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SIGIR — October 2011: Quarterly Report To Congress

November 8, 2011 Comments off

October 2011: Quarterly Report To Congress
Source: Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

Sixty days from now, the mission of the U.S. Forces-Iraq will come to an end. his historic moment will close the books on nearly nine years of U.S. military engagement in Iraq. his moment also inaugurates a new phase in the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq. Substantial U.S. inancial assistance will continue, albeit at levels lower than in previous years. But a more cooperative and collaborative aspect will eventually embrace this crucially important relationship as the State Department’s plans and programs develop.

The Iraq that the U.S. military leaves is fundamentally changed from the foundering state that existed in the spring of 2003. Iraq’s economy, then at a stand-still, is expected to grow at a robust 9.6% this year; inlation is low; the national budget is 40% larger than it was three years ago; and oil production in 2011 will almost certainly set a post-2003 record. But Iraq still sufers from daily attacks, with Iraqi Security Forces personnel and senior Government of Iraq leaders regularly subject to assassination attempts. his painful reality underscores the continuing need for Iraq to strengthen its military, police, and rule-of-law institutions. Section 1 of this Report features detailed perspectives on the security situation drawn from recent interviews with top oicials at the Ministries of Interior and Defense.

There were political clashes within the GOI this quarter over competing versions of the long-awaited new hydrocarbon law, a contentious issue that fundamentally divides the GOI and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). his Report’s Focus on the Kurdistan Region provides details on what has been a largely successful reconstruction program in that part of northern Iraq, notwithstanding the unsettling issues that currently daunt relations between the GOI and KRG.

SIGIR — Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report To Congress

August 19, 2011 Comments off

Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report To Congress
Source: Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

he theme of this report, “A Summer of Uncertainty,” alludes to the question of whether the United States will maintain a military presence in Iraq beyond year’s end. Negotiations continue on this issue, with the nearly 44,000 remaining U.S. troops still scheduled to leave by December 31. Whatever the decision, the outcome will signiicantly afect the ongoing U.S. reconstruction program, which is in the throes of a series of program transitions from the Department of Defense (DoD) to the Department of State (DoS).

Among those transitions, DoS reported progress this quarter toward assuming full responsibility for the continued U.S. support of Iraq’s police forces. he Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Afairs (INL) will manage this efort through the new Police Development Program (PDP). Executing the PDP will be challenging, involving fewer than 200 advisors based at 3 sites and supporting Iraqi police in 10 provinces. SIGIR’s eforts to audit the PDP were stymied this quarter because DoS either did not respond to repeated requests for information or provided data that was late and of limited usefulness. (SIGIR encountered similar obstacles in a separate audit of private security contractors in Iraq.)

Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work. It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago. Buttressing this conclusion is the fact that June was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in more than two years. Shia militias—possibly armed and trained by Iran—were responsible for some of the lethal attacks. hey may have also been behind this quarter’s increase in indirect ire on the International Zone. Diyala province, lying just northeast of Baghdad, also continues to be very unstable. his Quarterly Report’s “Focus on Diyala” provides an in-depth review of the province, its people, and the efects of U.S. reconstruction eforts there.

On the corruption front, Iraq’s Council of Representatives repealed Article 136(b) of the Iraqi Criminal Procedure Code. his provision permitted Iraqi ministers to block investigations of their subordinates. Its repeal represents an important step toward implementing an efective rule-of-law system, but much remains to be done in this regard, including securing judges from attacks and stopping the assassinations of police officials.

SIGIR — July 2011: Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report To Congress

August 8, 2011 Comments off

July 2011: Quarterly Report and Semiannual Report To Congress
Source: Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

I am pleased to present this 30th Quarterly Report to the United States Congress and the Secretaries of State and Defense.

The theme of this report, “A Summer of Uncertainty,” alludes to the question of whether the United States will maintain a military presence in Iraq beyond year’s end. Negotiations continue on this issue, with the nearly 44,000 remaining U.S. troops still scheduled to leave by December 31. Whatever the decision, the outcome will significantly affect the ongoing U.S. reconstruction program, which is in the throes of a series of program transitions from the Department of Defense (DoD) to the Department of State (DoS).

Among those transitions, DoS reported progress this quarter toward assuming full responsibility for the con- tinued U.S. support of Iraq’s police forces. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) will manage this effort through the new Police Development Program (PDP). Executing the PDP will be challenging, involving fewer than 200 advisors based at 3 sites and supporting Iraqi police in 10 provinces. SIGIR’s efforts to audit the PDP were stymied this quarter because DoS either did not respond to repeated requests for information or provided data that was late and of limited usefulness. (SIGIR encountered similar obstacles in a separate audit of private security contractors in Iraq.)

Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work. It is less safe, in my judgment, than 12 months ago. Buttressing this conclusion is the fact that June was the deadliest month for U.S. troops in more than two years. Shia militias—possibly armed and trained by Iran—were responsible for some of the lethal attacks. They may have also been behind this quarter’s increase in indirect fire on the International Zone. Diyala province, lying just northeast of Baghdad, also continues to be very unstable. This Quarterly Report’s “Focus on Diyala” provides an in-depth review of the province, its people, and the effects of U.S. reconstruction efforts there.

On the corruption front, Iraq’s Council of Representatives repealed Article 136(b) of the Iraqi Criminal Procedure Code. This provision permitted Iraqi ministers to block investigations of their subordinates. Its repeal represents an important step toward implementing an effective rule-of-law system, but much remains to be done in this regard, including securing judges from attacks and stopping the assassinations of police officials.

SIGIR — April 2011: Quarterly Report To Congress

May 2, 2011 Comments off

April 2011: Quarterly Report To Congress
Source: Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

As the Department of State (DoS) moves forward with its transition plans and U.S. troops prepare to depart Iraq by December 31, 2011, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his coalition partners continued this quarter with the process of forming a new government. These various transitions create fiscal, political, and security vulnerabilities that, if not carefully tended, could have significant adverse effects. For example, in taking over the police-training mission from the Department of Defense (DoD), DoS will assume enormous management and policy responsibilities—and do so with less than 200 personnel assigned to the mission. It will implement its Police Development Program (PDP) in a still-fragile security environment, working closely with an as-yet-unappointed Minister of Interior, who will oversee Iraq’s police. As of mid-April, neither the Ministry of Interior nor the Ministry of Defense had a permanent leader.

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