Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Seventh Report


The security situation


4.  In previous Reports in this inquiry we have noted the looting and chaos that followed the war in Iraq. We concluded that the failure of the Coalition to restore order more quickly hindered progress towards improving the lives of ordinary Iraqis and "may have made the task of occupation more difficult in the medium term".[1] We also noted the deterioration in the security situation since July 2003,[2] recalling our conclusion then that "the level of resentment of the new US and United Kingdom presence in Iraq may well depend on the success or otherwise of efforts to improve the lives of Iraqi people".[3]

5.  The security situation has deteriorated further in the six months since our last Report, with an alarming increase in the number of attacks in the approach to the handover of sovereignty. Although the handover was brought forward in an effort to forestall the threat of terrorist violence, no immediate cessation is expected. Shortly after the handover on 28 June, a US soldier who had been kidnapped in April was killed and a number of explosions rocked Baghdad.

6.  The Iraqi army and police, Iraqi politicians, members of the Coalition and foreigners have all been targeted. On 24 June, around 100 people were killed and hundreds wounded in co-ordinated attacks across the country, including against the Iraqi Police Academy and a police station. At least 50 people died in an attack outside an Iraqi police station in February and another 35 were killed in an attack against an army recruiting centre in Baghdad on 17 June.[4] On 17 May, Ezzedine Salim, then head of the Iraqi Interim Governing Council,[5] was assassinated and on 12 June Deputy Foreign Minister Bassam Qubba was killed. There have also been a number of kidnappings and killings of foreign workers; in June a South Korean translator working for a security company was kidnapped and beheaded.[6]

7.  The International Crisis Group wrote to the Committee about the security situation: "Insecurity refers not only to the repeated assassinations of political targets, ranging from nationally prominent political and religious leaders, but extends to the fear of crime felt by ordinary Iraqis."[7] We also heard from Dr Mustafa Alani, of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), about how many Iraqis view the lack of law and order:

    In Saddam's time… we did not enjoy political security but we enjoyed personal security. You could sleep in your home without worrying, you could send your children to school without worrying, your wife could drive a car without worrying.[8]

A recent survey by Oxford Research International indicates public concerns over personal security, with a decline in the number of people who believe their life has improved since the war compared with the results of a survey carried out in February.[9]

8.  The lack of law and order has been particularly damaging to popular support for the Coalition. The Committee heard from Dominic Hughes, of the BBC, that the population blames the Coalition for the lack of personal security. "People have said to me, 'You have come here to our country and the least you could do is make sure that we are safe and you are not doing that.'"[10]


9.  In our last Report we concluded that "since the removal of the Iraqi regime, a dangerous alliance of foreign fighters with terrorist allegiances and elements of the former Iraqi regime has been forming inside Iraq".[11] In response, the Government told us:

    We judge that most attacks in Iraq continue to be carried out by former regime elements. But we believe some of the suicide attacks which have caused greatest loss of life have been orchestrated by foreign terrorists. The degree of any association between such people and foreign fighters in Iraq remains unclear, although there may be some limited co-operation.[12]

10.  Our witnesses agreed about the mix of groups and individuals responsible for the violence. However, Dr Toby Dodge, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the University of Warwick, told us that criminal gangs are also a problem:

    It is organised crime that makes the everyday lives of Iraqi city dwellers so precarious. These groups… have been revitalised by the lawlessness of present day Iraq. Capitalising on readily available weapons, the weaknesses of a new and hastily trained police force and the CPA's shortage of intelligence about Iraqi society, they prey on middle class Iraqis, car jacking, housebreaking, murdering and kidnapping. It is groups like these that make the roads surrounding Baghdad so dangerous, regularly attacking foreign workers.[13]

11.  We also heard that the early failure of the Coalition to impose law and order created a security vacuum into which militias have stepped, further contributing to instability and insecurity. We heard from our witnesses that as well as hindering the re-formulation of the Iraqi security forces, de-Ba'athification played a role in stoking the violence. Dr Dodge told us:

