Pentagon talking points on Iraq, war on terror

Published: Thursday June 15, 2006

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An incredibly lengthy "prep book" for discussion of the Iraq war and US efforts to end terrorism has been issued to supporters in Congress, and acquired by RAW STORY.

The 74 page document seems to be an election year guide for Republicans and Democratic supporters of the war, with many of the "points" seeming to be rebuttals to arguments made by opponents of the war.

Other portions seek to categorize opponents of the war as "cut and run" advocates.

Though certain images could not, as of the time of publication, be transferred, we are making available to readers the entire Pentagon playbook for debate, which follows:


Global War on Terrorism

In this new century, freedom is once again assaulted by enemies determined to roll back generations of democratic progress. Once again, we're responding to a global campaign of fear with a global campaign of freedom. And once again, we will see freedom's victory. - President George W. Bush 10/6/05

America is at war with a transnational terrorist movement fueled by a radical ideology of hatred, oppression, and murder. From the beginning, this war has been both a battle of arms and a battle of ideas.

We have a comprehensive approach to the War on Terror. Not only do we employ military power, we use all elements of national power and influence – including diplomatic, intelligence, financial, and law enforcement activities – to protect the Homeland, disrupt terrorist operations, and deprive our enemies of what they need to operate and survive.

The War on Terror is an international effort, and continued success depends on the actions of a powerful coalition of nations maintaining a united front against terror. Since September 11, 2001, most of our important successes against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups have been made possible through effective international partnerships.

The War on Terror will be a long war. Yet we have mobilized to win other long wars, and we can and will win this one.

We have made and will continue to make real progress with concrete successes in the War on Terror.


Summary: General Abizaid on the Enemy Tab 1

Motivation: What Unites the Terrorists Tab 2

Tactics: How the Terrorists Operate Tab 3

Objectives: What the Terrorists want Tab 4


Summary: Fighting the Global War on Terrorism Tab 1

Accomplishments in the Global War on Terrorism Tab 2

Threats Disrupted at Home Tab 3

Accomplishments in Afghanistan Tab 4

New Allies in the War on Terror Tab 5

Halting Proliferation of WMD Tab 6


Summary: The world is safer without Saddam; we have a strategy for victory in Iraq; we cannot cut and run. Tab 1

The world is safer without Saddam Tab 2 Saddam and his defiance of the world community Tab 2:A:1 Defiance of UN resolutions 2:A:1 Saddam Wanted WMD 2:A:2 Oil for Food Corruption / Ending Sanctions 2:A:3

Saddam made war on his neighbors and his own people Tab 2:B:1 Support for Terrorist Groups 2:B:1 Atrocities Against his Own People 2:B:2 Quotes about Saddam 2:B:3

Strategy for Victory: Democracy, Security, No Retreat Tab 3 Political: build a democracy to unite the Iraqi people Tab 3:A Importance of the Unity Government 3:A:1 Iraqi Constitution 3:A:2 Broadly Representative Coalition Government 3:A:3 Iraqi Faith in the Government 3:A:4 How the Unity Government Prevented Civil War 3:A:5 What the Government Means to the Terrorists 3:A:6

Security: Training Iraqi forces so they can take the lead Tab 3: B Facts and figures on ISF 3:B:1 How Iraqis Support their Security Forces 3:B:2 Iraqi-led Operations 3:B:3 What Experts are Saying about ISF 3:B:4

Economy: Iraq has the resources to be a prosperous democracy Tab 3:C From Saddam to Macroeconomic Stability 3:C:1 Essential Services 3:C:2 Rejoining the World Community 3:C:3 Economic Optimisim 3:C:4

Costs of Cut and Run Tab 4 Iraq will Become a Haven to Terrorists 4:1 Signals to the Region and the Rest of the World. 4:2


The President misled America into War Tab 1

Pre-war intelligence was manipulated Tab 2

There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq Tab 3

Building Democracy is a postwar rationalization Tab 4

The President has no plan for Victory / The plan has failed at all levels Tab 5

Our presence has provoked a civil war in Iraq Tab 6

Our presence is Counterproductive Tab 7

Troops are dying needlessly and don't believe in the cause Tab 8

We should withdraw troops immediately and leave the Iraqis to fight for themselves Tab 9

The terrorists are winning this war Tab 10

The War in Iraq has made the world more dangerous for the US. Tab 11

"The enemy's vision of the future would create a region-wide zone that would look like Afghanistan under the Taliban. Music would be banned, women ostracized, basic liberties banished, and soccer stadiums used for public executions. The people of the region do not want the future these extremists desire. The more we talk about this enemy, the more its bankrupt ideology will become known. Osama bin Landen and Musab al Zarqawi cannot represent the future of Islam."

Gen John Abizaid, USCENTCOM Commander, Posture Statement, March 2006.)

The Terrorist Enemy

The principal terrorist enemy confronting the United States today is a transnational movement of extremist organizations, networks, and individuals – and their state and non-state supporters – which have in common that they exploit Islam and use terrorism for ideological ends.

The movement is not monolithic. What unites the movement is the ideology of extremism, violence, and hate.

Our principal terrorist enemies seek to establish regimes that rule according to a violent and intolerant distortion of Islam. As illustrated by Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, such regimes would deny all political and religious freedoms and serve as sanctuaries for violent extremists to launch additional attacks – not only against the United States and its partners but the Muslim world itself. Some among the enemy harbor even greater ambitions and aim to establish a single, pan-Islamic totalitarian regime that stretches from Spain to Southeast Asia.

The enemy uses suicide bombings, beheadings, and other atrocities against innocents as a means to achieve their dark vision. Their demonstrated indifference to human life and desire to inflict catastrophic damage on the United States and its partners around the world has fueled their pursuit of and intent to use WMD. We cannot permit the world's most dangerous terrorists and their regime sponsors to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.

In addition to the principal terrorist enemy confronting us today, a host of other groups and individuals also use terror against innocents to pursue their objectives. Their terrorist tactics ensure they are the enemy of free and peaceful people everywhere

  • Motivation: Seemingly unconnected terrorist attacks and conflicts are connected in that they are focused within the boundaries of historical Muslim dominance. They desire "the establishment by terrorism and subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom." (President George W. Bush 10/6/05)

  • "The images and experience of September the 11th are unique for Americans. Yet the evil of that morning has reappeared on other days, in other places—in Mombasa, and Casablanca, and Riyadh, and Jakarta, and Istanbul, and Madrid, and Belan, and Taba, and Netanya, and Baghdad, and elsewhere. IN the past few months we've seen a new terror offensive with attacks on London and Sharm el-Sheikh, and a deadly bombing in Bali once again. All these separate images of destruction and suffering that we see on the news can seem like random and isolated acts of madness; innocent men and women and children have died simply because they boarded the wrong train, or worked in the wrong building, or checked into the wrong hotel. Yet while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane. (President George W. Bush, 10/6/05)

  • Many of the conflicts we see today are within the boundaries of the old Ottoman Empire.

