Report
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs

Table of Contents

Introduction

I. The current military mission and the diplomatic, political, economic, and military measures that are being or have been undertaken to successfully complete or support that mission

(A) Encouraging Iraq’s main communities to make the compromises necessary for a broad-based and sustainable political settlement

(B) Engaging the international community and the region in efforts to stabilize Iraq and to forge a broad-based and sustainable political settlemen

(C) Strengthening the capacity of Iraq’s government ministries

(D) Accelerating the delivery of basic services

(E) Securing the delivery of pledged economic assistance from the international community and additional pledges of
assistance

(F) Training Iraqi Security Forces and transferring additional security responsibilities to those forces and the government of
Iraq

II. Whether the Iraqis have made the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq

(A) Enacting a broadly accepted hydrocarbon law that equitably shares revenue among all Iraqis

(B) Adopting laws necessary for the conduct of provincial and local elections, taking steps to implement such laws, and setting a schedule to conduct provincial and local elections

(C) Reforming current laws governing the de-Baathification process in a manner that encourages national reconciliation

(D) Amending the Constitution of Iraq in a manner that encourages national reconciliation

(E) Allocation and expenditure of Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, and implementing such reconstruction projects on an equitable basis

(F) Making significant efforts to plan and implement disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs relating to Iraqi militias

III. A detailed description of the Joint Campaign Plan, or any subsequent revisions, updates, or documents that replace or supersede the Joint Campaign Plan, including goals, phases, or other milestones contained in the Joint Campaign Plan

(A) An explanation of conditions required to move through phases of the Joint Campaign Plan, in particular those conditions that
must be met in order to provide for the transition of additional security responsibility to the Iraqi Security Forces, and the measurements used to determine progress

(B) An assessment of which conditions in the Joint Campaign Plan have been achieved and which conditions have not been
achieved. The assessment of those conditions that have not been achieved shall include a discussion of the factors that have precluded progress

(C) A description of any companion or equivalent plan of the Government of Iraq used to measure progress for Iraqi Security Forces undertaking joint operations with Coalition Forces

IV. Additional information on military, policy, and security forces

(A) The number of battalions of the Iraqi Armed Forces that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in counter-insurgency operations and the defense of Iraq’s territory

(B) The number of Iraqi special police units that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in maintaining law
and order in fighting the insurgency

(C) The number of regular police that must be trained and equipped to maintain law and order

(D) The ability of Iraq’s Federal ministries and provincial and local governments to sustain, direct, and coordinate Iraq’s
security forces independently

V. The criteria to be used to evaluate progress toward meeting such conditions

VI. A plan for meeting such conditions, an assessment of the extent to which such conditions have been met, information regarding variables that could alter that plan, and the reasons for any subsequent changes to that plan

VII. An assessment of the levels of U.S. Armed Forces required in Iraq for the six-month period following the date of the report, the missions to be undertaken by the Armed Forces in Iraq for such period, and the incremental costs or savings of any proposed changes to such levels or missions

VIII. A description of the range of conditions that could prompt changes to the levels of U.S. Armed Forces required in Iraq for the six-month period following the date of the report or the missions to be undertaken by the Armed Forces in Iraq for such period, including the status of planning for such changes to the levels or missions of the Armed Forces in Iraq

IX. Report on the implementation of a strategy for United States-led Provincial Reconstruction Teams including embedded PRTs in Iraq, and an assessment of the specific contributions of PRTs to the operational and strategic goals of Multi-National Force-Iraq

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations


Introduction

This report is submitted pursuant to Section 1227(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109-163) concerning United States Policy in Iraq, as amended by Section 1223 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181); and Section 1213(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417). The report covers the security, political, diplomatic, and economic measures that are being or have been undertaken primarily during the reporting period April 1 to June 30, 2009 (the Second Quarter of 2009). This quarter’s report also includes select information on the use of assistance funds appropriated for Iraq, previously reported under Section 2207 of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, Fiscal Year 2004 (Public Law 108-106), as amended by Public Law 108-309 and Public Law 109-234, which has now expired.

This report is organized into the following sections: (1) the current mission in Iraq and measures taken to support it, (2) Iraqi progress towards a sustainable political settlement, (3) a description of the Joint Campaign Plan (JCP), (4) Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF) capacity and readiness, (5) criteria used to evaluate progress in that area, (6) the plan for successfully completing the mission, (7) an assessment of the U.S. force levels required in Iraq for the next six months and their missions, (8) a description of conditions that could prompt changes in U.S. force levels, and (9) a description of the implementation of the strategy for United States-led Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Iraq. U.S. policy goals can be outlined, and progress measured, along four tracks: security, political, diplomatic, and economic. Responsibility for success in these tracks lies with the Iraqi people.

Security Track

Despite a recent increase in high-profile attacks, security incidents remain consistent with levels experienced in mid-2003. Insurgent-initiated attacks against Coalition Forces, ISF, and civilians increased from an average of 12 per day during the previous quarter to 13 per day during this reporting period; civilian deaths increased from 57 per week during the previous quarter to 65 per week this reporting period, primarily due to the increase in high-profile attacks. Despite this slight uptick, year-on-year violence continues to abate and a sense of normalcy is slowly returning to everyday life in much of the country. Citizens are increasingly focused on economic issues and the delivery of essential services, and the environment is slowly becoming more favorable to economic and infrastructure development. Factors contributing to improved security include effective Coalition and Iraqi counter-terrorism operations, the increasing capabilities of the ISF, and the rejection of violence and extremism by the Iraqi people. However, insurgents retain the capacity to conduct high-profile attacks, and even a small number of these can greatly increase civilian deaths and potentially destabilize the security situation. Additionally, insurgents adapt their tactics against Coalition Forces, as demonstrated by recent ambushes with RKG-3 anti-armor grenades. Coalition force convoys have sustained a number of deaths and injuries due to the increased use of this weapon by extremists. While overall security achievements are positive, they remain fragile in some places.

Although generally degraded or restricted in operating capacity, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and various Sunni resistance groups, particularly Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi, continue to cause concern. Despite significant leadership losses and a diminished presence in most population centers, AQI conducts periodic, targeted, high-profile attacks and focuses its rhetoric and attacks against the Government of Iraq (GOI), ISF, and Shi’a civilians in an attempt to rekindle more widespread sectarian violence and undermine the GOI as Coalition Forces prepare to draw down. Additionally, Iran poses a significant challenge to Iraq’s long-term stability and political independence and hosts, trains, funds, arms, and guides Shi’a militant groups that attack U.S. forces in Iraq. A number of these groups are probing to exploit potential security vacuums as U.S. forces reposture outside of urban areas.

Political Track

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton visited Iraq during the reporting period, and Ambassador Christopher Hill assumed the post of Ambassador to Iraq.

Following the January provincial elections, provincial councils formed coalitions and selected provincial government officials. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) presented its final report on Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries to GOI and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials April 22 (the first report was presented in June 2008). The reports are intended to serve as a basis for dialogue between the parties. Iraq’s Council of Representatives (COR) exercised its oversight role by questioning the Minister of Trade and hosting the Ministers of Defense and Interior. The Minister of Trade subsequently resigned and was arrested on corruption charges.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimate that over 1.5 million Iraqis remain displaced in the region and over 1.6 million have been displaced inside Iraq since 2006. The rate of new displacement remains low and some Iraqis are returning home. However, displaced and returnee populations continue to require humanitarian assistance.

Iraq advanced its relations with countries in the region and participated in regional fora, including a special meeting of the Council of the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s Council of Foreign Ministers conference, during the reporting period. Iraq hosted the Syrian Prime Minister and Palestinian Authority President, and the new Iraqi Ambassador to Saudi Arabia presented his credentials. The GOI also furthered its engagement with the European Union and several European countries.

Iraq must prepare for national (parliamentary) elections for the COR in January 2010 after which government formation may pose a significant challenge for the COR. Other political challenges include resolving the issue of disputed internal boundaries, permanently transitioning the Sons of Iraq (SOI) to civilian employment or positions with the ISF, enacting hydrocarbons legislation, implementing the Law on Accountability and Justice (de-Baathification reform), and reintegrating returning refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Economic Track

Iraq’s economy continues to improve, albeit inconsistently across sectors and regions of the country. Sustained drought and low oil prices and oil output in the first half of 2009 have led to a tightening fiscal environment and dampened prospects for economic growth somewhat, although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Economist Intelligence Unit estimate that Iraq’s real gross domestic product growth rate will exceed 6 percent in 2009. The Iraqi economy is dominated by the oil sector, making Iraq largely beholden to the fluctuations of international oil markets. As one consequence of this is, the GOI projects a $16 billion budget deficit in 2009, and will likely face difficult spending decisions in 2010 and onward. There have been some positive developments in the oil sector in recent months, including rising global crude prices and agreement between the GOI and KRG to allow crude exports from the Kurdistan region, but short-term downside risks to both price and output remain very real. There are some indications that Iraq’s chronic unemployment problem is easing, that the private sector is slowly expanding, and that lending growth is accelerating. Further, prices have stabilized, with inflation now well under 10 percent as a result of Iraqi monetary policy and generally lower prices worldwide. Nevertheless, the non-oil economy is not yet robust enough to positively offset stagnation or losses in the oil sector. The government still drives the economy, with over half of all employed Iraqis working for the government, and the majority of major investment projects in Iraq contracted and paid for by the GOI.

The GOI is beginning to recognize the need to attract foreign direct investment. An investment conference hosted by the British Government in London April 30-May 1 marked the first major international event to showcase investment opportunities in Iraq and build business ties to international markets. A host of other investment conferences are planned for Fall 2009, including one in Washington in October. This push for foreign direct investment fits within the overall GOI initiative to diversify the economy away from the public sector and help normalize Iraq’s relationship with the international community. This effort also includes educational exchanges, technology transfer, agricultural cooperation, and investment promotion.

The Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq (“Strategic Framework Agreement”) is an important component of the overall U.S.-Iraq bilateral relationship. The importance of the Strategic Framework Agreement was reemphasized during the visit of Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Rafe Al-Essawi to the U.S. June 6-13, accompanied by a delegation drawn from an array of ministries. The Deputy Prime Minister renewed Iraq’s commitment to the agreement during meetings with the Departments of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture.

I. The current military mission and the diplomatic, political, economic, and military measures that are being or have been undertaken to successfully complete or support that mission.

The United States and Iraq have entered into two agreements that reflect the two countries’ mutual interests. The Agreement between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities During Their Temporary Presence in Iraq (“Security Agreement”) governs the presence and status of U.S. forces in Iraq, and addresses the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. It ends with full troop withdrawal by December 31, 2011. The Strategic Framework Agreement, is not time-bound; it governs the two countries’ cooperative efforts on a range of issues, including economic, rule of law, scientific, and educational endeavors.

When announcing the timeline for withdrawing American combat forces from Iraq, President Obama emphasized that the long-term solution in Iraq must be political and that decisions about the country’s future must be made by the Iraqis themselves.