    Paul Bremer's decision, upon his arrival in Baghdad, to dissolve the army on May 23 and embark on root and branch de-Baathification on May 16 2003, contributed to the personal organisation of the insurgency. Baathists in late May felt under attack and vulnerable. The CPA edicts in conjunction with a spate of assassinations by radical Shia groups gave them the motivation to re-organise.[14]

Iraq and al Qaeda

12.  There is broad agreement that al Qaeda is now active in Iraq. However, Dr Dodge told us that there is a danger that the role of foreign terrorists has been overstated:

    The efficiency of these attacks, their regularity and the speed with which they were organised in the aftermath of Saddam's fall all point to a large amount of Iraqi involvement. The shadowy organisation behind these sectarian attacks is much more likely to be a hybrid, with elements of the old regime acting in alliance with indigenous Islamic radicals and a small number of foreign fighters. This potent mix has allowed mid-ranking members of the old regime to deploy their training and weapons stockpiles. They have sought to ally themselves with a new brand of Islamic nationalism, seeking to mobilise Sunni fears of Shia and Kurdish domination and a growing resentment at foreign occupation.[15]

In contrast, Dr Alani told the Committee that the quick organisation of attacks points to the early involvement of al Qaeda:

    I believe al-Qaeda was more prepared than the Pentagon for the day-after strategy… If you look at the operation from the first day in Iraq we had six suicide attacks within 30 minutes. That needed a lot of organisation. I do not believe that any Iraqi group within the seven months could have built this sort of experience.[16]

13.  Increasingly responsibility for attacks in Iraq is being claimed by a group headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born al Qaeda leader. This group claimed responsibility for an attack in Baquba on 24 June, one of a number of co-ordinated attacks that left over 100 dead. Zarqawi is also believed to be responsible for a death threat issued against Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi in June.[17]

14.  We heard from our witnesses that Iraq has become the new 'battleground' for international terrorists:

    Terrorists are individuals of opportunity. They saw an opportunity in Iraq, so they have taken full advantage of it, and yes, indeed, they do want to prevent the reconstruction of Iraq, they do not want any kind of stability there, because terrorism breeds best where there is a lack of law and order.[18]

15.  In our last Report, we noted that such developments were not unforeseen:

    Some weeks before the war in Iraq, on 10 February 2003, the Joint Intelligence Committee produced an intelligence assessment, in which it concluded that the threat from al Qaeda and associated groups would be heightened by military action against Iraq. We reached a similar conclusion in our Report of January 2003, when we called on the Government to "treat seriously the possibility that a war with Iraq could trigger instability in the Arab and Islamic world, and could increase the pool of recruits for al Qaeda and associated terrorist organisations there and in Western Europe". While Arab and Islamic countries and their populations have remained remarkably stable, it does appear that al Qaeda has been able to exploit the situation in Iraq to attract new support.[19]

16.  Dr Dodge told us that the violence is: "designed to make Iraq ungovernable either by the US or a new Iraqi government".[20] The attacks against the Iraqi security forces "are designed not only to discourage Iraqis from working for the new state but also to stop the growth of its institutions". Reconstruction efforts are also being deliberately targeted, as is the country's oil infrastructure.[21] There is every reason to expect that preparations for elections will be targeted.[22]

17.  Our witnesses were in agreement about the importance of what happens in Iraq for international terrorism. MJ Gohel, of the Asia Pacific Foundation, told us:

    If there is any setback in Iraq, it will make the terror movement much stronger… It is vitally important to turn Iraq around into a successful, prosperous, democratic state, and it is rather sad that a number of leading European nations are sitting on the sidelines, rubbing their hands at the discomfiture of both Britain and the USA, not realising that this is going to hit them also eventually.[23]

18.  In our last Report, we noted that the "flow of foreign fighters into the country may in part be a consequence of the policies of neighbouring countries".[24] We concluded that:

    Iran and Syria have the potential to be destabilising factors in Iraq, and that maintaining co-operation with both is therefore essential for the success of Coalition efforts to bring stability to that country. We further conclude that the United Kingdom, through its diplomatic relations with Iran and Syria, could play a crucial role in ensuring this co-operation.[25]

