iraqi people and paving away for the first free elections in Iraqi history. They
are doing so in full knowledge that they are risking their lives. I hope that
the Members of this Committee will join me in pledging our full support, and our
prayers, to the Interim Ggovernment as they prepare to assume ultimate authority
in Iraq in less than three weeks.
The Iraqi Interim Ggovernment will operate under the legal framework established
by the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) and the TAL Annex. The president
and the two deputy presidents will form a Presidency of the State that
represents the sovereignty of Iraq and oversees the higher affairs of the
country. The Presidency will have ceremonial functions and must unanimously
approve orders issued by the Council of Ministers before they can become law.
The Pprime Mminister will have day-to-day responsibility for the management of
the government. Iraq's ministers, who will oversee the ministries, will report
to the Pprime Mminister. The government will be responsible for improving
security, promoting economic development, and for the important process of
preparing for democratic elections in January 2005. The Council of Ministers,
with the unanimous approval of the Presidency, may issue orders or decrees with
the force of law. The Interim National Council can veto these orders or decrees
by a two-thirds majority vote.
As noted above, the National Conference will choose an Interim National Council
of 100 members. The Interim National Council will oversee the government and
will have other substantive powers specified in the TAL Annex. It will be able
to hear the views of citizens, advise and question the government on policy,
form committees and veto orders or decrees from the Council of Ministers by a
two-thirds majority vote. It will also have the authority to appoint
replacements to the Presidency in the event that a member of the Presidency dies
or resigns, and it will have the right to approve the 2005 Iraqi national
As set out in the Transitional Administrative Law, the Judicial Authority is
independent of the executive branch of government. The federal judicial branch
will include a Federal Supreme Court, a Court of Cassation, Courts of Appeal and
the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. In addition, there will be a Higher
Juridical Council that will supervise the federal judiciary and administer the
Some have argued that the Iraqi Interim Ggovernment will be a puppet of the
United States, or will have only limited sovereignty. This is, quite simply,
false, and ignores the fully sovereign powers of the Interim Ggovernment. For
example, the Iraqi Interim Ggovernment that takes power on June 30 will have the
power to conclude agreements in the areas of diplomatic relations and economic
reconstruction, including Iraq's sovereign debt.
At the same time, the Iraqi people desire to limit the powers of an un-elected
government. After 30 years of living under Saddam's tyranny, it is perfectly
understandable that the Iraqi people would seek to limit the power of a
government that is not yet fully accountable to the Iraqi electorate. And given
our nation's history of resistance to taxation without representation, Americans
should easily understand why Iraqis want the Interim Ggovernment's authority to
Consequently, the Iraqi Interim Government will not be able to amend the
Transitional Administrative Law or to form agreements which permanently alter
the destiny of Iraq. The Iraqi people have made clear that only an elected
government should have such powers. The Interim Ggovernment will operate under
rules defined in the Transitional Administrative Law, which provides a historic
bill of rights for the Iraqi people and a roadmap to a permanent constitution in
The Iraqi Interim Government and the Multinational Force
Although this progress on the political track is impressive, the ability of the
Iraqi people to achieve their aspirations will be heavily influence by the
security situation in Iraq. As recent events have demonstrated, continuing
attacks by insurgents, including members of Saddam's security services, foreign
fighters and terrorists, and illegal militias challenge all those who are
working for a better Iraq.
This is why both the new Pprime Mminister and Fforeign Mminister have publicly
requested that the U.S.-led multinational forces remain in Iraq to help the
Iraqi people complete their political transition and permit the United Nations
and the international community to work to facilitate Iraq's reconstruction. In
a statement this week, Prime Minister Allawi
"We are deeply grateful for the sacrifices that the forces of friendly countries
have made to help liberate us from one of the most abusive tyrants of modern
times. . . .
"Until our forces are fully capable, we will continue to need support from our
friends in the Multi-National Force - Iraq. We appreciate the understanding and
contributions of the international community, and we hope that additional
international support will be forthcoming in response to United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1546."
Similarly, addressing the U.N. Security Council earlier this month as that body
was considering what became Resolution 1546, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari
"[Since April] last year we have been working very hard to re-establish Iraq's
security, military, and police forces.
"However, we have yet to reach the stage of being able to maintain our own
security, and therefore the people of Iraq need and request the assistance of
multinational forces to work closely with Iraqi forces to stabilize the
situation. I stress that any premature departure of international troops would
lead to chaos and the real possibility of a civil war in Iraq. This would cause
a humanitarian crisis and provide a foothold for terrorists to launch their evil
campaign in our country and beyond our borders. The continued presence of the
multinational force will help preserve Iraq's unity, prevent regional
intervention in our affairs and protect our borders at this critical stage of
The Iraqi Armed Forces will be a principal partner of the Multinational Force.