(A) Efforts to convince Iraq’s main communities to make the compromises necessary for a broad-based and sustainable political settlement

President Obama visited Iraq April 7, promoting negotiation and compromise among Iraq’s various communities and emphasizing that Iraqis must take responsibility for their security as U.S. troops begin to withdraw. On her April 25 visit to Baghdad, Secretary of State Clinton also highlighted the United States’ commitment to the people and nation of Iraq and, in addition to meeting with high-level Iraqi officials, held a town hall meeting with Iraqi civil society representatives. The U.S. Senate confirmed Ambassador Christopher Hill as Ambassador to Iraq April 21, and he arrived in the country April 24.

Following the January 31 provincial elections in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces (elections in the provinces that constitute the KRG and in Tamim Province (Kirkuk) will be held separately), the elected representatives chose governors and provincial council chairs and, in most provinces, formed governing coalitions. The provincial elections and the subsequent provincial government formation processes were important steps toward reconciliation, as they provided an opportunity for those who had boycotted the previous provincial elections (mainly Sunnis) to participate in the political process and for the population in general to hold their representatives accountable. The elections were held using a hybrid open list system, which allowed voters to vote either for a party alone, or for the party and a specific individual on that party’s list, thus increasing transparency and accountability.

In some provinces, the selection of provincial officials sparked political tension. In Ninewa province, at the end of this reporting period, the Kurdish Ninewa Brotherhood List was boycotting the provincial government, citing the Sunni Arab al-Hadba party’s formation of the provincial council without adequately sharing senior posts with the Kurds (al-Hadba won an absolute majority of votes in the province). Kurds previously had dominated Ninewa’s provincial council due to the Sunni boycott of the previous election. Talks between Hadba and Kurdish representatives were ongoing.

Political accommodation is an important aspect of a number of U.S. Government (USG) programs and initiatives. This includes addressing both inter and intra ethno sectarian tensions. PRTs play a key role in facilitating dialogue and interaction between various groups in support of political accommodation and reconciliation. This effort is especially important during the post-election period and in the lead-up to the national elections.

PRTs help bring together communities and assist in the mitigation of communal tensions. The Ninewa PRT, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Local Governance Program (LGP) – Phase III, provided training for the new Provincial Council members and encouraged boycotting council members to participate. The Ninewa PRT played a key role in ensuring the peaceful transition between provincial council officials as the new Ninewa Council was seated in April. The Ninewa PRT also nurtured a spirit of cooperation between communities by supporting local civil society organizations and economic ventures that emphasize cross-cultural participation. Over the past few months, the PRT has also assisted in the establishment of the first multi-cultural, multi-religion, and gender-neutral farmers’ association in Ninewa. The Uruk Society of Agriculture, based in Quaraqosh, requested PRT assistance in setting up the society and providing training in alternative agriculture. The Society has plans for long-term sustainability and has already developed relationships with the GOI’s Agriculture Extension Office.

Other U.S.-funded programs through the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor focus on post-provincial election cooperation and laying the groundwork for consensus building that will be necessary after the 2010 national elections. The projects focus on developing coalition building, negotiation, and reconciliation skills for Iraqi elected officials, institutions, and civil society.

UNAMI works to lower tensions between Iraq’s Arab and Kurdish communities through its engagement on disputed internal boundaries. The disputed territories are mainly along the border of the KRG, and include Tamim province, and parts of Ninewa, Diyala, and Salah ad Din provinces. Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Staffan de Mistura presented UNAMI’s report on Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries to senior GOI and KRG officials in April. UNAMI has worked with Iraqis at the national, regional, provincial, and local levels in producing the reports, which are intended to serve as a basis for dialogue between the parties. Discussions about the report started between the national government and the Kurdish government but much work remains.

The transition of SOI into the ISF and private or public sector employment is important to advancing accommodation between Iraq’s main Arab groups. As of April 2, all of Iraq’s SOI members had transferred from Coalition Forces to GOI control. For the May pay period the GOI was for the first time responsible for paying all SOI members in the nine provinces where they are located. SOI continue to make significant contributions to security, and the GOI is working to remedy pay issues and uphold its commitment to transition the SOI. Coalition Forces monitor the program.

The COR bolstered its oversight role during the reporting period. A parliament that effectively checks the executive illustrates that the political process can be an effective means to address grievances and promote political settlements of disputes. The COR elected a new Speaker, Iyad Samarrai of the (Sunni) Iraqi Islamic Party, on April 19. Samarrai said then that he intended to strengthen the COR’s institutional capacity and executive oversight. On May 16 and 17, the COR questioned Minister of Trade Abd al-Falah al-Sudani on allegations that he received millions of dollars in kickbacks on imports for Iraq’s food distribution system. Sudani’s brother, also a former Trade Ministry official, was arrested on corruption charges just days prior. Dissatisfied with the Minister’s answers, COR members began the process to hold a vote of no confidence; but Prime Minister Maliki accepted Sudani’s resignation on May 25. Sudani was then arrested May 30 while trying to depart the country; charges against him were pending at the close of the reporting period.

The COR also hosted Minister of Defense Abd al-Qadir Mohammed al-Ubaidi and Minister of Interior Jawad al-Bulani in a closed-door session, so they could inform COR members about the latest security developments.

The rate of new displacement of Iraqis remained low during this reporting period, and small numbers of displaced Iraqis returned home, continuing a trend since mid-2008. UNHCR reports that over 30,000 IDPs and refugees returned in April and May, and a total of over 83,000 Iraqis have returned since January. UNHCR and the IOM estimate that over 1.5 million Iraqis remain displaced in the region and over 1.6 million have been displaced inside Iraq since the spike in sectarian violence in February 2006.

UNHCR and IOM report that the Iraqi refugee, IDP, and returnee populations continue to require humanitarian assistance. The primary needs cited by the IDP and returnee populations shelter, employment, and water and other essential services. The GOI, through its Ministry of Displacement and Migration, offers one-time grants to returning refugees and IDPs registered with the Ministry, but documentation and processing requirements complicate access to this assistance for many returnees.

UNHCR, IOM, and other actors have developed plans to support returning IDPs, refugees, and communities of return. UNHCR has issued a new $97.5 million appeal for Facilitating the Transition from Asylum to Returns and Reintegration, and continues to seek donor contributions for its $299 million appeal for Iraq and the region. As of May, only 47 percent of UNHCR’s Iraq and the Region appeal had been funded, including a $90 million contribution from the USG. To date in FY09, the USG has contributed more than $150 million to the UN, other international organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The USG expects to make further contributions later this year.

In addition to providing assistance to the displaced and preparing for returns, the USG resettles vulnerable Iraqi refugees in the United States. The USG aims to resettle at least 17,000 Iraqi refugees in FY09, including refugees processed outside Iraq and through our in-country program. As of June 30, 704 principal Iraqi applicants had been issued Special Immigrant Visas in FY09 under the Special Immigrant Visa category created by Congress in Section 1244 of the FY08 National Defense Authorization Act. In addition, as of June 30, 47 principal Iraqi applicants had been issued visas under the Special Immigrant Visa category for Iraqi and Afghan translators and interpreters authorized by Congress under Section 1059 of the FY06 National Defense Authorization Act.

(B) Engaging the international community and the region in efforts to stabilize Iraq and to forge a broad-based and sustainable political settlement

Subsequent to the December 31, 2008 expiration of the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 1790, the GOI restructured the MNF-I coalition, reducing the number of participating countries. The decision reflected the improved security situation in Iraq and the increased ability of the ISF to take responsibility for security. The GOI invited a small group of partners to negotiate agreements to remain in Iraq for specialized missions. The United Kingdom, Australia, and Romania reached agreements with the GOI to remain in Iraq until July 31, 2009 as part of MNF-I. The remaining coalition countries departed Iraq.

Romania’s military contingent formally ended its deployment in Iraq on June 4, though some of its personnel will remain for several weeks to perform logistics. Australia’s remaining forces will depart Iraq by July 31. On June 2, the GOI’s Council of Ministers approved a one-year agreement with the United Kingdom to permit up to 100 UK personnel to continue a naval training mission with the Iraqis, to be based at Um Qasr. The agreement would allow up to five British naval ships (and crews) to operate in Iraqis waters. This agreement is pending final approval by the COR, and the one-year period would begin with this final approval. The United Kingdom’s other forces will depart Iraq by July 31.

In addition to the MNF-I coalition countries listed above, the GOI has requested continued assistance from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I). NTM-I complements Coalition training efforts, providing a variety of mentorship programs for the ISF. Its core contributions are institutional training for Iraqi military officers, gendarmerie training for the National Police, and mentoring and training in support of national command and control centers.

NATO Assistant Secretary General Martin Howard travelled to Baghdad in May to negotiate a long-term agreement with the GOI on the status of NTM-I. The final status of this agreement is pending ongoing NATO-GOI discussions. NATO has agreed to expand its mission into areas such as navy and air force officers training, advanced forensics, and border security, in response to Prime Minister Maliki’s requests. As of this reporting period, 13 NATO countries (including the United States) and Ukraine participate in NTM-I.

While several coalition countries’ military forces have departed Iraq, various countries are looking to engage with Iraq in other ways. For example, in April, Japan sent a high-level delegation of government officials and business people to Iraq to develop new trade and investments. And in May the United Kingdom hosted a well-attended Iraq trade and investment promotion event in London.

The UN plays a significant role in supporting the ongoing development of a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq. The UN’s presence is overseen by UNAMI, operating under UN Security Council Resolution 1830 (which provides the mandate for UNAMI, and is the latest in a line of such Security Council Resolutions starting in 2003). In particular, UNAMI provides important support for elections and the process of resolving Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries. During this reporting period, UNAMI presented the findings of its non-binding reports on disputed internal boundaries to GOI and KRG officials. The UN has more than 400 international staff in Iraq, with its main base in Baghdad. Other staff are co-located with PRTs in Anbar, Basrah, Erbil, Kirkuk, Najaf, and Ninewa. In this reporting period, funding has been allocated for the design phase of a new permanent UN Compound in Baghdad. The current cost estimate is $100M, to be paid half by Iraqi funds and half by the UN General Fund. UNAMI expects this compound will be operational in 2011.

The UN continues to work closely with the international community to promote socio-economic development through the International Compact with Iraq (ICI). On May 26, UNAMI and Iraq co-chaired a meeting of the Ambassadors of Iraq’s major donor-partners to prepare for the next ICI Ministerial. The group decided that Iraq and its partners need to develop a set of substantive “deliverables” for continuing economic reform and regional integration.

Iraq advanced its relations with countries in the region and participated in regional fora during the reporting period. Iraq participated in a special meeting of the Council of the Arab League May 7; the delegation was led by Under Secretary for Policy Planning and Bilateral Relations Labeed Abbawi. The Iraqi delegation met with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa. This followed Prime Minister Maliki’s participation in the annual Arab Summit hosted in Doha on March 29. Foreign Minister Zebari represented Iraq at the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s Council of Foreign Ministers conference May 22.

Iraq and Turkey have also developed closer relations. On April 11, Baghdad hosted the second Iraqi-Turkish-U.S. Trilateral Ministerial Committee meeting. The parties emphasized that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is a terrorist organization, affirmed their commitment to prevent the PKK and other terrorist organizations from launching attacks from Iraqi soil, and commended cooperation between the three countries.

Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari visited Iraq April 21. A primary issue on the agenda between the two states is the GOI’s request for Syrian government to crack down on exiled former Iraqi army commanders engaging in efforts to undermine the GOI. Another issue is increasing trade between the two countries. This visit followed Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem’s March 25 visit to Baghdad and the arrival of Iraq’s first ambassador to Syria in nearly 30 years. Earlier in April Iraqi Trade Minister Abd al-Falah al-Sudani announced that six Iraqi-Syrian committees have been formed to discuss bilateral relations on economic, trade, energy, electricity, water resources, and education issues.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas visited Baghdad and Iraq’s Kurdish region in April. He observed that Iraqi officials consider Palestinians living in Iraq to be part of the Iraqi people, and said that he therefore believes they are “in safe hands.”

Iraq’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ghanim Alwan Jawad al-Humeili, presented his credentials to the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal on April 25. However, a Saudi ambassador to Iraq remains absent. Prime Minister Maliki publicly complained May 29 about Saudi Arabia’s “negative stance” towards Iraq’s efforts to improve bilateral relations. In a sharp response two days later, the Saudi Interior Minister suggested that Maliki himself was working against Iraq’s interests with the Kingdom.

Iraq has taken steps to resolve bilateral issues including energy, water, and security with neighboring countries. Iraqi officials met with Iranian and Turkish representatives May 28 to discuss Iraq’s power and water shortage. Turkey and Iran have reduced supplies on power lines that provide for parts of Iraq. The GOI has expressed concern that Iraq’s share of water resources has decreased as a result of dams and reservoir projects by its upstream neighboring countries.

Foreign Minister Zebari led a delegation to Tehran May 19 to discuss border issues, the water crisis, and common security threats. This followed a May 5 statement by an Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs official demanding an end to Iranian shelling against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. The Iraqi government also handed a letter of protest to Iranian Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi. Iran neither confirmed nor denied reports that it has shelled targets in Iraqi territory.

Iraq has also worked to enhance its relations with the wider international community during the reporting period. The European Commission and the GOI held an eighth round of talks on a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement May 25-27. The agreement will provide for political dialogue on bilateral, regional, and global issues, and promote trade and investment. The European Commission has stated its commitment to help Iraq and improve the living conditions of Iraqis. The Commission announced earlier in May that it would provide a further €20 million in humanitarian aid for Iraqi refugees, internally displaced, and other vulnerable Iraqis. In addition, the Commission will sustain its support for the Iraqi electoral process. Past support touched nearly all aspects of the process including support for the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), voter education, empowering women, electoral observation, and working with the media.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht visited Baghdad May 27-28, in the first visit by a Belgian official since 1990. Belgium has not had an embassy in Iraq since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The Norwegian Foreign Minister visited Baghdad at the end of June 2009 and announced his government would reopen its embassy in Baghdad.

Prime Minister Maliki met with French President Sarkozy in Paris May 4, and Foreign Minister Zebari met his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner May 5. Prior to his arrival in France, Prime Minister Maliki participated in an investment conference in London, where international companies expressed willingness to invest in Iraq. Prime Minister Maliki also discussed investment in Iraq with Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin during a visit to Moscow, and they indicated their intent to send a delegation to Iraq to continue discussions.

(C) Strengthening the capacity of Iraq’s government ministries

National
USAID’s National Capacity Development program, known as USAID/Tatweer, strengthens the governing and public management capacity of key Iraqi national ministries and executive offices, including the Offices of the President and two Vice Presidents, the Prime Minister, the two Deputy Prime Ministers, and the Council of Ministers Secretariat. The focus is on improving core government systems and processes in areas such as strategic and policy planning, contract and procurement management, budget formulation and execution, human resources management, project management, leadership and communication, information technology, and the GOI assistance database. USAID/Tatweer also helps the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to improve internal business processes and its capacity to implement Iraq’s social safety net program. The ministries and executive offices have agreed to joint implementation plans.

USAID/Tatweer facilitated a process whereby the GOI drafted and passed a Federal Civil Service Commission law to help define the functions and structures required for effective implementation of the law. A draft “Administrative Structure and Functions” document will soon be shared with members of the Civil Service Committee for comment. This law is critical to the development of a modern, effective civil service that is based on international best standards.

USAID/Tatweer supported the National Investment Commission in the completion of 15 sectoral background studies for the National Investment Plan and presented summaries of the studies at the Five Year National Development Plan (2010-2014) Conference held in May 2009. The conference marked the end of the first phase of the national development planning process and launched the next phase, which will involve finalization of the background studies and the identification of projects to be included in the plan.

USAID continues to provide technical assistance on public affairs to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. This quarter, the Directors General from the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office for Services attended a Public Affairs Development Strategy and Media Communications Program in Amman, Jordan. With the knowledge and information gained at this event, the office will develop a Communications Strategy in support of its public policy goals, basing this on systematic planning and realization of information flow, communication, media development, and image care.

USAID/Tatweer’s information technology team, working closely with Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation counterparts, completed the design of an interactive system to register professional Iraqis living abroad who want to return home. This system is part of a proposed website for the Ministry of Displacement and Migration. The Minister of Displacement and Migration formally accepted the design, and USAID/Tatweer is training the ministry’s information technology staff in programming development tools for the new system.

USAID/Tatweer conducted a Financial Planning workshop for 19 Ministry of Health staff, including section heads and managers from both the central and provincial governments. The workshop was part of ongoing efforts towards improving budget preparation and execution in the context of changing economic constraints, such as falling oil prices and diminished budget allocations, new Central Bank initiatives, and monetary policy issues within the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

The United States also supports capacity building in the rule of law. These programs focus in part on the judiciary, including efforts to improve judicial security, education, and administrative capacity; the detention and corrections system, to which the Embassy provides training and advisory assistance; and the Iraqi police. (U.S. training of the Iraqi civilian police is currently conducted by Coalition Forces, NATO, and the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I). The State Department uses a portion of U.S. military assistance funds to furnish civilian police advisors to Iraqi police forces.)

This quarter, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) successfully installed security upgrades at critical Iraqi courthouses in Mosul (Ninewa Province), Baqubah (Diyala Province), and Hillah (Babil Province). In addition, they awarded a contract for installation of security upgrades at the Abu Ghraib courthouse in Baghdad Province. The Department of Justice Attaché’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and INL continued their advisory role on the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and Higher Judicial Council agreement on security. That agreement will see the creation of the MOI’s Judicial Protection Unit, a unit dedicated to the exclusive protection of Higher Judicial Council judges. In addition, INL and its contract-advisors completed six vulnerability assessments of Iraqi courthouses throughout the country. These assessments will assist INL in developing a training package for Higher Judicial Council security experts to be taught at the Judicial Education and Development Institute. The goal will be to stand up a core group of security experts within the Iraqi judiciary which will ensure that every courthouse across the nation is properly secured to facilitate the delivery of justice services.

Between April and June, the USG provided technical staff to the Higher Judicial Council to improve the administration of the courts, the management of personnel and the development of capital budgets. Through a separate grant, the USG has also supported the Higher Judicial Council’s efforts to assist the GOI in drafting legislation, with a focus on the penal and criminal procedure codes. The Higher Judicial Council has established a Steering Committee for the review of the legislation and to coordinate contributions from the judiciary in the reform process. The USG is supporting the expansion of the Higher Judicial Council’s case tracking application, which will inform internal planning, budgeting, and administration efforts. The application is built on a platform established by the Iraqi Justice Integration Project, so pilot sites built on the same platform in the Ministry of Justice and MOI will be able to easily share data with the courts when they are installed in the next quarter. Finally, a USG-GOI partnership to establish a professional development center for the judiciary is preparing for courses in the next quarter.

This quarter, the Commission on Integrity completed a Strategic Action Plan and agreed on a case management system that will partner the GOI, the USG, and the UN to link the Commission to the GoCase system. The USG also facilitates training for select groups of investigators and has on-going mentoring programs.

The USG provides advisory assistance to the Iraqi Corrections Service, as well as more on-the-job and formal training for hundreds of correctional officers. The Iraqi Corrections Service launched and conducted training on a U.S.-supported prisoner tracking system capable of incorporating biometrics, pending charges, and sentencing data. The construction of a 3,000-bed prison facility at Chamchamal, begun in December 2007, was successfully completed this quarter, including the turnover of control to the Ministry of Justice, although furnishing and staffing needs delayed the facility’s opening. The USG also performs assessments of pre-trial detention facilities and provides technical assistance for improving detention conditions.

USAID’s private sector agribusiness development project, Inma (meaning growth in Arabic), promotes increased agricultural production, productivity, and employment in Iraq by supporting the formation and growth of agribusiness firms. These efforts include training, improvements to market systems, and the introduction of new technologies. This quarter, USAID supported the importation and delivery of over 12,000 improved carp broodstock, signed grants for the establishment of four feedlots, and finished work on two vegetable packing facilities. Also during this quarter, USAID continued its work in support of key high value horticultural and livestock value chains that will generate 7,100 permanent jobs and over $120 million in gross revenue in 2009 and 2010.

The USG also supports Iraqi humanitarian de-mining efforts and small arms destruction programs. During this quarter, the Iraq Mine/Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Organization cleared more than 160,000 square meters. The Iraq Mine/Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Organization prepared for five new projects by increasing its training for mine detectors, security and medical professionals, and mine-detecting dogs. This quarter, the Mine Advisory Group cleared over 500,000 square meters of land, destroying more than 600 hazardous items. The advisory group deployed Mine Risk Education teams that reached more than 15,000 individuals throughout villages in Erbil, Diyala, Dahuk, Tamim, Ninewa, and Sulimaniyah governorates in northern Iraq.

Provincial
Much U.S. technical assistance focuses on developing the capacity of Iraq’s sub-national governments and the provincial branches of the central government’s ministries. PRTs coordinate these diverse efforts, focusing on governance, rule of law, and economic development. PRTs help the Iraqis strengthen their governance structures and procedures, such as facilitating coordination between Iraqi provincial and national officials on planning and budget execution.

USAID/Tatweer provides technical assistance to the Directors General of ministries that have responsibility for services delivery in the provinces. In May 2009, it co-sponsored with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office for Services a Provincial Assistance Conference in Baghdad. Nearly 500 attended, including the Deputy Prime Minister, the U.S. Ambassador, the USAID Mission Director, and the Embassy Director of the Office of Provincial Affairs. Conference participants reviewed provincial assistance plans to improve basic services delivery in Iraq’s Central Region provinces (Anbar, Diyala, Karbala, Najaf, and Wasit). Subsequent conferences will focus on other regions.