    • Ayman al-Zawahiri explained in a letter recently that, "the battles that are going on in the far-flung regions of the Islamic world, such as Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Bosnia, are just the groundwork and the vanguard for the major battles which have begun in the heart of the Islamic world. We ask God that He send down his victory upon us that he promised to his faithful worshippers."
  • The extremists leverage this sense of history to reach the masses with the Muslim world. They blame the west for the downfall of Muslim influence, prominence, and prestige. Much of their rhetoric resonates with those who have little hope within this region.

Taken from a Joint Staff briefing on the Global War on Terrorism (included)

  • Tactics

  • The enemy derives his strengths from developing safe havens in the geographic, virtual, and mass media worlds- especially the internet. He sets up front companies to gain and move resources and buys off politicians and financiers who launder illicit money. He co-opts or enlists sympathetic civic and charitable organizations that propagate their ideology of hate.

  • They are bound together by their extreme ideology, not by any centralized command structure. This makes it easy for a loose network to achieve "unity of effort" and difficult for any single military campaign to eradicate the threat, since ideas can't be eliminated by guns alone.

  • They are masters of intimidation, but not of the battlefield. They can intimidate and kill ordinary people, but cannot win an engagement against military force properly employed.

  • They exploit local conflicts to build a culture of victimization; mobilize resentful, disillusioned, and underemployed young men and women, and use modern technology to amplify the effects of their destructive acts.

Taken from a Joint Staff briefing on the Global War on Terrorism (included)

  • Objectives: The enemy has clearly articulated its objectives and have made Iraq the focus of their efforts – from which they can expand fundamental fervor.

  • "The enemy's vision of the future would create a region-wide zone that would look like Afghanistan under the Taliban. Music would be banned, women ostracized, basic liberties banished, and soccer stadiums used for public executions. The people of the region do not want the future these extremists desire. The more we talk about this enemy, the more its bankrupt ideology will become known. Osama bin Landen and Musab al Zarqawi cannot represent the future of Islam." (Gen John Abizaid, USCENTCOM Commander, Posture Statement, March 2006.)

  • Al Qaeda represents the present day manifestation of the violent extremists.

    • Their objectives are clear.

    • Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other Islamic extremists, have repeatedly outlined their goals and grievances in exceedingly unambiguous terms.

  • Clearly articulated by Ayman al-Zawahiri in a letter to al-Zarqawi in July of 2005 is that Iraq is now center in their efforts to achieve their objectives.

    • He explains to al-Zarqawi that expelling the Americans from Iraq is the first stage of several incremental goals to establish the caliphate in the manner of the Prophet.

    • Zarqawi explicitly warned that the establishment of a democratic Iraq is the death of Al Qaeda there.

  • The campaign against the United States and its allies is ambitious, simple and clear.

    • Bankrupt and exhaust us (Like the Soviet Union in Afghanistan or the United States in Vietnam).

    • Work to establish and expand safe havens from which to operate.

    • Use their growing Islamic empire to gain WMD capabilities and control oil reserves.

Taken from a Joint Staff briefing on the Global War on Terrorism (included)

Fighting the Global War on Terrorism

The War Against Terror is not over. America is safer, but not yet safe. As the enemy adjusts to our successes, so too must we adjust. The successes are many:

Al-Qaeda has lost its safe haven in Afghanistan

A multinational coalition joined by Iraqis is aggressively prosecuting the war against terrorists in Iraq.

The al-Qaeda network has been significantly degraded. Most of those in the al-Qaeda network responsible for the September 11 attacks, including the plot's mastermind Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, have been captured or killed.

There is a broad and growing global consensus that the deliberate killing of innocents is never justified by any calling or cause.

Many nations have rallied to fight terrorism, with unprecedented cooperation on law enforcement, intelligence, military, and diplomatic activity.

Numerous countries that were part of the problem before September 11 are now increasingly becoming part of the solution- and this transformation has occurred without destabilizing friendly regimes in key regions.

  • National Security Strategy, 2006-

  • Accomplishments in the Global War on Terrorism

  • The President is leading a comprehensive international effort against al-Qaida, its terrorist associates, and the deadly scourge of terror and intimidation more broadly.

  • There is a broad and growing consensus that the deliberate killing of innocents is never justified by any calling or cause.

  • We have deprived al-Qaida of safe haven in Afghanistan and helped a democratic government to rise in its place. Once a terrorist sanctuary ruled by the repressive Taliban regime, Afghanistan is now a full partner in the War on Terror.

  • A multinational coalition, in concert with the Iraqi Government, is aggressively prosecuting the war against terrorists in Iraq. Together we are working to secure a united, stable, and democratic Iraq, now a War on Terror ally in the heart of the Middle East.

  • We have significantly degraded the al-Qaida network. Most of those in the al-Qaida network responsible for the September 11 attacks have been captured or killed.

  • Key al Qaida leaders and associates have been detained or killed. These include:

    • Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq, killed in Iraq;
    • Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, mastermind of the September 11 attacks, captured in Pakistan;
    • Hamza Rabia, al-Qaida external operations commander, killed in Pakistan;
    • Abu Faraj al-Libi, key al-Qaida operational commander, captured in Pakistan;
    • Abd al-Rahman al-Muhajir, indicted for involvement in the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings, killed in Pakistan;
    • Mohammed Atef, al-Qaida's senior field commander killed in a bombing raid in Afghanistan;
    • Abu Zubaida, Usama bin Laden's field commander after the killing of Atef, captured in Pakistan;
    • Ramzi Binalshibh, a coordinator of the September 11 attacks, captured in Pakistan;
    • Hambali, top strategist for al-Qaida's associate group Jemaah Islamiah in Southeast Asia, captured in Thailand;
    • Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, al Qaeda's chief of operations in the Persian Gulf, captured in the United Arab Emirates;
    • Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a suspect in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, captured in Pakistan; and
    • Abu Issa al–Hindi, a central planner of detailed reconnaissance of American financial institutions, captured in Britain.
  • Operational and logistical terrorist support cells have been disrupted in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

  • Many nations have rallied to fight terrorism, with unprecedented cooperation on law enforcement, intelligence, military, and diplomatic activity.

