Due to political realities, America seems about to take steps to leave Iraq within 1 or 2 years in large numbers - an outward surge. Yet because of the geopolitical significance of the region, vast oil reserves and the rampant terrorist activities - wholesale retreat will not be easy and perhaps not even desirable. This book brings together important analyses dealing with the current status in Iraq as well as projecting a post-war Iraq.
Chapter 1 - On October 16, 2002, President Bush signed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. Since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, Congress has enacted appropriation bills to fund the continuation of the Iraq war, including military training, reconstruction, and other aid for the government of Iraq. In April, 2007, however, Congress passed a supplemental appropriations bill to fund the war that contained conditions and a deadline for ending some military operations. The President vetoed the bill, arguing in part that some of its provisions are unconstitutional. The current dispute is centered on whether Congress has the constitutional authority to legislate limits on the President’s authority to conduct military operations in Iraq, even though it did not initially provide express limits. Specific issues include whether Congress may, through limitations on appropriations, set a ceiling on the number of soldiers or regulate which soldiers the President may assign to duty in Iraq, and whether an outright repeal or expiration of the authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq would have any effect.
It has been suggested that the President’s role as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces provides sufficient authority for his deployment of troops, and any efforts on the part of Congress to intervene could represent an unconstitutional violation of separation-of-powers principles. While even proponents of strong executive prerogative in matters of war appear to concede that it is within Congress’s authority to cut off funding entirely for a military operation, it has been suggested that spending measures that restrict but do not end financial support for the war in Iraq would amount to an “unconstitutional condition.” The question may turn on whether specific proposals involve purely operational decisions committed to the President in his role as Commander in Chief, or whether they are instead valid exercises of Congress’s authority to allocate resources using its war powers and power of the purse. This article begins by providing background, discussing constitutional provisions allocating war powers between Congress and the President, and presenting a historical overview of relevant court cases. It discusses Congress’s power to rescind prior military authorization, concluding, in light of relevant jurisprudence and the War Powers Resolution, that the repeal of the AUMF, absent the further denial of appropriations or the establishment of a specific deadline for troop withdrawal, would likely have little, if any, legal effect on the continuation of combat operations. The report discusses Congress’s ability to limit funding for military operations in Iraq, examining relevant court cases and prior measures taken by Congress to restrict military operations, as well as possible alternative avenues to fund operations if appropriations are cut. There follows a summary of relevant measures included in the vetoed FY2007 supplemental appropriations bill, H.R. 1591, and the enacted act, H.R. 2206. The report provides historical examples of measures that restrict the use of particular personnel, and concludes with a brief analysis of arguments that might be brought to bear on the question of Congress’s authority to limit the availability of troops to serve in Iraq. Although not beyond debate, such a restriction appears to be within Congress’s authority to allocate resources for military operations.
Chapter 2 - Elections in 2005 produced a permanent constitution and a broad-based but Shiite-led government that has been unwilling or unable to take major steps to reduce Sunni popular resentment. That assessment generally comports with findings of a congressionally mandated (P.L. 110-28, FY2007 supplemental appropriation) progress report released July 12, 2007. The Iraqi government is showing significant signs of fragmentation. See CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security, by Kenneth Katzman. After deposing Saddam Hussein militarily in April 2003, the Bush Administration linked the end of U.S. military occupation to the adoption of a new constitution and national elections, tasks expected to take two years. Prominent Iraqis persuaded the Administration to accelerate the process, and sovereignty was given to an appointed government on June 28, 2004. A government and a permanent constitution were voted on thereafter, as stipulated in a March 8, 2004, Transitional Administrative Law (TAL).
Chapter 3 - Operation Iraqi Freedom overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime, but much of Iraq remains violent because of Sunni Arab resentment and a related insurgency, compounded by Sunni-Shiite violence that a January 2007 national intelligence estimate (NIE) said has key elements of a “civil war.” Mounting U.S. casualties and financial costs — without clear overall improvements in levels of violence or political reconciliation among Iraq’s major communities — have intensified a debate within the United States over whether to wind down U.S. involvement without completely accomplishing initial U.S. goals.