Provincial Reconstruction Development Councils are Iraqi-led committees that facilitate joint capacity development and reconstruction efforts for essential services in every Iraqi province. PRTs work with these committees to identify Iraqi essential service delivery needs and develop programs and projects to sustainably meet those needs. The Department of State has worked with its Provincial Reconstruction Development Council partners to develop sustainable training programs for essential service master planning and operations and maintenance throughout Iraq. The program focus has been on supporting the newly elected provincial governments in meeting the needs of their constituents. This quarter’s Provincial Reconstruction Development Council program highlights include:

  • The Basra Public Works Initiative which develops the capacity of provincial engineering and technical staffs to work with elected officials to prioritize needs, design projects appropriate to those needs, and manage projects to a successful conclusion.
  • The Salah ad Din Technical Training program which provided resources for a consortium of Iraqi technical experts to provide training for key personnel in provincial agencies in the management, scheduling, operation, and maintenance of essential infrastructure services in the fields of drinking water/waste water, power generation and distribution, heavy construction (roads, bridges, culverts), and Geographic Information System systems.

Under the latter program, some 4,738 enrollees completed 232 courses during the reporting period, bringing the life-of-project totals to 66,658 enrollees and 3,052 courses thus far. The 17 provinces outside of Baghdad account for 79 percent of all participants trained in May 2009. GOI trainers delivered 56 percent of the courses. For example, the New Project Manager seminars conducted by USAID/Tatweer, which pair younger engineers with more senior experienced counterparts, have contributed in part to an increase of over 70 percent in Daura Refinery’s production capacity.

PRTs also work directly on capacity-development with Quick Response Funds (QRF). This program provides resources to increase the capacity of Iraqi local government and civil society organizations working in agriculture, education, business development, the rule of law, and women’s programs, among other areas. PRTs are one of the few sources of support for nascent civil society organizations and many teams have turned their attention toward strengthening the capacity of these groups to remain viable and be able to sustain their programming post-USG assistance. During the past quarter, PRTs used QRF to help support the “Land O’Lakes” train-the-trainer program in Fallujah. Trainers from the Working Women of Ameriyah Association have been instructing widows and other underprivileged members of society on improved dairy production practices. The training has been well received by the community and provides the necessary foundation for future growth that will provide the women with long-term employment and training opportunities in the fundamentals of business operation. Other training included dairy and bee hive management for widows, journalism for regional reporters, technical skills for professional engineers, and English language.

USAID’s Local Governance Program (LGP) – Phase III complements the PRT program by assisting elected local officials in 11 of Iraq’s provinces to serve the needs of their constituencies. The program offers training and assistance to help newly elected provincial governors and council members better plan for public investment and improve oversight over service delivery. This quarter, LGP launched a nationwide orientation program to familiarize governors and councils with the new Provincial Powers Law and with central government guidelines for the procurement and execution of capital projects. Ten of the provinces served by LGP have Iraqi staff members charged with delivering the orientation sessions. Nine provincial councils – representing more than 250 council members – have completed two-thirds of the sessions, and council members in Babil, Karbala, Wasit, and Ninewa have completed all courses.

Another important benchmark of progress for the provincial councils for this quarter was adopting by-laws. The Provincial Powers Law requires the newly elected councils to adopt by-laws within 30 days after their first session. With technical assistance and advice from USAID through LGP, all provinces were successful in adopting the by-laws.

At the national level, LGP supported establishment of the “Article 45” High Commission, which the Provincial Powers Law stipulates as a formal venue for coordination of provincial issues under the auspices of the Prime Minister. LGP assisted the advisory board to the Prime Minister in convening a conference to inaugurate the commission.

USAID’s Provincial Economic Growth Tijara program stimulates growth in Iraq’s private sector by increasing access to finance, strengthening business development services, and assisting the GOI in the World Trade Organization accession process. This quarter, the program assisted in the establishment of the Iraqi Company for Small and Medium Enterprise Finance to increase credit availability to small and medium-size enterprises. This non-bank financial institution will manage a special lending facility made up of a consortium of Iraqi privately owned commercial banks. It is funded initially with a $6 million USAID grant and a $228,500 initial subscription capital from participating banks.

USAID coordinated through PRTs at the provincial level to support the local microfinance industry. For example, the Al Aman microfinance institution in Kirkuk received a $250,000 tranche of loan capital from a USAID grant, and the Tal ’Afar Economic Development Center received its first tranche of $100,000 in loan capital.

USAID also provided assistance to the National Investment Commission during this quarter. This included launching the commission’s website, assisting with updating the 2006 Investor Roadmap of Iraq to reflect regulatory changes since its first issue, and establishing a one-stop shop for foreign direct investors. USAID also assisted the GOI with the development of policy, legal, and regulatory reforms that support its bid to accede to the World Trade Organization.

(D) Accelerating the delivery of basic services

U.S. assistance has also focused on helping Iraq sustain U.S. and Iraqi investments. This quarter, training and technical assistance programs have continued across a broad spectrum of essential services infrastructure.

Electricity
Average daily electricity supply for April to June was 141,134 MWh, with an average daily peak of 9814 MW. This was 36.8 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, above the daily and peak supply for the same period in 2008. This increase was due to additional generation units coming online, increased power imports from Iran, improved performance of existing plants due to better operation and maintenance practices acquired through our capacity-building programs, and fewer interruptions of the fuel supply and fewer forced outages. There were no known attacks on power lines, allowing the Ministry of Electricity to return most major power lines to service. The Minister of Electricity has aggressively pursued GOI funding for large generation projects. Reduced oil revenues and the associated budget constraints are slowing the construction program.

The Qudas Expansion project started commercial operation this quarter adding 180+ MWs to the grid. This is the last large generation project funded by ITAO and built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Water and Sewage
While work on all major USG-funded water supply projects has been completed, the USG provides training to improve the GOI’s ability to operate and maintain these plants. The remaining major sewage project, which will serve Fallujah, is currently scheduled for completion in September 2009.

Health
The Ministry of Health is implementing its health sector strategic plan and encourages increased private investment in the sector. The GOI reports that medical professionals are returning to Iraq in increasing numbers.

Telecommunications
The three licensed nationwide cell phone providers now claim over 17.7 million subscribers, which represent over 50 percent (and perhaps much closer to 100 percent) of the subscriber market and about 60 percent of the population, compared to less than 3 percent of the subscriber market and less than 1.5 percent of the population in early 2003. Despite continuing regulatory uncertainties and poor, unreliable service, private investment and subscriber growth remain strong, although both may be slowing. Recent public statements and actions by Iraqi officials have raised concerns that strong, fair, and transparent regulation, implemented by an independent regulator, may not be established soon. Internet service is improving, but is still not widely available and is often slow and unreliable. Internet service is limited by the lack of high-speed end-user connections to Iraq’s fiber-optic backbone network; significant improvements in connections and in quality may be completed by late 2010. Traditional wireline telephone growth is mostly stagnant; less than 20 percent of households have such service.

Infrastructure Security
The Infrastructure Security Program has helped Iraq secure critical infrastructure related to its oil, water, and electricity sectors, with assistance ranging from hardening physical infrastructure to training and vetting security forces. This quarter, the program completed oil pipeline exclusion zones between Bayji and Kirkuk, Doura and Hillah, and Bayji and Baghdad. The program also completed key projects to harden critical electrical transmission lines and electrical substations. This assistance improves the reliability of essential service delivery throughout Iraq.

(E) Securing the delivery of pledged economic assistance from the international community and additional pledges of assistance

Under the ICI and the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), and with the assistance of the UN in view of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, Iraq is working to take ownership of, and establish better mechanisms for coordinating, its development assistance process. To implement the principles of the Paris Declaration for greater accountability, transparency, and coordination of donor activities, Iraq and the UN have established a special taskforce involving all the major donors. This approach has stimulated several creditors to reduce Iraq’s Saddam-era debts, and encouraged additional financial and technical assistance and soft loans. Moreover, Iraq continues to make substantial progress in reaching new bilateral cooperation agreements for economic development, technical cooperation, trade, and investment.

During an informal meeting in early June, the Donors Committee of the IRFFI reaffirmed their February 2009 decision to end the IRFFI in 2013. To align the outlook for the World Bank Iraq Trust Fund with this decision, on May 26, the World Bank announced that it had renegotiated its agreements with the 17 donor countries that have contributed to the World Bank Iraq Trust Fund.. The IRFFI has been the principal multilateral vehicle for providing assistance to Iraq since 2004. It has committed the bulk of its resources and will cease the initiation of new projects at the end of 2010. Some new and ongoing projects will take longer to complete. In March, the UN and Iraq agreed to a three-year strategy for the use of remaining resources of the UN Development Group Iraq Trust Fund for UN assistance activities in Iraq. As IRFFI programs wind down, the activities of its main operators (the UN agencies and the World Bank) will continue to support programs of Iraqi economic and institutional development on their own.

The IRFFI has contributed extensively to programs designed by donors to develop the capacity of Iraq’s government institutions to function effectively. In every major sector, the IRFFI has funded projects administered by the UN’s operational agencies including: food, agriculture and the environment (19 projects); education (nine projects); poverty reduction and economic reform (15 projects); health (nine projects); clean water and housing (14 projects); infrastructure and electricity (nine projects); and the protection of displaced and vulnerable persons (five projects). Under the IRFFI, the World Bank administered a total of 16 projects including those that help Iraq develop its capacity to gather and use economic statistics (including the completion of a country-wide Household Survey), support businesses and private sector institutions, develop sound energy policies, and establish a means-tested social safety net.

The World Bank is moving to implement its Third Interim Strategy Note, released in March 2009, which describes in detail World Bank plans in Iraq through 2011. It also offers $500 million in new credit lines from the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, although Iraq has not yet expressed intent to use this source of financing. The World Bank is adding a specialist for private sector development and a chief administrator to coordinate expected increases in visits to Iraq by World Bank experts to its staff in Baghdad. The World Bank is working with ministries to explain the findings of its recently completed Iraq National Household Survey, and to help these ministries adjust their activities and plans to better meet the needs of the Iraqi people.

As part of the World Bank’s long-term assistance program with Iraq, it will carry out its Public Resources Management program by emphasizing best practices for financial management and good governance. It plans to increase its efforts to spur private sector-led growth by performing a comprehensive analysis of the current state of Iraq’s private sector, and will examine prospects for the privatization of more than 100 existing state owned enterprises. In May, Iraq reached new agreements with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agencies.

At the end of June 2009, the World Bank stopped receiving new donor contributions to its IRFFI Iraq Trust Fund and the UN Development Group will stop approving new projects by the end of December 2009. In total, the World Bank and UN Development Group Iraq Trust Funds have collected a total of $1.85 billion from IRFFI donor countries. The World Bank Iraq Trust Fund has $558 million in resources, including $64 million in interest earnings. Total allocations for projects are about $516 million, with approximately $17 million available for small projects in the future. The UN Development Group Iraq Trust Fund has a total of $1.33 billion, of which at least $1.2 billion had been approved for 159 projects and joint programs. The UN’s Strategy for Iraqi Assistance aims to accelerate the pace of project approvals and completions, as well as the commitment and disbursement of funds, while aligning all UN programs with three priority themes: decentralization, public sector reform, and public financial management.

International donor coordination will continue through meetings of the informal Baghdad Coordination Group and the new formal Iraqi Partners Forum, co-chaired by UNAMI and the World Bank in Baghdad. In keeping with its aims for exercising greater ownership of its assistance process, Iraq is insisting that bi-lateral and multi-lateral meetings with its international partners should be held in Baghdad. Although this presents logistical difficulties (e.g., for travel to and from and within Iraq), this attitude reflects the GOI’s growing confidence in its own capabilities.