  • We have built an unprecedented international coalition to combat and prevent terrorist financing and dismantle terrorist support networks – including the designation of over 400 individuals and entities as terrorists or terrorist supporters. This coalition has resulted in the use of financial intelligence and information to uncover and track terrorist cells, the freezing and seizing of assets, the investigation and prosecution of terrorist supporters, and the creation of safeguards to prevent the formal and informal financial systems from being abused.

  • We have strengthened our ability to disrupt and help prevent future attacks in the Homeland by enhancing our counterterrorism architecture through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the position of the Director of National Intelligence.

  • The United States and our partners have disrupted several serious plots since September 11, including al-Qaida plots to attack inside the United States.

Yet while America is safer, we are not yet safe. The enemy remains determined, and we face serious challenges at home and abroad.

  • Threats Disrupted at Home

  • The West Coast Airliner Plot: In mid-2002 the U.S. disrupted a plot to attack targets on the West Coast of the United States using hijacked airplanes. The plotters included at least one major operational planner involved in planning the events of 9/11.

  • The East Coast Airliner Plot: In mid-2003 the U.S. and a partner disrupted a plot to attack targets on the East Coast of the United States using hijacked commercial airplanes.

  • The Jose Padilla Plot: In May 2002 the U.S. disrupted a plot that involved blowing up apartment buildings in the United States. One of the plotters, Jose Padilla, also discussed the possibility of using a "dirty bomb" in the U.S.

  • The 2004 UK Urban Targets Plot: In mid-2004 the U.S. and partners disrupted a plot that involved urban targets in the United Kingdom. These plots involved using explosives against a variety of sites.

  • The 2003 Karachi Plot: In the Spring of 2003 the U.S. and a partner disrupted a plot to attack Westerners at several targets in Karachi, Pakistan.

  • The Heathrow Airport Plot: In 2003 the U.S. and several partners disrupted a plot to attack Heathrow Airport using hijacked commercial airliners. The planning for this attack was undertaken by a major 9/11 operational figure.

  • The 2004 UK Plot: In the Spring of 2004 the U.S. and partners, using a combination of law enforcement and intelligence resources, disrupted a plot to conduct large-scale bombings in the UK.

  • The 2002 Arabian Gulf Shipping Plot: In late 2002 and 2003 the U.S. and a partner nation disrupted a plot by Al Qaeda operatives to attack ships in the Arabian Gulf.

  • The 2002 Straits of Hormuz Plot: In 2002 the U.S. and partners disrupted a plot to attack ships transiting the Straits of Hormuz.

  • The 2003 Tourist Site Plot: In 2003 the U.S. and a partner nation disrupted a plot to attack a tourist site outside the United States. In the ongoing War on Terror, U.S. counterterrorism partners recently have disrupted plots in their own countries: - Queen Alia Airport Plot, Jordan: Jordanian authorities in June 2006 indicted seven individuals for plotting to attack Queen Alia Airport, south of Amman, with explosives.

  • Canada Plot, Toronto: Canadian authorities in June 2006 arrested 17 individuals inspired by al-Qaida and plotting to attack high profile buildings in Ontario, including Parliament.

  • El Al Airlines Plot, Switzerland: Swiss authorities in June 2006 arrested a group of North Africans plotting to attack an Israeli El Al airline.

  • The War to Liberate Afghanistan

  • "We have deprived al Qaeda of safe haven in Afghanistan and helped a democratic government rise in its place. Once a terrorist sanctuary ruled by the repressive Taliban regime, Afghanistan is now a full partner in the War on Terror." (from Joint Staff, Deputy Directorate for the War on Terrorism)

  • In Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States built a worldwide coalition of 70 countries that destroyed terrorist training camps, dismantled the brutal Taliban regime, denied al Qaeda a safe haven in Afghanistan. (Waging and Winning the War on Terrorism)

  • Today, Afghanistan has an elected president, Hamid Karzai, a new constitution that gives unprecedented rights and freedoms to all Afghans, and an elected, seated parliament. The parliament recently reviewed and passed the national budget.

  • Countries around the world are part of the effort in Afghanistan
    • Over 60 countries met in London on January 31, 2006 and pledged over $20.5 billion to support Afghanistan's national development strategy. For its part Afghanistan committed itself to meet development, governance, civil society, counternarcotics and other goals.
    • Over 40 countries contribute troops to the Coalition or the NATO International Security and Stabilization Force in Afghanistan.
    • NATO has deployed over 9,000 troops in Afghanistan and numbers are expected to grow. Over 6,000 troops will deploy in to the restive south.
  • On October 9, 2004, the people of Afghanistan went to the polls to elect their president and took another major step in their steady march to democracy. This election was the result of a careful and deliberate grass-roots process that enabled Afghans to choose representatives to draft a constitution and set the rules and procedures for elections.
    • It was the first direct presidential election in Afghanistan's history. In this election and the parliamentary election held in October 2005, the people of Afghanistan did not just vote for candidate for a president; they also established a solid foundation for democracy, began to heal the wounds of recent decades, and set the nation on a course to peace, national reconciliation, and economic development.
  • Under the Talban, women in Afghanistan were whipped in the streets, executed in a sports stadium, and beaten for wearing brightly-colored shoes. Schooling was denied to girls. Today, the constitution gives women the right to vote and guarantees freedom of expression, assembly, and religion. Young girls are attending school. A woman leads the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. Sixty-eight women are members of the Afghan parliament.
  • Five hundred seventeen health care facilities have been constructed or rehabilitated. USAID supported hospitals and clinics provide health services to more than 5 million people in 14 provinces. Other nations support health care services in the rest of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. USAID has trained over 6,000 of Afghan community health care professionals.

  • More than 513 schools have been rebuilt; over 10,000 teachers have been trained face-to-face; 65,000 teachers receive continuing education via radio ; and 49 million textbooks have been provided to Afghan students. 5.3 million students are in school.

  • The Coalition is training a modern Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police to defend its borders, root out terrorists, and promote national unity.