President Bush announced a new strategy on January 10, 2007 (“New Way Forward”) consisting of deployment of at an additional 28,500 U.S. forces to help stabilize Baghdad and restive Anbar Province. The strategy is intended to provide security conditions conducive to Iraqi government action on a series of key reconciliation initiatives that are viewed as “benchmarks” of political progress. The FY2007 supplemental appropriation, P.L. 110-28, linked some U.S. reconstruction aid to progress on the benchmarks, but allows for a presidential waiver to continue the aid even if little or no progress were observed in Administration reports due July 15, 2007 and September 15, 2007. According to the required July 15, 2007 Administration report, released on July 12, the Baghdad security plan has made progress on several military indicators and some political indicators, but progress is unsatisfactory on the most important political reconciliation indicators. The Administration report asserts that the “overall trajectory... has begun to stabilize.” U.S. officials assert that the security plan builds on important successes: two elections (January and December 2005) that chose an interim and then a full-term parliament and government; a referendum that adopted a permanent constitution (October 15, 2005); progress in building Iraq’s security forces; and economic growth.
Some in Congress — as well as the Iraq Study Group — believe that the United States should begin winding down U.S. combat involvement in Iraq. Both chambers adopted a FY2007 supplemental appropriation to fund U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (H.R. 1591) that would have set an outside deadline of March 31, 2008 for U.S. combat withdrawal if the President did not certify Iraqi progress on the “benchmarks; “President Bush vetoed it on May 1, 2007. Some bills support the Iraq Study Group’s various recommendations, while additional legislative efforts seek to reduce or wind down the U.S. combat commitment in Iraq in the short term.
Chapter 4 - Iraq’s chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs, together with Iraqi long-range missile development and support for Al Qaeda terrorism, were the primary justifications put forward for military action. On March 17, 2003, President Bush issued an ultimatum demanding that Saddam Hussein and his sons depart from Iraq within 48 hours. On March 19, offensive operations began with air strikes against Iraqi leadership positions. By April 15, after 27 days of operations, coalition forces were in relative control of all major Iraqi cities and Iraqi political and military leadership had disintegrated. On May 1, 2003, President Bush declared an end to major combat operations. There was no use of chemical or biological (CB) weapons, and no CB or nuclear weapons stockpiles or production facilities have been found.
The major challenges to coalition forces are now quelling a persistent Iraqi resistance movement and training/retaining sufficient Iraqi security forces to assume responsibility for the nations domestic security. Though initially denying that there was an organized resistance movement, DOD officials have now acknowledged there is regional/local organization, with apparently ample supplies of arms and funding. CENTCOM has characterized the Iraqi resistance as “a classical guerrilla-type campaign.” DOD initially believed the resistance to consist primarily of former regime supporters and foreign fighters; however, it has now acknowledged that growing resentment of coalition forces and an increase in sectarian conflicts, independent of connections with the earlier regime, are contributing to the insurgency. Joint counterinsurgency operations involving both U.S. and Iraqi forces are being intensified in Baghdad and al-Anbar province, focusing on a “clear, hold, and build” strategy. By mid-June the last of the units composing the force “surge” announced in January had arrived in Iraq to begin counterinsurgency operations.
According to DOD, as of June 30 2007, 3,572 U.S. troops had died in Iraq operations. There have been more than 26,558 U.S. personnel wounded or injured since military operations began. Non-U.S. Coalition fatalities have totaled 287, while Iraqi security force fatalities from June 2003 through July 11, 2007, are estimated to be 7,202. The latest unclassified DOD statistics indicate that as of July 1, about 156,250 U.S. troops are in Iraq, with approximately 20,000 additional military support personnel in the region. About 11,450 non-U.S. troops are also in theater, with Britain being the largest contributor. Other nations contributing troops include Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia (Gruzia), Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, and Ukraine. Chapter 5 - The following casualty data was compiled by the Department of Defense (DOD), as tallied from the agency’s press releases. Table 1 provides statistics on fatalities during Operation Iraqi Freedom, which began on March 19, 2003, and is ongoing, as well as on the number of fatalities since May 1, 2003, plus statistics on those wounded, but not killed, since March 19, 2003. Statistics may be revised as circumstances are investigated and as all records are processed through the U.S. military’s casualty system. More frequent updates are available at DOD’s website at [http://www.defenselink.mil/ news/] under “OIF/OEF Casualty Update.”
A detailed casualty summary that includes data on deaths by cause, as well as statistics on soldiers wounded in action, is available at the following DOD website: [http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/castop.htm]. Chapter 6 - Concerns about the U.S. Embassy in Iraq have surfaced regarding the quality of construction and reported assertions of trafficking-like labor practices by First Kuwaiti General Trade and Contracting Company, the primary builder of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. The Bush Administration’s FY2008 budget request includes $65 million for base funding for operations in Iraq. In addition, the Administration requested $823.9 million for mission operations in an FY2007 supplemental request and another $1.9 million for mission operations in an FY2008 emergency request. On May 24, 2007, Congress passed a compromise supplemental appropriation (H.R. 2206), which the President signed into law (P.L. 110-28) on May 25. The enacted law included $750 million for State Department operations in Iraq.