Iraq’s partner and donor countries have pledged a total of $17 billion represented by a combination of $5.26 billion in pledges of financial and technical assistance and $11.75 billion in pledges of soft loans or potential loan facilities that under certain circumstances would be available to Iraq. As of June 2009, donors have committed more than $6 billion in financial or technical assistance – or about $740 million more than total pledges for such assistance. Japan is the largest donor after the United States, with over $5 billion in pledges: $1.6 billion in grants and $3.5 billion in soft loans (of which $2.5 billion has been committed). The European Commission is the third largest donor with about $1.49 billion in assistance commitments since 2003, including a new commitment of about $105 million for 2009. The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Canada, Australia, and South Korea also maintain substantial assistance programs.

Greece and Tunisia have reached formal debt reduction agreements on Paris Club terms with Iraq, canceling debts of $259 million and $188 million in return for payments equal to 10.25 percent of the amounts owed. Iraq and the United Arab Emirates continue to work for a formal agreement on the cancellation of $7 billion in Saddam-era debt. Morocco is in the process of negotiating an agreement with Iraq to reduce a debt estimated between $12 million and $22 million. Assuming the agreement with the United Arab Emirates is finalized, Iraq’s debt will have been reduced by approximately $25.3 billion since the ICI was launched in May 2007. This includes reductions of about $12 billion from Russia, $3.2 billion from the former Yugoslav republics, and $2.3 billion from Bulgaria. In total, Iraq has, or is near having, reached agreements to reduce $90 billion of its Saddam-era debt to only about $11.1 billion to be repaid over time. Included in the total debt settled was about $21 billion owed on commercial contracts, much of which has been settled by the issuance of internationally traded Iraqi bonds that have repayment terms patterned after Iraq’s Paris Club agreement. Iraq’s remaining unsettled debt amounts to between $49 billion and $77 billion; much much of which is the result of a lack of consensus between Iraq and Saudi Arabia who have not yet agreed upon the amount owed, estimates vary from between about $16 billion to $39 billion.

(F) Training Iraqi security forces and transferring additional security responsibilities to those forces and the government of Iraq

As of April 30, 2009, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) number approximately 645,000 forces in the Ministry of Interior (MOI), Ministry of Defense (MOD), and the Iraqi National Counter-Terrorism Force .

The Coalition’s four long term objectives to develop the MOD, the MOI, Counter-Terrorism Forces, and their respective forces remain unchanged: support force generation and force replenishment; improve the proficiency and professionalism of Iraqi forces; build specific logistic, sustainment, and training capacities; and develop ministerial and institutional capacity. The five near-term areas of emphasis also remain unchanged: ensure Iraqi forces continue to improve in logistics, maintenance, and life support; ensure the size, capability, professionalism, and leadership of the ISF; enable increasing assumption of additional security roles from Coalition Forces; enhance the capabilities of Iraqi Special Operations Forces and Counter-Terrorism Forces; and ensure Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Navy growth stays on track.

Accelerating the growth of logistics-capable units and pursuing enabling capabilities remains a top priority, as does the effort to expand ministerial capacity within the MOD and MOI. MNSTC-I advisory teams continue to work closely with both the MOD and MOI to improve the accuracy and frequency of their personnel reporting systems. The number of MOI personnel assigned continues to exceed personnel trained, as rapid hiring in 2007 and 2008 outstripped training center capacity. As additional missions are transferred to the MOI (including Oil Police, Electricity Police, and Facilities Protection Services), personnel are transferred with limited training and inadequate equipment, creating a backlog of untrained and uncertified personnel. Ongoing efforts to expand MOI training throughput (e.g., training instructors, building infrastructure, etc.) will help remedy this training shortfall, while the focus on procurement, distribution, and sustainment will address equipping issues over time.

For further details on ISF capabilities and progress, refer to the Department of Defense’s quarterly report to Congress titled “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,” http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/Iraq_Reports/index.html.

II. Whether the Iraqis have made the compromises necessary to achieve the broad-based and sustainable political settlement that is essential for defeating the insurgency in Iraq.

(A) Enacting a broadly-accepted hydrocarbon law that equitably shares revenue among all Iraqis

There has been little progress toward adopting a revenue sharing law in Iraq. Nevertheless, the GOI distributes funds from the national budget directly to the provinces based on population estimates. The majority of these funds are allocated for capital investment, reconstruction, and essential service delivery to benefit the Iraqi people. Non-KRG provinces have direct spending authority over more than $2 billion allocated through the 2009 budget, and received close to $10 billion in 2007 and 2008 combined. The KRG receives a 17 percent share of non-sovereign expenditures, which amounts to roughly $7 billion in 2009. Political disagreements continue to prevent progress on the four-law hydrocarbon package that includes a national hydrocarbon framework law, a revenue sharing law, the law on reconstitution of the national oil company, and the law to restructure the federal Ministry of Oil. Although a draft of the hydrocarbon law was submitted to the COR in October 2008, it was returned to the Council of Ministers and still resides there, negating prior public announcements of potential breakthrough earlier this year.

As the driver of the Iraqi economy, progress on developing the hydrocarbons sector is a national priority, especially in the face of low oil prices. The Ministry of Oil launched one bid round and announced a second bid round to bring foreign firms into Iraq to develop oil and gas fields. The GOI is pursuing additional ways to expand the sector, taking steps to restructure management of the oil industry by reviewing plans to reduce bureaucratic barriers that are widely perceived to prevent state-owned entities from moving quickly to confront declining production levels. A breakthrough occurred in May 2009, between the GOI and KRG as the two sides agreed to allow two fields in the Kurdistan region to export up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day to Turkey beginning in June 2009. The crude would then be sold by the State Oil Marketing Organization, and the revenue would be deposited into Iraqi government accounts. Over time these fields are expected to add as many as 250,000 barrels per day of exports. There are still uncertainties surrounding this agreement, including how companies operating these fields will be paid, but it sets a potential precedent for future Baghdad-Erbil cooperation in the oil sector.

(B) Adopting laws necessary for the conduct of provincial and local elections, taking steps to implement such laws, and setting a schedule to conduct provincial and local elections

Iraq held provincial elections in 14 of its 18 provinces on January 31, 2009. Elections were not held in Dohuk, Erbil, or Sulamaniyah, as they are part of the KRG and the Provincial Elections Law did not apply to provinces that are part of a region. Elections also have not been held in Tamim Province; the Provincial Elections Law outlined a process for enacting a separate elections law for that province.

The Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament passed an amendment to the regional elections law on March 25. The KRG President Massoud Barzani subsequently announced a July 25 date for elections for the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament and for the position of President of the KRG. Candidate and political entity registration were completed in May, and the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) reports that the Presidency will be contested by current KRG President Barzani and five other candidates. IHEC has certified 42 political entities and 528 candidates in advance of the elections for the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament. Of the 42 political parties, 15 have joined together to form five coalitions. Voter registration commenced on May 25.

For Tamim Province, Article 23 of the Provincial Elections Law stipulated that a committee (the Article 23 Committee) comprising COR representatives of the Kurdish, Turkoman, and Arab communities must explore power-sharing mechanisms, develop a restitution plan for ethnic groups forcibly displaced from their homes or businesses, and review the demographic shifts in the province. When the committee has submitted its report to the COR, the COR will be required to enact a separate elections law for Tamim. The Article 23 Committee did not finalize its report by the March 31 deadline; this deadline was extended to May 31, but the committee did not meet that deadline. If the committee fails to submit a report, the law stipulates the COR shall enact a provincial elections law for Tamim, or, if the COR is unable to pass a law, the Presidency Council, the Cabinet’s Presidency, and the COR Presidency shall specify conditions for elections in Tamim with international assistance through the UN.

(C) Reforming current laws governing the de-Baathification process in a manner that encourages national reconciliation

The GOI passed the Law on Accountability and Justice (also known as de-Baathification reform) in February 2008. The law would allow an estimated 38,000 former Ba’ath members to return to government employment.

In 2003, Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 1 abolished the Ba’ath Party and removed the top four levels of Ba’ath Party members from government positions; the order also banned them from future government service. Although the implementation procedures for the Accountability and Justice Law have yet to be determined, the law allows former fourth level (firqa) Ba’ath Party members to return to government employment, with some exceptions, and creates a limited appeals process in the form of a committee of judges to adjudicate these cases.

In addition to the Accountability and Justice Law, December 2007 amendments to the Unified Pension Law restored pension rights to former civil servants and military officials without regard to former party affiliation.

During the reporting period, the COR Committee on Accountability and Justice reported to the COR that despite the absence of an institutionalized mechanism to approve government hiring of former Ba’ath members, many ministries and governmental institutions have hired ex-Ba’athists who worked in the oppressive institutions of the former regime. The Committee recommended that the political blocs in the COR provide a list of candidates to be approved for the seven-member Commission on Accountability and Justice, which will implement the law.

(D) Amending the Constitution of Iraq in a manner that encourages national reconciliation

The COR Committee on Constitutional Amendments has been tasked with analyzing the current constitution and suggesting necessary amendments. The committee has, to date, made little visible progress on major issues related to federalism. However, agreement on some 60 other minor amendments has been achieved (but not yet enacted into law). Although the Region Formation Law and the Provincial Powers Law reduce the urgency for some aspects of constitutional review, their implementation remains uncertain, and discussions on other fundamental disagreements over constitutional interpretation appear deadlocked.

(E) Allocation and expenditure of Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, and implementing such reconstruction projects on an equitable basis

GOI ministries and provincial governments are allocating and spending more of their own money on reconstruction projects, although there are still some impediments to full spending, including lower revenues. The GOI spent roughly $8.4 billion of its capital reconstruction budget at all levels of government in 2008. This represents a substantial improvement, the GOI spent more of its capital reconstruction budget in 2008 than it did in 2007 ($3.4 billion), 2006 ($1.6 billion) and 2005 ($1.4 billion) combined. When including fully-collateralized advances on signed contracts, the GOI spent or committed over $16 billion in 2008 on reconstruction, compared to $5.4 billion in 2007. Capital reconstruction spending started slowly in 2009, primarily because the 2009 budget was not passed until March.

Despite significant improvements, some spending impediments remain. A variety of factors affect budget execution across ministries and provinces, which include bureaucratic bottlenecks, unclear rules and regulations, technical capacity, security, and absorption capacity. USG civilian and military personnel, including the Treasury-led Public Financial Management Action Group at the Embassy, work with ministry and provincial officials to address these budgetary issues through targeted assistance and capacity-building programs.