    • There are over 28,000 trained Afghan National Army and 30,000 trained Afghan Police. Both the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police are active partners in the Global War on Terrorism.
  • Recruiting New Allies in the War on Terror

  • "Numerous countries that were part of the problem before September 11 are now increasingly becoming part of the solution- and this transformation has occurred without destabilizing friendly regimes in key regions." ( from Joint Staff, Deputy Directorate for the War on Terrorism)
  • Before September 11, 2001; Pakistan was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the Taliban regime, and al Qaeda was active and recruiting in Pakistan without serious opposition.
    • Today, the United States and Pakistan are working closely in the fight against terror, and Pakistani forces are rounding up terrorists along the nation's western border.
  • Before September 11, 2001; terrorists were established in Saudi Arabia. Inside that country, fundraisers and other facilitators gave al Qaeda financial and logistical help with little scrutiny or opposition.
    • Today, after attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, Saudi Arabia is working to shut down the facilitators and financial supporters of terrorism, and they have captured or killed many leaders of the al Qaeda organization in Saudi Arabia.
  • Before September 11, 2001; Yemen stonewalled the investigation of the USS Cole bombing.
    • Today, Yemeni authorities have moved against al Qaeda in their own territory; hosted Army Special Forces to train and advise Yemeni troops in counterterrorism; and increased contacts with the Defense Department, CIA, and FBI. In November 2002, Yemeni authorities allowed a US Predator drone to kill six al Qaeda operatives in Yemen, including senior al Qaeda leader Abu Ali al-Harithi.
  • Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, has moved against Jemaah Islamiah, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic terrorist organization, and has arrested its suspected leader, radical cleric Abubakar Baasyir.
  • The US military has trained and advised Philippine troops in Philippine-led anti-terror operations, such as those against the Abu Sayyaf Islamic terrorist group.

  • Halting the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • President Bush led the creation of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a broad international partnership of more than 70 countries that is interdicting lethal materials in transit. These nations are sharing intelligence information, tracking suspect international cargo, and conducting joint military exercises.
  • As a result of the PSI, American and British intelligence discovered advanced components intended to build nuclear weapons that were being shipped to Libya. German and Italian authorities helped seize the materials. And confronted with the discovery, Libya voluntarily agreed to end its WMD programs.
  • American and British intelligence officers uncovered and shut down a sophisticated black market network headed by A.Q. Khan, the architect of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, which sold nuclear technologies and equipment to outlaw regimes stretching from North Africa to the Korean Peninsula.
  • President Bush spearheaded the establishment of the G-8 Global Partnership, which over 10 years will provide $20 billion in nonproliferation and weapons reduction assistance to the former Soviet Union. This represents a dramatic increase in US and allied efforts.
  • In the former Soviet Union, 41 percent of the 600 metric tons of weapons-usable material that was previously determined to be vulnerable has been secured. US-Russian efforts have shortened by two years the timeline for securing weapons-usable nuclear material at 51 sites in Russia and other former Soviet states.
  • Since 2001, the United States has installed radiation detection equipment at 39 Russian border sites to deter and interdict trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials.
  • The Bush Administration launched the Megaports Initiative, a global nuclear material detection effort focused on major seaports to the United States. It is helping stem illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials.
  • President Bush proposed that only states that have signed the Additional Protocol – which requires states to declare a broad range of nuclear activities and facilities and allows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect those facilities – be allowed to import equipment for their civilian nuclear programs.
  • The President has proposed the creation of a special committee of the IAEA Board that will focus intensively on safeguards and verification.
  • President Bush proposed UN Security Council Resolution 1540 which was later passed and calls for nations to criminalize proliferation activities.

Victory in Iraq

I. The world is safer because Saddam is gone. Saddam terrorized his own people, destabilized the region, and was a danger to the world. A free Iraq will change the world.

II. We have a strategy for victory and it is working. The Coalition and our Iraqi allies are building democracy, securing the country, and growing a free economy.

III. We cannot cut and run. The cost of leaving before victory is achieved is too high. The Iraqis are committed to their future as a free society, we cannot abandon our allies in the middle of a tough fight; a fight that, together, we are winning.

"For America, the September 11 attacks underscored the danger of allowing threats to linger unresolved. Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of 16 UNSC resolutions over 12 years, combined with his record of invading neighboring countries, supporting terrorists, tyrannizing his own people, and using chemical weapons, presented a threat we could no longer ignore. -National Security Strategy, 2006

Saddam defied the international community for 12 years.

  • He was found in violation of 17 UN resolutions.

  • Violation of UN Resolutions: Saddam's track record of defying the international community was long. A brief summary of the UN Security Council Resolutions the Iraqi Regime violated:

    • UNSCR 678: (11/29/90) required immediate withdrawl from Kuwait.
    • UNSCR 686: (3/2/91) required the release of Kuwaiti prisoners and return of property.
    • UNSCR 687: (4/3/91) Give up WMD as well as programs to acquire nuclear weapons, destroy long range missiles, pledge not to acquire new WMD or to support terrorism.
    • UNSCR 688: (4/5/91) End repression of the civilian population.
    • UNSCR 715: (10/11/91) Fully cooperate with UN and IAEA inspectors.
    • UNSCR 949: (10/15/94) Cooperate with weapons inspectors.
    • UNSCR 1051: (3/27/96) Cooperate with weapons inspectors and report shipments of dual use items.
    • UNSCR 1060: (6/12/96) Fully cooperate with weapons inspectors.
    • UNSCR 1115: (6/21/97) "Condemns refusal of Iraqi authorities to allow access" to UN weapons inspectors.
    • UNSCR 1137: (11/12/97) Condemns continued violations including "implicit threat to the safety of" aircraft operated by UN weapons inspectors.
    • UNSCR 1154: (3/2/98) Must cooperate fully with UN and IAEA inspectors and allow immediate access. Any violation would have the "severest consequences for Iraq."
    • UNSCR 1194: (9/9/98) Condemns Iraqi decision to suspend cooperation with weapons inspectors, calling it an "unacceptable contravention" of its obligations to the UN.
    • UNSCR 1205: (11/5/98) Condemns decision of October, 1998 to cease cooperation with UN inspectors.
    • UNSCR 1284: (12/17/99) Creates a new inspection organization and requires Iraqi cooperation.
  • "In 1998, the U.S. Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed, the Iraq Liberation Act. That law specified 10 findings of Saddam Hussein's violations of international norms, and stated, 'It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime….That legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 360 to 38, and it passed the Senate without a single vote in opposition. " (Secretary Rumsfeld on pre-war intelligence)

  • Saddam never gave up his desire for Weapons of Mass Destruction:

  • According to David Kay, following his post-war inspection of Iraq as head of the Iraq Survey Group, "We have discovered dozens of WMD related programs and activities" that were part of "deliberate concealment efforts" that should have been declared to the U.N. Kay concluded that, "Saddam, at least judged by those scientists and other insiders who worked in his military-industrial programs, had not given up his aspirations and intentions to continue to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

  • "I actually think this may be one of those cases where [Iraq under Saddam] was even more dangerous than we thought."- David Kay :

  • "Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability -- in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks…In particular, Saddam was focused on the eventual acquisition of a nuclear weapon, which Tariq 'Aziz said Saddam was fully committed to acquiring despite the absence of an effective program after 1991." (Duelfer Report)

  • He corrupted the UN Oil for Food Program and attempted to bring down sanctions so that he could resume WMD production.