The Iraqi National Guard -- built on the present Civil Defense Corps -- will be
part of the Iraqi Army, which will be responsible to the Iraqi Ministry of
Defense. The objectives and functions of the Multinational Force after the
transfer of sovereignty will remain as it has been, except that it will now
coordinate with the sovereign Iraqi government through agreed consultative
We will need to develop an effective and cooperative security partnership
between the Multinational Force and the sovereign government of Iraq. The
commander of the Multinational Force will work in partnership with the sovereign
Ggovernment of Iraq in helping to provide security while recognizing and
respecting its sovereignty. To that end, Multinational Force commanders will, at
the invitation of the Iraqi Prime Minister, participate in discussions of the
Ministerial Committee for National Security on the broad framework of security
policy. The Iraqi security forces will be responsible to the appropriate Iraqi
ministers. The Multinational Force will coordinate with them at all levels --
national, regional, and local -- in order to maintain unity of command of
military operations in which Iraqi forces are engaged with the Multinational
While the Iraqi Ggovernment may withhold their forces from specific
Multinational Force operations, units committed to joint operations with the MNF
will act under unified command. Iraqi leaders and the MNF will keep each other
informed of their respective activities, consult regularly to ensure the
effective allocation and use of personnel, resources and facilities, will share
intelligence, and will refer issues up the respective chains of command where
necessary. This will be a partnership
-- where both sides will bring their views to the table and agreements will be
reached through mutual consent.
We were able to fill in many details of this partnership during our talks last
week with Prime Minister Allawi and his national security team. Those talks
enabled us to gain insight into the new Iraqi government's strategy to defeat
its enemies, as it prepares to assume sovereign authority, and as our role
changes from that of an occupying power responsible for maintaining security to
helping the Iraqis defend themselves. We met with Prime Minister Allawi and his
team for about eight hours over the course of three days. The meetings were very
cordial and productive. Based on Lieutenant General Petraeus' ongoing work with
the Iraqis, as well as on last week's discussions, we achieved consensus on a
way ahead, which was reflected in Prime Minister Allawi's statement this past
Sunday of Iraq's national security strategy.
A key element of these talks was the delineation of several mechanisms for the
coordination of operations between Iraqi Security Forces and the Multinational
Force. The Iraqis proposed the creation of a Joint Operating Center to
coordinate operations at the national level. It will fill the gap between the
Joint Coordinating Centers, which function at the regional and local levels, and
the Ministerial Committee for National Security, which would deal with
political-military issues at the strategic level. Participants in this body will
include representatives of the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Defense and the
Interior, the Multinational Force Commander and the Chief of the Office of
The Iraqis also agreed that the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) will continue to operate
as part of the Multinational Force authorized by UNSCRs 1511 and 1546, although
they will want increased input and coordination in the ISG's activities.
We also agreed to establish a Joint Committee on Detainees. We agreed that
representation in this Committee should include representatives from the Iraqi
government, the Multinational Force, and ambassadors from contributing
The Iraqis also requested help in creating a command center in the Pprime
Mminister's office. We agreed that we could re-allocate resources already
committed to creating command centers at the Ministries of Defense and the
Interior, and at the Joint Headquarters and could begin work quickly.
[Lieutenant] General [Ricardo] Sanchez noted that once the Iraqis have
identified appropriate officers, we can embed them at lower-level Multinational
Force headquarters. These embedded officers could be connected to the Pprime
Mminister's command center to provide situational awareness before lower-level
Iraqi headquarters were up and running.
Iraqi Security Forces
Of course, the long-term key to success in Iraq requires building indigenous
Iraqi capacity, and transitioning responsibilities from the coalition to Iraq.
Nowhere is this more vital than in our efforts to build capable Iraqi security
forces to achieve stability. Our plan was -- and is -- for Iraqi forces to
develop strength, capability, and experience with the help of the Multinational
Force, with the MNF playing a crucial supporting role until the Iraqis can stand
on their own.
Current plans call for:
*-- Iraqi Army: 27 battalions, or 35,000 soldiers, trained and on duty by
October. Most of their equipment is planned to be on hand by that time, with
vehicles continuing to be delivered through March 2005.
*-- Iraqi National Guard: 45 battalions (40,000 soldiers) by September, with
possible additional battalions beyond. Equipment is arriving rapidly, and the 45
battalions should be equipped by September.