(F) Making significant efforts to plan and implement disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs relating to Iraqi militias

In October 2008, Coalition Forces began transferring the SOI to GOI control. As of May 30, 2009, 88,383 SOI in all provinces with an SOI program were under control of the GOI. The GOI has assumed responsibility for all SOI payments and began paying all SOI salaries at the end of May 2009. Concerns remain, however, over the continued arrests of SOI leaders and accusations of late and non-payment of salaries. The COR’s movement of SOI funds from the Prime Minister’s control to the MOI in the 2009 Budget initially created confusion, although the Ministry of Finance quickly rectified technical issues that arose from the transfer of funds. To underscore Iraq’s commitment to the SOI, the government approved their salaries and began disbursing payments before approving the 2009 budget. While completing the transfer of control of the SOI and ensuring SOI payments, Coalition Forces continued to work with GOI officials on transitioning SOI to other viable employment. In Baghdad, 47,000 SOI skills and education questionnaires have been evaluated to determine placement into appropriate ministries. Evaluation of the SOI in other provinces will follow. Additionally, the Council of Ministers passed a resolution in April 2009 directing ministries to absorb SOI into their ranks.

III. A detailed description of the Joint Campaign Plan, or any subsequent revisions, updates, or documents that replace or supersede the Joint Campaign Plan, including goals, phases, or other milestones contained in the Joint Campaign Plan.

The JCP is the combined U.S. Embassy Baghdad-MNF-I strategy for Iraq, providing the requisite guidance, direction, and focus for successful accomplishment of the mission in Iraq now and in the future. A JCP Assessment Team completed a survey of Iraq in October 2008. Its recommendations were incorporated into a revised JCP, completed in December 2008. The JCP is continually reviewed and updated based on guidance from the Commanding General of MNF-I and the Ambassador to Iraq, who ensure the plan is consistent with U.S. policy objectives.

The plan integrates efforts along five main lines of operations – political, economic, diplomatic, rule of law, and security – and outlines the conditions, objective, tasks, and measures of effectiveness applicable to each.

The JCP recognizes the imperative of enhancing security and protecting the Iraqi population, and underscores the importance of helping Iraqis establish legitimate, representative governance at both the national and provincial levels.

(A) An explanation of conditions required to move through phases of the Joint Campaign Plan, in particular those conditions that must be met in order to provide for the transition of additional security responsibility to the Iraqi Security Forces, and the measurements used to determine progress

The JCP outlines the conditions that must be met in each line of operation in order to achieve the campaign goals and the steady state goal. The JCP acknowledges that efforts must be integrated with the GOI, and the new version accounts for the requirements of the USG-GOI Security Agreement and Strategic Framework Agreement. It also recognizes that transition of security responsibility to the GOI must take place at a responsible rate based on existing security threats and conditions, the GOI’s capacity to assume further responsibility to protect its population, and policy guidance from Washington.

The JCP is a theater strategy and campaign plan for Iraq, combined into one cohesive document. The document is sufficiently fixed in time to be assessed, yet flexible enough to be periodically adjusted in a fluid and evolving security environment. It divides the campaign into three stages, linked to the broad timelines in the Security Agreement and significant political events in Iraq, such as national elections. It sets goals and conditions to be achieved in each stage. The Ambassador and Commanding General periodically assess progress against these goals.

The JCP has a number of specific classified goals and conditions related to the ISF. Stage 1 concerns building the appropriate capacity for the ISF, Stage 2 consolidates and establishes that capacity, and Stage 3 is achieved when the ISF is a fully established and effective entity capable of working without external support.

(B) An assessment of which conditions in the Joint Campaign Plan have been achieved and which conditions have not been achieved. The assessment of those conditions that have not been achieved shall include a discussion of the factors that have precluded progress

The JCP outlines efforts to build government capacity, deliver essential services, improve local economies, improve respect for the rule of law, and implement reconciliation initiatives among Iraq’s constituencies, while continuing to improve security conditions throughout the country. The JCP also covers the overall situation in Iraq, assumptions and risks, as well as campaign management and assessment tools.

Intended to be a “living” document, the JCP will remain current amidst a rapidly changing environment through a continuous assessment process. These assessments, using the informed input of diplomats, senior civilian and military leaders, members of the international community, and – on occasion – national security experts from academia, will form the basis for subsequent revisions, changes, or updates to the strategy.

(C) A description of any companion or equivalent plan of the Government of Iraq used to measure progress for Iraqi Security Forces undertaking joint operations with Coalition Forces

The Iraqi Joint Headquarters has taken the lead in evaluating the Iraqi Joint Forces by presenting its Transition Readiness Assessment to the MOD. Senior leaders from the Joint Headquarters and MOD assessed the training capability of the Iraqi forces under the MOD. The Joint Headquarters identified the most significant challenges facing the joint forces, which are largely personnel-related due to the accelerated growth in the security forces, and the improvements needed in sustainment, logistics, and enabling capabilities. Equipment challenges brought to light in this Transition Readiness Assessment are related to the centralized decision-making process and lack of direction and decisions from the MOD.

Between August and October 2008, the Iraqi Joint Forces developed a Quarterly Readiness and Strategic Review process to monitor, audit, and record military transition status and operational readiness capability. It combines a readiness evaluation of the Iraqi Army, Iraqi Air Force, and Iraqi Navy during the previous quarter and a strategic review of training, manning, logistics, operations, and infrastructure. The Joint Headquarters compiled the first Quarterly Readiness and Strategic Review with MOD involvement and endorsement for a presentation to the Minister of Defense in October 2008.

In light of the Security Agreement implementation on January 1, 2009 updated information on the Iraqi Joint Forces Quarterly Readiness and Strategic Reviews are provided at the discretion of the GOI. No further information was provided to MNF-I during the reporting period.

IV. To the extent that these conditions are not covered under paragraph III, the following should also be addressed:

(A) The number of battalions of the Iraqi Armed Forces that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in counter-insurgency operations and the defense of Iraq’s territory

The MOD has approved a force structure for counter-insurgency operations that includes 14 Iraqi Army divisions (13 infantry and one mechanized) and support forces; a Navy of 2,700 personnel, including two marine battalions; and an Air Force of 6,000 personnel. Additionally, the Iraqi National Counter-Terrorism Force, with projected end strength at steady state of 8,500, is contributing significantly to the counter-insurgency effort. Further modification of the military force structure will occur this year, given the need to develop logistics units and enabling capabilities for tactical units, such as engineering, bomb disposal, medical evacuation, signal; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets. Total ISF (MOD and MOI) requirements were forecast to grow as large as 646,000 by 2010, but diminishing budgets make achieving this goal less likely. The MOI struggles with training capacity due to generally poor facilities, budget shortfalls, and a lack of qualified instructors. The MOD faces budget constraints, logistical and sustainment challenges, and a recruiting shortfall. These factors will delay achieving the desired 2009 force levels required for the present planned force structure.

Iraqi Army combat battalions continue to increase in both number and capability. As of May 2009, there are 185 Iraqi Army combat battalions conducting operations, including two newly-formed battalions. Six Iraqi Special Operations Forces battalions are conducting operations, and six Iraqi Army infrastructure battalions are conducting security support operations. The Iraqi Air Force continues to expand its operational capability as the Iraqi Air Operations Center now provides scheduling, command and control, and execution for over 350 operational and training sorties per week. The Iraqi Navy continues to strengthen its ability to patrol Iraqi territorial waters and provide point defense for Iraq’s two offshore oil platforms and security for the port and towns of Umm Qasr and Az Zubayr. The Iraqi Navy has assumed responsibility of point defense for one of the two major oil platforms. The Iraqi Navy conducts an average of 42 independent patrols and 35 commercial ship boardings per week, and maintains an in-commission capability rate of 80 percent of the Iraqi fleet.

(B) The number of Iraqi special police units that must be able to operate independently or to take the lead in maintaining law and order in fighting the insurgency

The Federal Police continues to improve the effectiveness of its units. During this reporting period, 60 of 67 Federal Police units were assessed, two units were not assessed, and five units were in force generation (these units will be assessed once they complete forming and are assigned areas of responsibility). Based on the improvement in capability and effectiveness of the Federal Police, Coalition advisors have shifted their focus from battalion-level advising to brigade-level and above. The only exception to this approach is advisor assignments to the newly-formed Federal Police battalions, as these battalions require more assistance to develop a capability for operations without Coalition support.

Coalition advisors will continue to assess Federal Police unit capabilities to distribute and realign training teams more effectively to units requiring additional assistance. The Italian Carabinieri continue to train, advise, and assist with the professionalization of the Federal Police. In February 2009, Federal Police training increased from 400 to 900 students every six weeks, significantly increasing the throughput of certified police officers.

(C) The number of regular police that must be trained and equipped to maintain law and order

As of April 2009, there were approximately 415,000 personnel assigned to the MOI forces, of which approximately 380,000 personnel are Iraqi Police Services (IPS), Federal Police, Border, Facilities Protections Service, and Port of Entry Forces. The MOI is conducting a comprehensive audit process to validate employee rolls and ensure there are no remaining ghost employees in the system. Currently, the MOI is under a hiring freeze due to 2009 budget shortfalls. Directives have been given to the directorates/local level to conduct their own audits to reduce corruption and abuses within the system. These provincial audits will identify deserters, no-shows, and additional inefficiencies within the personnel reporting system. Results from the audit are expected to create hiring opportunities within the MOI.

The MOI continues to make organizational and strength adjustments in its forces, as continued decreasing violence levels allow an increased focus on community policing. Recognition of the right of all Iraqi citizens to the impartial application of Iraqi law is growing, as is enforcement of Iraqi laws in concert with the judicial transition to evidentiary-based prosecution. Although there are delays in equipping and basing, the MOI’s existing functional systems for procurement, budget, and real estate acquisition will, in time, meet force generation and organizational requirements throughout its forces, which include the Federal Police, Station Police, Traffic Police, River Police, Border Police, Oil Police, Facilities Protection Services, and other emergency response organizations. However, 2009 budget constraints will limit MOI expansion of security forces and degrade equipping and sustainment throughout 2009.

The IPS mission to enforce the rule of law, safeguard the public, and provide local community security remains unchanged. IPS operational performance has improved with each operation, and the it is becoming a professional force that can, with limited Coalition support, begin to operate and support the rule of law throughout Iraq in conjunction with the court system. The disparate elements that make up the IPS are starting to provide cross-department support to each other, further enhancing their ability to operate.

The IPS consists of all provincial police forces (station, patrol, traffic, and special units) assigned to the 18 Iraqi provinces. The Directorate General of Police for each province oversees operations and sustainment of more than 1,300 police stations across Iraq. The IPS directs policy and strategic planning and has technical control over the training, vetting, and hiring of policemen and their commanders. Other significant IPS departments and directorates are the Criminal Evidence Directorate, Criminal Investigations Directorate, Patrol Police, Traffic Police, SWAT/Emergency Response Unit, and the General Directorate of Crime Affairs.

(D) The ability of Iraq’s Federal ministries and provincial and local governments to independently sustain, direct, and coordinate Iraq’s security forces

Recent ISF operations in Baghdad, Ninewa, and Diyala have demonstrated the improving capabilities of the ISF. ISF leadership has improved its command and control of multiple brigade-size elements from both the Iraqi Army and Federal Police, while conducting simultaneous counter-insurgency operations throughout the country. Iraqi Army brigade and division staffs show steady improvement in planning and executing combined and joint operations, intelligence gathering, information operations, civil-military operations, and limited post-conflict reconstruction operations. Operations Commands are more capable of planning and executing various types of combat operations, and they played a major role in the command and control of the security effort for the January 2009 provincial elections, as well as the Arba’een observances in Karbala.