  • Desire to End Sanctions: He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted." (Duelfer Report)

  • Oil for Food was a way to Avert Sanctions:"The introduction of the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) in late 1996 was a key turning point for the Regime. OFF rescued Baghdad's economy from a terminal decline created by sanctions. The Regime quickly came to see that OFF could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development." (Duelfer Report)

  • The UN Documents Corruption in OFF: "Saddam Hussein's regime derived far more revenue from smuggling oil outside the Programme than from its demands for surcharges and kickbacks from companies that contracted within the Programme... The value of oil smuggled outside of the Programme is estimated by the Committee to be nearly $21 billion as opposed to an estimated $2.8 billion of illicit revenue from Saddam Hussein's manipulation of transactions occurring under the Programme." (Press Statement of the Independent Inquiry Committee Report on the Manipulation of the Oil-for-Food Programme, October 27, 2005)

  • OFF Corruption Essentially Ended Sanctions: "By 2000-2001, Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support. Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime, both in terms of oil exports and the trade embargo, by the end of 1999." (Duelfer Report)

  • Through it all, Saddam Pursued WMD: "Saddam continued to see the utility of WMD. … he purposely gave an ambiguous impression about possession as a deterrent to Iran. He gave explicit direction to maintain the intellectual capabilities. As UN sanctions eroded there was a concomitant expansion of activities that could support full WMD reactivation. He directed that ballistic missile work continue that would support long-range missile development. Virtually no senior Iraqi believed that Saddam had forsaken WMD forever. Evidence suggests that, as resources became available and the constraints of sanctions decayed, there was a direct expansion of activity that would have the effect of supporting future WMD reconstitution." (Duelfer Report)

Saddam made war on his neighbors and his own people

  • Support for terrorist groups

  • CIA Estimates of Support for Terrorism Justified: "The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) assessment that Iraq had maintained ties to several secular Palestinian terrorist groups and with the Mujahidin e-Khalq was supported by the intelligence. The CIA was also reasonable in judging that Iraq appeared to have been reaching out to more effective terrorist groups, such as Hizballah and Hamas, and might have intended to employ such surrogates in the event of war." (SSCI)

  • Contacts with al Qaida: "The Central Intelligence Agency reasonably assessed that there were likely several instances of contacts between Iraq and al Qaida throughout the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add up to an established formal relationship… The Central Intelligence Agency's judgment that Saddam Hussein, if sufficiently desperate, might employ terrorists with a global reach -- al Qaida -- to conduct terrorist attacks in the event of war, was reasonable. No information has emerged thus far to suggest that Saddam did try to employ al Qaida in conducting terrorist attacks." (SSCI)

  • Known Terrorist State: In 1999, The Clinton Administration Issued A Report That Said Iraq Was Supporting Terrorists. "[T]he Patterns of Global Terrorism report listed Iran, Libya, Cuba, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan and Syria and exiled Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden as terrorist sponsors. The seven countries were on the same list last year. Secretary of State Dr Madeleine Albright said: 'Governments on the list that would like to see their names removed know exactly what they must do: stop planning, financing and supporting terrorist acts and stop sheltering or interfering with the apprehension and prosecution of those who commit them.'" ("No Reprieve For Nations Of Terror," The [Perth, Australia] Sunday Times, 5/2/99)

  • Atrocities against his own people: "The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning." (President Bush, January 28, 2003)

  • Sadistic Regime: "Beyond this, Saddam's regime was one of the most sadistic and aggressive in modern history. It started a war against Iran and used mustard gas and nerve gas. A decade later Iraq invaded Kuwait. Iraq was a massively destabilizing force in the Middle East; so long as Saddam was in power, rivers of blood were sure to follow." (Wehner, Peter. Revisionist History. The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2006.)

  • Violence as State Tool of Repression: "Saddam used violence liberally as an administrative method, to ensure loyalty, repress even helpful criticism and to ensure prompt compliance with his orders. Saddam's use of violence stood in stark contrast to the public image he created of a benevolent father figure…" (Duelfer Report)

  • Torture in Iraq: According to a 2001 Amnesty International report, "victims of torture in Iraq are subjected to a wide range of forms of torture, including the gouging out of eyes, severe beatings and electric shocks... some victims have died as a result and many have been left with permanent physical and psychological damage." (White House press release, 4/4/03)

  • Chemical Attacks: Documented chemical attacks by the regime, from 1983 to 1988, resulted in some 30,000 Iraqi and Iranian deaths. (White House press release 4/4/04)

  • Chemical Attacks: Saddam Hussein is the first world leader in modern times to have brutally used chemical weapons against his own people. His goals were to systematically terrorize and exterminate the Kurdish population in northern Iraq, to silence his critics, and to test the effectiveness of his chemical and biological weapons. Hussein launched chemical attacks against 40 Kurdish villages and thousands of innocent civilians in 1987-88, using them as testing grounds. The worst of these attacks devastated the city of Halabja on March 16, 1988. 5,000 civilians, many of them women, children, and the elderly, died within hours of the attack. 10,000 more were blinded, maimed, disfigured, or otherwise severely and irreversibly debilitated. Thousands died of horrific complications, debilitating diseases, and birth defects in the years after. (State Dept. Bureau of Public Affairs, 3/14/03)

  • Treatment of Women: Under the pretext of fighting prostitution, units of "Fedayeen Saddam," the paramilitary organization led by Uday Hussein, Saddam's eldest son, have beheaded in public more than 200 women throughout the country, dumping their severed heads at their families' doorsteps. Many families have been required to display the victim's head on their outside fences for several days. These barbaric acts were carried out in the total absence of any proper judicial procedures and many of the victims were not engaged in prostitution, but were targeted for political reasons. For example, Najat Mohammad Haydar, an obstetrician in Baghdad, was beheaded after criticizing the corruption within health services. (Amnesty International Report, Iraq: Systematic Torture of Political Prisoners, August 2001; Iraqi Women's League in Damascus, Syria) (Dept. of State, Office of International Women's Issues, March 20, 2003)

  • Mass Graves: Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in May, 270 mass graves have been reported. By mid-January, 2004, the number of confirmed sites climbed to fifty-three. Some graves hold a few dozen bodies—their arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies.