*-- Iraqi Police Service: 90,000 policemen, which is the current number on duty,
fully trained by June 2005. Equipment is flowing in, and they are planned to be
fully equipped by September.
*-- Iraqi Border Patrol: 20,000 by July, to be fully equipped by September.
*-- Facility Protection Service: There are currently 74,000 on duty, with the
final number to be determined by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. These
forces might also be fully equipped by September.
During our meetings with Prime Minster Allawi, the Pprime Mminister conveyed a
clear sense of priorities for the different elements of the Iraqi Security
Forces. The first priority will be the Iraqi Intervention Force (previously
called the Iraqi National Task Force). This force's main mission will be to
defeat enemy forces in urban areas, and will have a troop strength of 6,600
troops organized into three brigades.
The second priority will be an Iraq Special Operations Force, consisting of a
764-troop Iraqi Counter Terrorist Force, similar to our SWAT teams, and a
supporting Commando Battalion, similar to a Ranger Battalion, comprised of 828
The third priority will be the creation of an Iraqi National Guard, based on the
current Iraqi Civil Defense Corps [ICDC], as part of the Iraq Army. While the
planned size of the force will remain initially at 45 battalions, a command
structure of six division headquarters and eighteen 18 brigade headquarters
would be added. This would create an all-Iraqi chain of command for the ICDC
battalions, through brigade and division headquarters, to the Army chief of
staff and defense minister, and finally all the way up to the prime minister.
The areas of operation [AOs] of the six divisions could be aligned with the AOs
of the Multinational Force's six Major Subordinate Commands. This would
facilitate coordination between Iraqi and international forces at the regional
The fourth priority is the continued development of two divisions of the Regular
Army. While the current mission statement of the regular army emphasizes defense
against external conventional attack, the new government wants to be able to use
it against the internal enemy, the real current threat to Iraq's security.
Additionally, although the Iraqis had considered adding two more divisions, they
agreed that this is a lower priority that can be deferred to a later date.
The spike in combat activity we witnessed in Iraq, and the mixed performance of
Iraqi Security Forces we saw in response, have provided further lessons we can
apply to increase the impact of what we are doing to recruit, train, equip and,
most importantly, mentor Iraqi security forces.
The first lesson is the need for stronger leaders in the security forces. We
will build on the leaders whose units fought and we will replace those whose
units did not. We will integrate Iraqi officers with Coalition forces and we
will embed Coalition officers with the Iraqi security forces. This arrangement
provides liaison, which produces mutual confidence, and it also helps us develop
Iraqi leadership. Similarly, we need police liaisons and specialized trainers to
get down to police stations around the country to provide confidence and set the
Second, the Iraqi security forces need more and better equipment. We had not
planned for them to be fully equipped at this point, and many police and ICDC
units were outgunned in recent action. We are re-examining the equipment
requirements. We have also incurred some delays in equipping the Iraqi security
forces. Part of the delay has been caused by challenges in the contracting
process, and those problems finally seem to be fixed. We need to make up for
lost time, but any further delay is unacceptable.
Third, it is clear that the members of the security forces, most of whom are
Iraqi patriots, need an Iraqi rallying point. They need to understand they
report to an Iraqi chain of command, and that at the top of that chain of
command is a lawfully constituted Iraqi government. The chain of command is
being put in place now. A defense minister has been named, along with a
commander in chief of the armed forces and a chief of staff. A new interior
minister has also taken office. The rest of the chain needs to be filled, but
Iraqis in the security forces can see today that there are Iraqis at the top.
The greatest factor in the mixed performance of the security forces was an
intangible: fear. The enemies of a democratic future for Iraq have so terrorized
the cities of central Iraq that many members of the security forces doubt that
they or their families can be protected from the retribution that may follow
their participation in operations alongside the Coalition. Until Iraqis are
convinced that Saddam's regime has been permanently and irreversibly removed,
and until a long and ghastly part of their history is put to rest and overcome,
that fear will remain. Convincing them of this truth -- that Saddam and the
Saddamists are finished -- will continue to require investments of our time and
our resources and our precious men and women in uniform, to continue to build
trust among the Iraqi people. That is why it is so important in this time of
stress to show that our commitment to their freedom is rock-solid.
This is also why it is inadvisable to set a hard deadline for the Multinational
Force's mandate in Iraq. Such a deadline would risk creating the impression
amongst the great majority of moderate Iraqis who hope for a new Iraq that we
were not committed to the long-term stability of Iraq. It would encourage the
terrorists and murderers from Saddam's intelligence services to wait us out so
that they could unleash a wave of violence in order to regain political power
and begin their tyranny over the Iraqi people anew. Creating artificial
deadlines for withdrawal will only serve to undermine our current mission in
Iraq. It will put at risk the significant gains already made by the Iraqi people
in the rebuilding of their nation, and will endanger the lives of American
The Role of NATO and the U.N.