A previous emergency supplemental appropriation (H.R. 1268/P.L. 109-13), signed into law on May 11, 2005, included $592 million for embassy construction — all that is needed for construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, according to the Department of State. Completion of the embassy is expected by the end of the 2007 summer. Chapter 7 - Iraq’s neighbors have influenced events in Iraq since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, and developments in Iraq have had political, economic, and security implications for Iraq’s neighbors and the broader Middle East. Ongoing insurgency and sectarian violence in Iraq and discussion of options for modifying U.S. policy toward Iraq are fueling intense consideration of Iraq’s future and the current and potential policies of Iraq’s neighbors. Policymakers and observers are considering a number of different “Iraq scenarios,” ranging from the resolution of outstanding Iraqi political disputes and the successful consolidation of Iraq’s government and security forces, to greater escalation of sectarian violence into nationwide civil war and the potential for greater intervention by Iraq’s neighbors. Understanding regional perspectives on Iraq and the potential nature and likelihood of regional responses to various scenarios will be essential for Members of the 110th Congress as they consider proposed changes to U.S. policy, including the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group (ISG), new Administration initiatives, and annual appropriations and authorization legislation. Proposals for more robust U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iraq’s neighbors, including currently problematic parties such as Iran and Syria, may be of particular interest to Members during the first session of the 110th Congress: the Iraq Study Group report asserted that Iraqis will not be able to achieve security and national reconciliation goals necessary to prevent a wider conflict without regional and international support. Press reports suggest that the Administration plans to strengthen security cooperation with some of Iraq’s neighbors and that new arms sales and security assistance authorization and appropriations requests may be submitted to Congress to support these plans during 2007.
This article provides information about the current perspectives and policies of Iraq’s neighbors; analyzes potential regional responses to continued insurgency, wider sectarian or ethnic violence, and long-term stabilization; discusses shared concerns and U.S. long-term regional interests; and reviews U.S. policy options for responding to various contingencies. Chapter 8 - The Kurdish-inhabited regions of northern Iraq are relatively peaceful, development is proceeding there, and long-repressed Kurdish leaders now occupy senior positions, including the presidency. However, there are concerns that the Kurds are using their political strength to serve their own interests at the expense of a unified Iraq, in the process inflaming longstanding Turkish concerns about Iraqi Kurdish autonomy. Chapter 9 - Iran is actively assisting the major Shiite Muslim political factions in Iraq, most of which have long-standing ideological, political, and religious sectarian ties to Tehran. A key U.S. concern is that Iran is purportedly arming the militias fielded by those factions - militias that are committing sectarian violence and, to some extent, attacking U.S. forces. Since December 2006, the Administration has tried to reverse Iranian influence in Iraq while also engaging Iran diplomatically on Iraq.
Chapter 10 - Securing and maintaining foreign contributions to the reconstruction and stabilization of Iraq has been a major priority for U.S. policymakers since the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This article tracks important changes in financial and personnel pledges from foreign governments since the August 19, 2003 bombing of the U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad and major events since the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003. Currently, there are 25 countries with military forces participating in the coalition’s stabilization effort. An additional 15 countries have withdrawn their troops from Iraq due to either the successful completion of their missions, domestic political pressure to withdraw their troops, or, in the case of the Philippines, the demands of terrorist kidnappers who threatened to kill foreign hostages unless their respective countries removed their troops from Iraq.
Most foreign pledges for reconstructing Iraq were made at a donors’ conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. Foreign donors pledged an estimated $13 billion in grants and loans for Iraq reconstruction but have only disbursed about $3 billion to the United Nations and World Bank trust funds for Iraq. The largest non-American pledges of grants have come from Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export credits.
This article also discusses international efforts to train and equip the new Iraqi security forces. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in April 2003, several coalition, noncoalition, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries have contributed personnel, equipment, and facilities to the training of Iraqi security and police forces. Some have expressed their willingness to contribute to future training operations within or outside of Iraq. Others have declined to participate in ongoing or planned training operations. Bush Administration officials have announced their intent to continue seeking international support for training and stability operations in Iraq in the coming months.