    • "We've already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves," said British Prime Minister Tony Blair on November 20 in London. The United Nations, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) all estimate that Saddam Hussein's regime murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people. "Human Rights Watch estimates that as many as 290,000 Iraqis have been 'disappeared' by the Iraqi government over the past two decades," said the group in a statement in May. "Many of these 'disappeared' are those whose remains are now being unearthed in mass graves all over Iraq."
    • If these numbers prove accurate, they represent a crime against humanity surpassed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pot's Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II
  • Quotes about Saddam

  • Sen. Levin: "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region." (Sen. Carl Levin, Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 9/19/02)

  • Sen. Kerry: (D-MA) Says Saddam Hussein Is Part Of The "Global Menace" Of Terrorism. CNN'S LARRY KING: "What about enhancing this war, Senator Kerry. What are your thoughts on going further than Afghanistan, all terrorist places …" KERRY: "Oh, I think we clearly have to keep the pressure on terrorism globally. This doesn't end with Afghanistan by any imagination. And I think the president has made that clear. I think we have made that clear. Terrorism is a global menace. It's a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, Saddam Hussein." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 12/14/01)

  • Vice President Gore: If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons. He poison-gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunction about killing lots and lots of people. ' (then Vice President Al Gore, ca 12/98 / Johna Golberg, National Review Online, 11/10/05)

  • Secretary of State Albright: 'Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.' (then Secretary of State Albright, ca 12/98)

  • National Security Advisor Sandy Berger: 'He will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983" (then National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, ca 12/98)

Political Track: Saddam divided his people, democracy is bringing them together.

  • Despite the terrorist's best efforts, Iraqis reached a historical milestone when they announced their new unity government last month.

  • Political Milestones: Iraqis continue to meet prescribed political benchmarks: the election of a Transitional Assembly in January '05, the drafting and approval of the Constitution by October '05, and national elections in December 2005. (9010 Report)

  • Permanent Leadership: "With the Prime Minister al-Maliki's inauguration on May 20, the people of Iraq have a permanent leadership which, rather than concentrating on being elected or writing a constitution can now focus on policy issues that will keep the country moving forward." (US Department of Defense Office of Public Affairs, DoD Update, May 24, 2006 – New Iraqi Cabinet.)

  • Increased Participation: In all of this, political participation has grown, including in Sunni areas. Voter turnout for the constitutional referendum was 63%. That turnout increased to 77% for the December national elections. Much of the increase can be accounted for in the Sunni community. (9010 Report)

  • The constitution is the most liberal in the region and recognizes individual rights.

  • Human Rights: It contains protections for fundamental human freedoms including religion, assembly, conscience and expression;

  • Popular Sovereignty: It vests sovereignty in the Iraqi people to be expressed by secret ballot and regular elections; and

  • Legal Equality: Declares that all Iraqis are equal before the law without regard to gender, ethnicity or religion.

  • The new government is broadly representative, eager to move forward on priorities of all of Iraq's people.

  • Broad Coalition Government: The 77% turnout for Iraq's national election ensured that the government would reflect Iraq's ethnic/sectarian balances. While the Shi'a parties won a majority of seats in the assembly, they do not have enough votes to govern alone. This forces them to compromise, ensuring a unity government that includes voices from all the large blocks represented.

  • New Iraqi Government Leadership

  • Prime Minister: Jawad al-Maliki (Shi'a)
  • President: Jalal Talabani (Kurd)
  • Vice President: Adil abd al-Mahdi (Shi'a)
  • Vice President: Tariq Hashimi (Sunni)
  • Speaker of Parliament: Mahmoud Mashadani (Sunni)
  • Deputy Speaker: Khalid Atiya (Shi'a)
  • Deputy Speaker: Arif Tayfur (Kurd)

  • The participation in the new government and Iraq's consequent faith in it is noteworthy.

  • Increased Participation: Participation in many Sunni areas increased from as little as 25% in the January '05 election to 75% in the December '05 election.

  • Public Confidence: 62% of Iraqis have confidence that the government can improve the situation in Iraq. That support is spread broadly across the country.

  • Right Direction: 61% of Iraqis believe that the National Government is leading the country in the right direction.

  • Free Press: Participation in the political process is also reflected in the continued growth of a free and open press, a hallmark of a free and democratic society. In March there were 268 independent newspapers, 114 commercial radio stations, and 54 commercial TV stations.

  • Politics, Not Violence: 78% of Iraqis believe that "violence is never acceptable, even if the government does not meet my expectations."

  • Insurgency working against Iraqis: While Iraqi confidence in the new government is growing, 96% of Iraqis polled said that the insurgents are not working in the best interests of the Iraqi people.

  • The new government is pivotal in preventing civil war.

  • Government a Unifying Influence: Following the February 22nd bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, many feared that the consequent spike in sectarian violence would degenerate into all out civil war. Iraqi leaders stood together with religious leaders in a united front against further violence and chose to forge ahead with the political process. As a consequence, the bombing failed to produce the civil war that its perpetrators hoped for.

  • Attacks not Legitimate: 96% of Iraqis think the Golden Shrine attack was not an acceptable form of political expression.(9010 Report)

  • Violence not Acceptable: 78% say "violence is never acceptable, even if the government does not meet my expectations." (9010 Report)

  • Violence Not New to Iraq: Sectarian violence, tribal rivalry, and extra-governmental militias are not a recent invention; all existed in some form prior to the Coalition liberation of Iraq. (9010 Report)

  • Prime Minister Al-Maliki: "What happened today was the result of the fruitful cooperation we have often requested from our masses, citizens, and sons of our people, who cooperated in giving the information and facilitating the operation by the Iraqi Police and the multinational forces in directing the fatal and precise blow. This is a message to all those who pursue violence and destruction to stop, reconsider their position, and return to their senses before it is too late because we have made our decision and we will go ahead, God willing, until the end to face the murderers and terrorists." (Prime Minister Al-Maliki on the death of Zarqawi, 6/8/06)

  • The unity government is a serious blow to the terrorists.