Battalion- and company-level tactical counter-insurgency operation execution continues to improve. In Mosul, ISF units continue to plan and execute combined, targeted, cordon and knock operations, establish traffic control points, and conduct active patrolling and clearance operations. Iraqi Special Operations Forces and Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics units conduct operations effectively to disrupt AQI and other fighters. However, there remains a critical reliance on Coalition rotary wing assets and other enablers such as intelligence, close air support, and logistical sustainment during operations.

V. The criteria to be used to evaluate progress toward meeting such conditions.

On January 1, 2009, the mandate for Coalition Forces under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1790 expired, and the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement entered into force. Consistent with the Security Agreement, the GOI has assumed security responsibility for all 18 provinces and the lead in maintaining security for the Iraqi people. The focus of U.S. forces has begun to shift toward mentoring and advising the ISF, and away from taking a directive role in security operations.

The GOI and Coalition assessment process will use criteria evaluating threats and economic and political conditions affecting ISF abilities to maintain security without depending on Coalition Forces. Information describing current and projected economic development and provision of essential services will be added to existing GOI and Coalition assessments of manning, training, equipment, and readiness of provincial forces.

VI. A plan for meeting such conditions, an assessment of the extent to which such conditions have been met, information regarding variables that could alter that plan, and the reasons for any subsequent changes to that plan.

Both the MOI and MOD show progress in developing ministerial capacity, albeit slowly and unevenly. To expand institutional capacity, Coalition technical assistance and partnership will be necessary for several years to overcome decades of isolation and stagnation in law enforcement and military education and training. A lack of capacity to train civilian management, a shortage of training staff, deterioration of some facilities, and an inability to fill many positions with trained personnel hinder the ministries.

Both MOI and MOD forces are proving increasingly capable. Operations centers allow MOI and MOD forces to coordinate operations and share information, which has resulted in the apprehension of suspects and the discovery and destruction of weapons caches, as well as successful security planning and execution for safe provincial elections. The ISF actively cultivates community relationships and develop an environment of trust within their communities by performing humanitarian support and engaging in outreach and public information activities to solicit local help to combat insurgents. The ISF are gaining the acceptance of the Iraqi people by effectively demonstrating that their combined accomplishments against terrorist activities make Iraqi communities safer.

The long-term, nation-to-nation strategic relationship continues to mature with out-of-country training opportunities in the United States and many European-based NATO countries. Annually, over 200 training seats are available to Iraqis through NATO. The United States and NATO annually fund courses for security ministries to professionally develop their forces. Courses offered include: basic officer leadership courses, captain career courses, war colleges, periodic security seminars at the National Defense University and the Marshall Center, general officer development courses, and civil emergency response courses. The U.S. courses and many of the NATO courses require English language proficiency prior to enrollment, which has proven problematic. Consequently, MNSTC-I works with the security ministries to establish a standard training framework and curriculum throughout Iraqi educational institutions to facilitate the development of a larger pool of English-speaking professionals within the ISF.

The Coalition continues to support GOI development of the Iraqi Intelligence Community, created to support senior policymakers and ISF operations. ISF intelligence organizations include the National Information and Investigations Agency in the MOI, and the Directorate General for Intelligence and Security and Joint Headquarters Directorate for Military Intelligence in the MOD. They have shown substantial progress in conducting credible intelligence operations and improvements in providing legally sufficient evidence for the Iraqi judicial process. The Intelligence and Military Security School, which provides training for ISF intelligence professionals and investigators, has greatly expanded since the last reporting period. It has more than doubled its training cadre and course offerings, which now include intermediate and advanced courses in most intelligence specialties. Similarly, the National Information and Investigations Agency’s National Training Center in Baghdad has also expanded its student instructional capacity. The Federal Bureau of Investigation sponsored an instructor development program to train MOI instructors both at the Baghdad Police College and the National Information and Investigations Agency Training Center. However, several significant challenges previously reported still remain largely unresolved for the ISF intelligence organizations. The Coalition works with ISF intelligence partners to address these and other specific shortfalls.

Logistical and sustainment capability remains a major area of focus and is essential for enduring ISF self-sufficiency. ISF have become more competent and self-sufficient over time and have made appropriate organiza­tional adjustments during more recent operations. Although this is an encouraging development at the tactical level, more effort must be directed to the sustainment and logistical support capability within the ISF at the operational and strategic levels. The MOD continues to develop a national supply and distribution network, with a Location Command in support of each Iraqi Army division. The MOD will co-locate regional life-support assets at these sites to enhance warehousing and distribution capacity. Eight of these Location Commands are nearing completion of construction or refurbishment. The remaining four bases are under construction and will be operational by the end of the 2009 calendar year.

The MOI continues to develop its national and supply distribution network with the Baghdad Police College Warehouse Complex in support of national commands, central ministry forces, and provincial headquarters. The MOI began fielding a Federal Police sustainment brigade in October 2008, but new facilities are required to reach full operational status. Once fielding is complete, the Federal Police sustainment brigade will be a mobile organization providing support to the four current Federal Police divisions and separate brigades during operations. The Federal Police will also complete organic support units in each division during 2009.

The Taji National Depot Complex remains the centerpiece for national supply and mainte­nance services to the ISF. When complete, the complex will include engine and transmission repair workshops, repair parts warehouses, and wheeled and tracked vehicle maintenance facilities. The theater-capable General Transportation Regiment began performing intra-theater transport missions from its new base at Taji in December 2008. Accelerated fielding of the final Motor Transport Regiment has significantly reduced Iraqi dependency on Coalition support to move supplies from the port to depot with additional forward movement to Location Commands and training facility warehouses. In March 2009, the MOD completed the first M1114 depot rebuild at the wheeled vehicle facility, using mostly Iraqi labor and demonstrating increased capability to operate its fourth-line maintenance.

VII. An assessment of the levels of U.S. Armed Forces required in Iraq for the six-month period following the date of the report, the missions to be undertaken by the Armed Forces in Iraq for such period, and the incremental costs or savings of any proposed changes to such levels or missions.

Building on the success to date in protecting the Iraqi population, the Coalition will assist Iraq in developing governing institutions that are legitimate, representative, responsive and effective, guided by the rule of law, and that serve the Iraqi people. Our efforts will directly support the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework and Security Agreements with an aim to produce a long-term and enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq that promotes regional stability – a matter of vital national interest to Iraq and the Coalition.

The USG and the international community in partnership with the GOI will work to increase the legitimacy of the GOI by assisting in the building of capable, accountable institutions that bridge ethnic and sectarian divides, address the root causes of Iraqi instability, neutralize AQI, and balance Iranian influence. Over the course of the next six months, MNF-I’s mission focus will transition towards stabilization and enabling civil authorities. This transition will take place at different times throughout Iraq as conditions allow, recognizing that operational conditions throughout the country are not homogeneous. Whenever possible, MNF-I will work with the international community, UN, and multinational and regional organizations to support the development of Iraqi capabilities and promote a legitimate and accountable GOI. Our strategy supports Iraq across five integrated lines of operations: political, economic, diplomatic, rule of law, and security. The political line of operation will remain the main effort over the next six months. However, it is essential that MNF-I and the ISF work together to maintain and improve security conditions in order to allow advances to be made in the other four lines of operations.

Following the approval of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework and Security Agreements and the subsequent expiration of the Coalition Forces’ mandate in UNSCR 1790, the GOI has demonstrated an increased assertion of sovereignty. MNF-I’s operational environment across Iraq has fundamentally changed. These strategic circumstances reflect a period of transition that will be characterized by a change in the size of MNF-I and how it will operate in Iraq.

The size of the U.S. and Coalition footprint in Iraq continues to decline. On March 31, 2009, the number of Multi-National Divisions in Iraq decreased from five to four. Since January 1, 2009, 34 U.S. military units have redeployed from Iraq without replacement. As of June, UK, Australian, Romanian, and NATO forces remain in support of U.S. and Iraqi forces; all other Coalition partners have successfully completed their missions in Iraq. The GOI supports a robust NATO presence through the NTM-I. The NATO Secretary General visited Baghdad on April 8-9, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding governing the future of NATO forces in Iraq through July 31. Negotiations continue regarding a long-term agreement extending the presence of NATO forces, possibly through 2011.

Many factors have contributed to enhanced security and political stability, including effective Coalition and Iraqi counter-terrorism operations, the increasing capabilities of the ISF, and the rejection of violence and extremism by the Iraqi people.

VIII. A description of the range of conditions that could prompt changes to the levels of U.S. Armed Forces required in Iraq for the six-month period following the date of the report or the missions to be undertaken by the Armed Forces in Iraq for such period, including the status of planning for such changes to the levels or missions of the Armed Forces in Iraq.

President Obama has provided guidance on the future U.S. force structure in Iraq. By August 31, 2010, the U.S. combat mission in Iraq will end and U.S. forces will consist of approximately 35-50,000 U.S. troops whose primary functions will be to train, equip and advise the ISF, conduct targeted counterterrorism missions, and protect ongoing civilian and military efforts within Iraq. In the interim, U.S. forces will continue operations while planning and conducting a responsible drawdown from Iraq that is in full support of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework and Security Agreements. MNF-I and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will collectively assess a range of factors across the political, diplomatic, security, economic, and rule of law lines of operation to determine where force reductions can occur across the complex and evolving operational environment in Iraq. These collective assessments will form the basis for any near-term recommendations for U.S. force adjustments and directly support the President’s guidance to ensure the safety and security of U.S. and Coalition Forces while continuing to transition responsibility to the ISF.

Political, security, economic, diplomatic, and rule of law trends in Iraq remain generally positive. In accordance with the Security Agreement, the ISF have assumed security responsibility for Iraq and continue to improve operational and tactical capabilities but still rely on U.S. combat support enablers. The ongoing implementation of the Strategic Framework and Security Agreements this reporting period witnessed significant steps toward the development of a U.S.-Iraq strategic partnership, setting the stage for long-term cooperative efforts as Iraq continues to develop as a stable partner in the region. At the same time, continued reductions in overall violence have provided Iraqis an environment in which political and economic development can occur. The tentative resumption of foreign investment in some sectors was an indicator of progress.

However, in spite of the continued progress, these gains are uneven throughout the country. Iraq remains fragile, primarily because the underlying sources of instability have yet to be resolved. Resolving these issues will require Iraq’s political blocs to make compromises or build coalitions across ethno-sectarian lines. Improved security has allowed the political process to begin to work, but many of the key power brokers remain reluctant to move toward compromise. To ensure long-term stability, the GOI must continue to build its legitimacy through the provision of basic services and improved security for the Iraqi people, as well as the continued resolution of political, ethnic, and sectarian divisions.

Other key security conditions include: The capabilities and strength of AQI and other extremist or fringe groups; Iran’s support for proxies trying to undermine the United States in Iraq or weaken the new political order in the country; the GOI’s capacity to lead and conduct operations against insurgents and criminal groups; the GOI’s capacity to secure its borders; and the reintegration of reconcilable individuals and groups into Iraq’s political process and society. Many of these conditions could begin to manifest in political competition for power during 2009 and 2010.

