PLS 470-B01

Missed class: Notes

political timeline

  • july 2003 IQ governing council
  • june 2004 IQ Interim Govt
  • Jan 2005 Elections
  • March 2005 IQ Transitional Govt
  • Oct 2005 new constitution
  • Dec 2005 new elections
  • Jan 2010 next elections

Election results Dec 2005: major players

  • United Iraqi Alliance (Shia)
  • Kurdish Alliance
  • Iraqi Accord Front (Sunni)
  • Iraqi Front for National Dialogue (ex-Ba’athist)
  • Iraqi National List (Allawi)

govt of national unity: UIA+INL+Kurds+IAF


  • 2/3 requirement: tough
  • parties cannot agree
  • takes 6 mos to form govt
  • body count keeps rising

Al Qaeda Iraq

  • joins with other Islamist groups
  • forms Islamic state of IQ
  • takes over chunks of Baghdad
  • Anbar
  • Feb 2006: targets al-Askari Mosque

Shia response

  • death squads
  • ethnically cleanse Baghdad
  • most Sunnis driven out
  • IQ on the edge

The Surge

*** Presentation: The Gamble by Thomas Ricks ***

Problems ahead

constitutional “compromise”: ISCI + Kurds


  • creates a system of federalism
  • power divided between federal govt and regions/governorates
  • regions control oil
  • regions have own armies
  • creates potentially very weak central govt
  • good for Kurds

IQ Constitution Article 119

  • “one or more governorates shall have the right to organize into a region based on a request to be voted on in a referendum…”

who opposes constitution?

  • all Sunni parties
  • al-Sadr
  • al-Maliki
  • all want to rewrite, strengthen power of federal govt
  • Kurds block this until disputed territories resolved

Disputed territories

  • Kirkuk

Kurdish argument

  • Kirkuk historically and geographically Kurdish
  • Kurds would now be majority without Saddam
  • must reverse injustices
  • 10k Dinar Arabs must go
  • Kurds must return
  • vote on Kirkuk’s final status (after majority restored)

resolving status

  • constitution article 140 (oct 2005)
  • 3 stage process
  • “normalization”
  • census
  • referendum by Dec. 2007
  • to resolve ALL “disputed territories”
  • deadline expires
  • Kurds pissed off

who opposes the Kurds on Kirkuk? Everyone

The new Saddam? (al-Maliki)

  • new champion of IQ nationalism
  • wants constitution rewritten
  • strengthen central govt (himself)
  • buys off tribes in south
  • cuts deals with Sunni tribes in north
  • now has own militia (IQ armed forces)
  • uses to eliminate rivals (Shia & Sunni)
  • ran own party for provincial elections (Jan 2009)
  • wins big in south
  • wiped out ISCI
  • has now turned on Kurds

al-Maliki’s new hit squad

  • IQ Special Ops Forces (ISOF)
  • 5000 men
  • answers to al-Maliki personally
  • trained by US special forces
  • “these guys are shit hot. They are just as good as we are. We trained ’em. They are just like us. They use the same weapons. They walk like Americans.”

US Exit

  • SOFA signed under Bush
  • all US combat troops out of cities by June 2009
  • armed “advisors” can stay
  • total withdrawal by Dec 2011
  • unlikely!

problem for US

  • if Kurds fight Arabs, who does US back?
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