  • President Bush on the Unity Government: "Our coalition, along with our Iraqi allies, is moving forward with a comprehensive, specific military plan. Area by area, city by city, we're conducting offensive operations to clear out enemy forces, and leaving behind Iraqi units to prevent the enemy from returning. Within these areas, we're working for tangible improvements in the lives of Iraqi citizens. And we're aiding the rise of an elected government that unites the Iraqi people against extremism and violence. This work involves great risk for Iraqis, and for Americans and coalition forces." (President George W. Bush 10/6/005)

  • Iraqi Prime Minister on Unity: "Today's Iraq is the Iraq in which all the political forces and the members of society have stood one rank to face the terrorists and corrupt. This popular front and national unity is actually our wager in facing all the challenges. Thank God, all Iraqis have realized that the only way to achieve the happiness of the Iraqi people and the sovereignty of Iraq is through unity, cohesion, and the search for serious methods for dialogue and national reconciliation because all the Iraqis are on one boat and this boat must reach the shore of safety and happiness, God willing." (Prime Minister Al-Maliki, 6/8/06).

  • Terrorist Failures: "You have to think like the enemy. The guy that's got the most to lose if a national unity government is formed is Zarqawi and al Qaeda in Iraq, because he's been told by his leadership that democracy equals failure. He's been told to establish an Islamic caliphate inside of Iraq, and that's what he's got to do. But he's been totally unable to do that. He couldn't stop the ratification of the constitution in October, he couldn't stop the elections in December, and now he's trying to stop the formation now of this unity government. And the way he's doing that is by trying to inflame sectarian violence. We cannot think for one minute that we are counterproductive… in fact, we have got al Qaeda on the move! (Iraq Operational Update Briefing with Major General Rick Lynch, Spokesman, Multinational Force Iraq location: May 11, 2006)

  • Security: Training Iraqi forces so they can take the lead.

  • There are more than 263,400 trained and equipped Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). (9010 Report)

  • Quick Facts on the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF):

    • The Army is now at 86% of its authorized end strength. (9010 Report)

    • There are 111 Iraqi Army and Special Operations battalions are conducting counter-insurgency operations. (9010 Report)

    • 71 of those battalions are in the lead. (9010 Report)

    • 57 Iraqi Army battalions now control their own battle space. (9010 Report)

    • The Iraqi Army controls 30,000 square miles of territory, an area roughly the size of South Carolina (approx 32,000 sq. miles). (9010 Report)

    • In April, 64% of combat operations were ISF or combined ISF / CF operations. (1518 ISF or ISF / CF operations at the company level or above). Only 36% of operations were independent of Iraqi forces. (9010 Report)

    • All 28 Iraqi National Police units are in the fight, 12 of them are in the lead. (9010 Report)

    • The ISF have the lead in 60% of Baghdad. (9010 Report)

    • The Ministries of Defense and Interior are on track to complete the initial training and equipping of 100% of their end strength by the end of the year. (9010 Report)

  • Iraqi Sacrifice: Iraqis are fighting, and dying, for their country. Despite attacks on recruiting stations and casualty rates as much as three times those of their coalition partners, there is no shortage of Iraqis willing to volunteer to be in the ISF. (9010 Report)

  • Geographical Distribution of Violence: Much of the violence is located in the central region of Iraq. Twelve provinces, containing 50% of the population, experience only 6% of all attacks. Nine provinces have been averaging one or zero attacks per day since February. (9010 Report)

  • Public Confidence: 90% if Iraqis in Shi'a areas and 95% of those in Kurdish areas reported that they feel "very safe" in their neighborhoods. (9010 Report)

  • Public Confidence: 95% of Iraqis polled believe that there is no justification for attacks against the ISF. (9010 Report)

  • Quote from Iraqis: "The old Iraqi army was built on the wrong basis. The new Iraqi army is now in the right direction," (Iraqi Maj. Hasim Shamin)

  • Quote from American Soldier: "This year, we do a lot more administrative work than we are used to," said Gregory, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., of his current role in Operation Iraqi Freedom. "For example, last year I worked at an IP [Iraqi Police] station, and if we went out on patrol, the IPs followed behind. This year, we follow behind the IPs, and they basically handle everything. We just observe how they handle the situation," said Gregory. (U.S. Army Sgt. Gerald Gregory)

  • Iraqis Taking Action:

  • "The people of Iraq are tired of the insurgency. We're at the point now where 60% of the casualties are civilian casualties: innocent men, women and children of Iraq. And they're tired of the insurgency. So as Iraqi forces conduct operations on the streets, Iraqi people come up to those patrols and provide actionable intelligence, and its happening all the time."(Iraq Operational Update Briefing with Major General Rick Lynch, Spokesman, Multinational Force Iraq location: May 11, 2006)

  • Iraqis Coming Forward: 4,578 actionable tips came in during March. This represents a tenfold increase since this time last year. (9010 Report)

  • Tips are Accurate: "Ninety-nine percent of those tips provide actual intelligence… that is being productive" (Iraq Operational Update Briefing with Major General Rick Lynch, Spokesman, Multinational Force Iraq ,May 11, 2006)

  • Tips Paying Off: Partly because of these tips, 50% of IEDs are discovered and rendered safe before detonation. (9010 Report). Tips ultimately led to the killing of terrorist leader al Zarqawi.

  • Iraqis Tired of Violence: You're not seeing a rise in 1,300 tips in a month just because there's that much more violence. You're seeing a rise because the Iraqi people—many of them are very tired of the violence. They realize there is somebody now who will respond and take some kind of action. (Iraq Operational Update Briefing: Major General William Caldwell, USA, Spokesman, Multinational Force Iraq, May 18, 2006)

  • "The old Iraqi army was built on the wrong basis. The new Iraqi army is now in the right direction," (Iraqi Maj. Hasim Shamin)

  • Anecdotes about Iraq-led operations;

  • Iraqis/ Coalition Forces Defeating the Terrorists: "People continue to work with the Iraqi Security Forces to increase patrols. The fact that there are 32,000 patrols the month of April in Baghdad shows you that there's more security forces presence on the street. People want to talk about what the enemy did. They don't want to talk about what the enemy couldn't do. And there's a lot he couldn't do because of that increased presence. (Iraq Operational Update Briefing with Major General Rick Lynch, Spokesman, Multinational Force Iraq location: May 11, 2006)

  • Capturing Terrorists / Operation Iron Triangle: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clifton Sanders, an indirect fire infantryman assigned to Company A, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, described how the suspects were apprehended, on the first day of the operation "One of the people 1st platoon had detained and questioned decided he would give up one of the bad guys for us," Sanders said. "We got the call to go out and get them, so we linked up with the Iraqi army scout platoon." From there, Sanders said the source, traveling with Iraqi Army in their vehicle, headed north to the suspect's residence. "The [Iraqi army] were pumped," Sanders said. "The [high-value target] that was on the list, they were really worried about him being a really bad guy, so they were excited about getting this guy. It was really important to them to take this guy in.When we pulled up to the house and set up our cordon, we pretty much let the [Iraqi army] take over. They flew in the house and we went in with them."
  • When Sander's men and the Iraqi army returned, they learned that five of the six people they detained were on the high-value target list. (U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan Matson 101st Combat Aviation Brigade)