IX. Report on the implementation of a strategy for United States-led Provincial Reconstruction Teams including embedded PRTs in Iraq, and an assessment of the specific contributions of PRTs to support of the operational and strategic goals of Multi-National Force-Iraq.

The PRT program is one of the most critical elements of a comprehensive and integrated approach to helping Iraq become peaceful, united, stable, secure, and self-reliant. The effectiveness of the PRT program relies largely on decentralization, which in turn requires strong coordination to ensure a unified effort by all elements of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Goals and objectives tied to the JCP and U.S. Embassy Baghdad Mission Strategic Plan provide focus to the PRT program.

The core PRT mission is building the capacity of provincial institutions; a mission within the core JCP objectives of building government capacity, delivering essential services, improving local economies, instituting rule of law, nurturing civil society, and implementing reconciliation initiatives. The PRTs will help Iraqis attain governmental and societal institutions strong enough to anchor Iraq’s nascent democracy and prevent the re-emergence of widespread violence. The operational focus of all teams builds upon PRT strengths and proven effectiveness.

Strengthening Governmental Institutions
PRTs work to strengthen nascent executive, legislative, and judicial institutions of Iraq’s provinces. They help provincial governments develop the capacity to plan and execute budgets, manage projects, and develop legislative processes and oversight. PRTs also help build transparency and accountability mechanisms – transparent budget execution, outreach to constituents, and monitoring by independent media. These are especially vital tasks as newly-elected provincial governments are seated and provincial authorities are clarified under the Provincial Powers Law.

For example, the Baghdad Mayor’s Office (Amanat) requested USG assistance in electronic mapping for Baghdad neighborhoods. This request generated the Geographic Information System center within the mayor’s office. The Baghdad PRT and USAID helped lay the foundation for this urban planning center that is now self-sustaining, with Iraqi staff undertaking their own initiatives. This quarter, Amanat staff, on their own, are perfecting essential service overlays in an effort to develop a modern land use plan for Baghdad. The Amanat’s Geographic Information System Center employs 75 Iraqi staff members who support Baghdad’s Master Plan Development Program for essential services and who will lead the country’s 2009 census.

The Erbil PRT is supporting the KRG’s new 10-year rule of law plan. The PRT recently engaged with rule of law officials at a conference that included representatives from various communities interested in NGO rule of law activities, law school reform, judicial reform, and the relationship between the three branches of government.

With the support of the Anbar PRT, the Anbar Legal Aid Center began accepting criminal and civil cases. The center provides free civil and criminal legal assistance to financially eligible people, and educates citizens and officials on their legal rights and responsibilities. One of their first projects will address the legal needs of “war widows.” The center plans to phase in a fee-based system in order to make the center sustainable without continued USG funding.

In May, the Baghdad Governance Team hosted the third local government management conference, bringing together legislative and executive leaders from the rural areas of Baghdad province. The meeting, along with the previous two, brought together mayors and municipality directors to discuss budgeting and planning issues, and the implementation of the Provincial Powers Law.

In June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with the Kirkuk PRT, conducted a one-day Quality Assurance/Quality Control class for more than 20 local construction contractors. The class demonstrated acceptable standards for local construction and was designed to improve the companies’ ability to bid for USG and GOI contracts as well as construct projects that conform to local building standards. Demonstrations of correct masonry techniques, electrical wiring and installation issues were provided. Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the PRT hope to reproduce this training in the future for greater numbers of contractors and in other areas.

Supporting Elections
During the recent provincial elections, PRTs executed 55 projects, valued at $3.7 million, to educate voters, assist local election offices, and enhance election sites. Using QRF and local NGOs, the PRTs played an instrumental role in the largest grassroots voter education effort ever undertaken in Iraq. A number of PRT personnel also helped observe local elections.

As an example, the Dhi Qar PRT assisted the Shining Hope Organization with their Simulating the Mechanics of Election Day effort that taught rural, illiterate, handicapped, and other voters from traditionally marginalized groups about the mechanics of voting in the upcoming elections. The aim was to ensure that they understood how votes were cast and counted and to encourage them to participate in the provincial elections.

The Ninewa PRT supported the efforts of the Doves of Peace to produce five television spots that ran on two local television stations on the days prior to the elections. The spots were approximately 60 seconds in length and featured local actors preparing to vote, entering voting stations and voting booths, and casting ballots. One segment focused on familiarizing potential voters with the proper procedure for completing a ballot.

Nurturing Civil Society
As PRTs strengthen government institutions, they also work to strengthen non-governmental institutions that subject government actions to public scrutiny and hold officials accountable. PRTs encourage the growth of vigorous civil society and independent media, especially those organizations dedicated to monitoring government action, improving voter education, and overseeing elections, as well as professional societies that lobby for and critique government decisions. To date, PRTs have spent $53 million on 1,160 QRF projects to support civil society.

One example is the Najaf Center for Women in Business established by the Najaf PRT, in coordination with USAID/Tijara, to assist women to enter the business sector. The Center is under the administration of the Chamber of Commerce and its board, and focuses on 1) establishing a database of women with business skills and linking them with business owners, 2) establishing connections with other NGOs with activities for women so that cooperation in training can occur, 3) assisting women to take business courses at the Najaf Small Business Development Center, and 4) holding seminars for women that address specific needs they may have. The Center has already held its first seminar and as the PRT helps build the capacity of this institution, the Center is improving the capacity of other smaller organizations.

The Erbil PRT assists the local Iraq Start Social Development Organization in its efforts to support IDP families in the city of al-Qosh through a vocational training program for men and women ages 18-30. More than 70 families have arrived in al-Qosh from Mosul over the past few months and 300 families previously moved there from other areas of Ninewa and Baghdad. The organization encourages youth to learn a productive trade (carpentry, aluminum craft, hairstyling, sewing, electrical, and handicrafts) while they are residing in the area. The Start Social Development Organization will work with financial institutions to help trainees eventually obtain micro-credit to start up small businesses.

Reconciliation
PRTs perform a vital “honest broker” role in containing and mediating inter- and intra-group tensions. They encourage inclusion of marginalized factions and foster dispute resolution mechanisms. These efforts increase stability and reduce the perception that politics is a zero-sum game.

For example, the embedded PRT (ePRT) covering the Karrada district of Baghdad in conjunction with the Iraq Community Based Conflict Mitigation organization supported a recent reconciliation meeting in the Zafaraniyah area of Karrada that raised the awareness of the needs of women (Sunni and Shi’a) who have lost their husbands due to sectarian violence. The minister of Women’s Affairs was present and spoke, as did a number of local community leaders. The Community Based Conflict Mitigation organization is engaged in follow-on training of the 100 women in sewing and mending and is organizing sewing workshops that are planned to continue after USG funding ceases.

PRTs as a Platform
PRTs have begun to play a critical role as platforms for introducing international organizations, NGOs, and private businesses into the provinces and supporting those organizations working on behalf of displaced persons. PRTs use their deep connections to provincial leaders and officials, their bases of operations, and power as a convening authority, to introduce outsiders who can play long-term roles in Iraqi economic and political growth.

For example, UNAMI has expanded its presence in Iraq by locating its staff with six PRTs. UNAMI has been able to use the PRTs as a platform to develop relationships with the local Iraqi community and expand its outreach and services. The Kirkuk PRT provides a base for UNAMI to assist the local Committee on Real Property Disputes. Disputes over ownership of agricultural land are highly contentious and complicated by ethnic and religious tensions. The Iraqi Humanitarian Assembly of Human Rights in Diwaniyah, along with UNHCR, began work on a project to build and repair homes for refugees returning from camps in Saudi Arabia and for IDPs forced out from other places.

Economic Development
PRTs train and assist Iraqi provincial executive and legislative officials to perform basic economic and business-development functions common in developed economies. PRTs also support and encourage the formation of business-oriented organizations within the community.

In June, with PRT support, the Babil Chamber of Commerce and Investment Commission co-hosted the third Business Environment Conference to develop concrete ideas on how to improve the business environment in four key areas: anti-corruption, credit and financial services, economic rules and regulations, and infrastructure; using three approaches: public outreach, government advocacy, and economic data and analysis. The idea behind the conferences is to encourage dialogue among key business stakeholders to identify common obstacles, develop an action plan to address these obstacles, and implement solutions. National policies and law (e.g. on land ownership, foreign investment and credit) define the macro-business environment. The conference process has begun to create a sustainable public-private partnership for grassroots advocacy in favor of legislation and policy decisions that improve the business environment.

The Erbil PRT Economic Development Advisor facilitated a series of Memoranda of Understanding between the KRG Ministry of Planning and economic development stakeholders in the Kurdistan region including the presidents of the Dohuk Chamber of Commerce, the Contractor’s Union, the Businessmen’s Union and the Industrial Union, as well as the Dean of Economics and Business at the University of Dohuk and representatives from other business-related institutions. The Memoranda of Understanding signaled agreement between all parties to work together toward achieving the necessary economic reforms.

Furthermore, PRTs will continue their vital role in supporting efforts on behalf of displaced persons and returnees, serving as a tool of counter-insurgency in those provinces still plagued by violence and instability, notably Diyala and Ninewa, and in providing ground-truth reporting on key events and trends across Iraq.

Embassy Baghdad has begun consolidating embedded PRTs into the provincial teams as the brigades in which they were embedded rotate out without replacement. As of the end of June 2009, there were 23 teams assisting 15 provinces and the KRG. The South Diyala ePRT, Baghdad ePRT1 (south/central Baghdad), and Anbar ePRT2 (Ramadi) all consolidated with their provincial counterparts.

For additional details on ISF training, capability, and progress, please refer to the quarterly report to Congress entitled “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,” http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/Iraq_Reports/index.html.

For general information on the status of political, economic, and security efforts, please refer to the Weekly Status Report, available on the Department of State web site, http://www.state.gov.

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

If a scroll bar appears below the following table, swipe the table to move left/right of the dashed line.
AQI Al Qaeda in Iraq
COR Council of Representatives
ePRT Embedded PRT
FY Fiscal Year
GOI Government of Iraq
ICI International Compact with Iraq
IDP Internally Displaced Person
IHEC Independent High Electoral Commission
IMF International Monetary Fund
INL Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
IOM International Organization for Migration
IPS Iraqi Police Services
IRFFI International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq
ISF Iraqi Security Forces
ITAO Iraq Transition Assistance Office
JCP Joint Campaign Plan
KRG Kurdistan Regional Government
LGP Local Governance Program
MNF-I Multi-National Force – Iraq
MNSTC-I Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq
MOD Ministry of Defense
MOI Ministry of Interior
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
NTM-I NATO Training Mission – Iraq
PIC Provincial Iraqi Control
PKK Kurdistan Workers Party
PRT Provincial Reconstruction Team
QRF Quick Response Fund
SBA Stand-By Arrangement
SOI Sons of Iraq
UN United Nations
UNAMI UN Assistance Mission for Iraq
UNCAC UN Convention against Corruption
UNHCR UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UNSCR UN Security Council Resolution
USAID United States Agency for International Development
USG U.S. Government

[This is a mobile copy of Section 1227 Report on Iraq]