Contrary to assertions that we are in Iraq with a coalition that is just window
dressing for unilateralism, the Coalition's mission to liberate and reconstruct
Iraq has been an international effort from the start. This includes heavy NATO
participation, as sixteen 16 of our NATO allies currently have more than 19,000
troops deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom's stability operations.
Appropriately, British and Polish representatives participated in our meetings
with Iraq's national security leaders.
Similarly, this Aadministration has made a significant effort to involve the
United Nations in the reconstruction of Iraq. The Coalition's ongoing efforts in
Iraq have repeatedly received the endorsement of the U.N.. U.N. Security Council
Resolution 1483 -- passed May 22, 2003 -- supported the formation of the CPA and
an Iraqi Interim Administration. UNSCR 1500 -- passed August 14, 2003 --
recognized the establishment of the Governing Council. UNSCR 1511 -- passed
October 16, 2003 -- authorizes a multinational force under unified command. All
three of these resolutions were unanimously endorsed by the U.N. Security
The Aadministration has worked closely with the United Nations secretary general
throughout the past year. Before his tragic murder by terrorists, U.N. envoy
Sergio Viera de Mello was instrumental in establishing the Iraqi Governing
Council. The new U.N. envoy, Lakdar Brahimi, has been invaluable in facilitating
the creation of the Iraqi Interim Ggovernment. Since the tragic bombing of the
U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad last August
-- which Zarqawi boasts was his doing, and which was clearly aimed at driving
out the U.N. -- security for the U.N. has been a major challenge. However, the
U.N. representative for Security Coordination's Office has been in Baghdad since
mid-January, and a U.N. Election Commission headed by Carina Perelli has been in
Iraq since April.
On May 24th the U.S. and UK submitted a draft U.N. Security Council Resolution
that defines U.S. and international responsibilities in Iraq. This resolution
was passed unanimously on June 8th as UNSCR 1546. We look forward to the United
Nations providing election expertise and assistance in preparation for the
election of the Iraqi Transitional Ggovernment by January 2005. We have also
proposed a specific allotment of international forces falling under the unified
command of the Multinational Force, whose sole mission would be the protection
of U.N. personnel and facilities in Iraq. This would permit the United Nations
to expand their presence and activities within Iraq, something this
Aadministration has supported since Iraq's liberation over a year ago.
We look forward to the continued participation of these international
organizations in Iraq after the transition to Iraqi sovereignty. Many allies
support an increased role by NATO in Iraq. Several have called for the passing
of a new U.N. Security Council Resolution authorizing a NATO force presence,
functional tasking, such as election support, ordnance disposal, the protection
of U.N. personnel, or assisting in the equipping of Iraqi security forces.
My recent travels through Iraq, from my visit to Basra in the far south to Lake
Dokan in Northern Iraq, as well our meetings with Prime Minister Allawi and his
team, have convinced me that the Iraqi Interim Ggovernment is comprised of
leaders who understand the magnitude of the task laid before them, but also
recognize the necessity of compromise and sacrifice required to achieve a free
and prosperous Iraq. More importantly, accompanying this realization of the
hardships to come is an unflinching optimism on the part of the Iraqi people. In
his statement Sunday, Dr. Allawi declared:
"The enemy we are fighting is truly evil. They have nothing to offer the Iraqi
people except death and destruction and the slaughter of innocents. Having
suffered under tyranny for so many years, the Iraqi people are determined to
establish a democratic government that provides freedom and equal rights for all
its citizens. We are prepared to fight and, if necessary, die for that cause. We
are confident that we will prevail."
One Iraqi, identified only as Omar, reflected recently on the assassination of
the Ppresident of the Iraqi Governing Council, Izzedine Salim, on his website:
"Are we sad?" he wrote in his Web log. "Yes of course, but we're absolutely not
discouraged because we know our enemies and we decided to go in this battle to
the end. . . . I've tasted freedom, my friends, and I'd rather die fighting to
preserve my freedom before I find myself trapped in another nightmare of blood
Like Omar, brave young Americans in Iraq are committed as well, and we are as a
nation. And we remain cautiously optimistic, despite the daily death and
violence caused by the evil enemy Prime Minister Allawi described. Our own
history attests to the fact that democracy can be a hard-won prize. But we also
know that the goal is worth the fight.