  • Capturing Terrorists: On May 24th, Iraqi soldiers from the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Brigade of the 8th Iraqi Army Division, supported by coalition army and air forces and over a hundred Iraqi police forces, were led by Babil province chief General Qais, who conducted this raid, in response to reports of kidnappings and increased sectarian violence in the area. And out of that, as you can see, they had a very successful operation and found in fact both a weapons cache, and it also resulted in the deaths of several known terrorists down in that location. (Multinational Force Iraq Press Briefing, Maj. General Bill Caldwell, June 1, 2006)

  • Capturing Terrorists: Sheik Ahmed Hussein Dabash Samir al-Batawi, aka Ahmed al-Dabash, a key insurgent leader in Iraq, was captured by Iraqi and Coalition forces in Baghdad on May 29th. Ahmed al-Dabash was a major financier and facilitator of terrorism n Iraq, most notably the bomb attack in the Shiite holy city of Karbala on March 2, 2004. More than 140 Iraqis were murdered and hundreds wounded in the attack that occurred during the observance of Ashoura. (Multinational Force Iraq Press Briefing, Maj. General Bill Caldwell, June 1, 2006)

  • Iraqis in the Lead: "This year, we do a lot more administrative work than we are used to," said Gregory, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., of his current role in Operation Iraqi Freedom. "For example, last year I worked at an IP [Iraqi Police] station, and if we went out on patrol, the IPs followed behind. This year, we follow behind the IPs, and they basically handle everything. We just observe how they handle the situation," said Gregory. (U.S. Army Sgt. Gerald Gregory)

  • Experts comment on Iraqi Security Forces: General (Ret) Barry McCaffrey, 4/25/06 Academic Report on his visit to Iraq.

  • "The Iraqi Army is real, growing, and willing to fight, they now have lead action of a huge and rapidly expanding area and population, the battalion level formations are in many cases excellent- most are adequate"

  • "Their institutional Army is beginning to show encouraging signs of self-initiative."

  • "The Partnership Program with U.S. units will be the key to success with the Embedded Training Teams augmented and nurtured by a U.S. Maneuver Commander. This is simply a brilliant success story. We need at least two-to-five more years of U.S. partnership and combat backup to get the Iraqi Army ready to stand on its own. The interpersonal relationships between Iraqi Army units and their U.S. trainers are very positive and genuine."

Economy: Iraq has the resources to be a prosperous democracy.

  • Context: Saddam Crippled Iraq's Economy:

  • During 30 years of dictatorship Iraq suffered from lack of investment in and maintenance of infrastructure;

  • Saddam built system of government subsidies in the area of fuel, food and service tariffs (i.e. electricity and water) that (1) consumes, on average, over 50 percent of Iraq's total budget in both direct and indirect costs; and (2) enables a massive system of rent-seekers, black-market operations and corruption.

  • Saddam dominated a massive, state-owned, central-command economy that must be reformed to allow substantial numbers of permanent jobs to be created, and the private sector to grow.

  • Saddam neglected capacity needs at every level.

  • As our experience in other economies in transition (in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union) shows, it takes time, political will, patience, and perseverance to transition a statist economy into a modern, private sector-oriented one in which the market is allowed to play the leading role.

  • Despite these challenges and in the midst of a challenging security environment, Iraqi authorities have managed to stabilize their economy and begin the long path to economic recovery and transition.

  • USG assistance has helped the Iraqis to recover and reconstruct key elements of their economy, including infrastructure.

  • The next stage of transition requires the Iraqis to be in the lead and to make tough policy choices to eliminate the distributive subsidies and create a sustainable economy that rewards innovation and investment.

  • The USG will be there to help them along the way, and to provide technical assistance and capacity-building to ensure Iraqis have the right tools to both make and implement these decisions.

  • Despite the challenging security environment and delays in forming the new government, the Iraqi economy has demonstrated signs of recovery and overall macroeconomic stability

  • Why new business registrations are important: "We firmly believe that the linchpin of a peaceful Iraq is to reduce unemployment and put people to work. By creating jobs and opportunity, the Iraqi government would take away a major source of support for violent movements—aimless, underemployed, young men who would otherwise rather be gainfully employed and supporting their families, but are laying IEDs, shooting RPGs and fighting Iraqi security forces and the coalition because they lack alternatives." (U.S. Department of Defense News Transcript. Presenter: Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli May 19, 2006, 9:00 a.m. EST)

  • Economic Growth: In 2005, the Iraqi economy grew an estimated 3 percent in real terms. The IMF anticipates the Iraq economy will grow by more than 10 percent in 2006. (Source: IMF SBA)

  • Standard of Living: Under Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqis' standard of living deteriorated rapidly. In nominal terms, Iraq's per capita income had dropped from $3,800 in 1980 (higher than Spain at the time) to $715 in 2002 (lower than Angola). In 2005, this increased to over $2,000. (Source: IMF and World Bank reports)

  • GDP Growing: Today, economic recovery is picking up, with GDP growing from $28.9 billion in 2002 to $33.2 billion in 2005. (Source: IMF reports)

  • Stable Currency: A stable currency, introduced in October 2003, has allowed the Central Bank of Iraq to manage inflation; the IMF estimates inflation was 32% in 2004 and remained stable at this level (32%) in 2005. (Source: IMF SBA)

  • Needed Reforms: The Iraqi authorities have adopted a number of legal reforms that will help create a solid economic foundation. These include:

  • Establishment of a legal framework to ensure Central bank independence and establish price stability as the key monetary policy objective;

  • Introduction of an investment law that welcomes foreign capital – a dramatic change from the Saddam era when Iraq was essentially closed to foreign business -- and streamlining of procedures for creating new businesses;
  • Adoption of a trade regime that facilitates the importation of goods and services needed for economic expansion;
  • Adoption of commercial banking and central bank laws, both based on international best practice, which lay the foundation for a sound, modern banking system; and
  • Adoption and maintenance of a sustainable and transparent budgetary framework.

  • Delivery of essential services continues to struggle in Iraq for a variety of reasons, including the poor state of Iraq infrastructure following decades of mismanagement, an increase in demand, and targeted atta