In May, the Government wrote to update us on the steps the United Kingdom is taking to prevent terrorists from entering Iraq from neighbouring states:

    We are accelerating border security efforts with increased personnel, new technology and tighter procedures. Some US$107 million has been allocated to the reconstruction of facilities and a review is underway of the number and location of Border Posts. There are now over 8000 Iraqi Border Police and the CPA plans to double this number. This will help stop terrorist infiltration… Iraqi customs and immigration controls were restored on 1 April. The PISCES Immigration IT system has been installed in prioritised border points and training for new customs and immigration staff began on 29 March.

    Senior staff from the Iraqi Department for Border Enforcement, with advice from UK advisors from CPA Baghdad, have held talks with neighbouring countries about border security. The CPA is in the process of tightening control of the Iran-Iraq border, reducing the number of ports of entry. Over the past year we have sought closer contact with Iran on Iraq-related matters. We welcome greater contacts between the Iranian and Iraqi authorities. Though we have seen some improvement in Syria's performance, we still have concerns about the flow of jihadis across the Syria/Iraq border, which we have raised with the Syrians at the highest level. Limiting the freedom of movement of those determined to attack the Coalition and Iraqis should be a priority for Syria—a stable Iraq is in their interests too. We have encouraged meetings of Iraq's neighbours to discuss ways in which they can co-operate over this issue.[26]

19.  Although security has been improved at Iraq's main border crossings, its long borders remain difficult to control. Moreover, in many ways the damage has already been done—foreign terrorists are already present in Iraq.

20.  We conclude that the violence in Iraq stems from a number of sources, including members of the former regime, local Islamists, criminal gangs and al Qaeda. Iraq has become a 'battle ground' for al Qaeda, with appalling consequences for the Iraqi people. However, we also conclude that the Coalition's failure to bring law and order to parts of Iraq created a vacuum into which criminal elements and militias have stepped. We recommend that the Government give all possible assistance to the Iraqi government in its efforts to step up security so that the quality of life of ordinary Iraqis may be improved and the country may continue along its path towards democracy.


21.  In our last Report in this inquiry we noted the reluctance of some countries to assist in Iraq. We concluded that: "this failure to share the burden can only have increased the pressures on US and United Kingdom resources, both civilian and military, which in turn may have exacerbated the difficulties encountered by the Coalition in establishing and maintaining security in Iraq".[27]

22.  In its response, the Government told us:

    We would of course have liked other nations to share the burden by contributing forces, but do not believe this is a major cause of difficulty in maintaining security. The Coalition and Multinational Forces in Iraq are adequately resourced for the task. In addition to US/UK forces there are 16,000 other Multinational troops in Iraq from 32 nations. About 5500 of these serve in the UK commanded Multinational Division South East (MND SE) and 9000 in the Polish led Multinational Division Centre South (MND CS). Other countries are under US command. In addition, South Korea expects to deploy 3000 more troops in late April to Northern Iraq.[28]

We heard from Dr Dodge that the number of troops in Iraq has been inadequate to stabilise the country:

    The RAND corporation, in a widely cited study on state building, published in the run up to the invasion, compared US interventions in Germany, Japan, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo. It concluded that occupying forces would need between 400,000 and 500,000 to impose order on Iraq. At the moment there are only 137,000 US troops attempting to impose order on the country, this is clearly not enough to achieve the type of sustainable order state building requires… However, it is clear that US forces have also become a target of resentment and nationalist mobilisation. More troops are needed but of a different type. If the occupation were internationalised, a UN force, would not be such a potent target of anger and suspicion.[29]

23.  The need to internationalise the military presence is highlighted by criticisms of the tactics employed by the US military. Dr Dodge has linked the situation in Falluja to this problem:

    The fact that this town became a centre of violent opposition to US occupation so soon after liberation is explained by Iraqis I interviewed as a result of heavy-handed searches carried out by US troops in the hunt for leading members of the old regime… Events reached a climax when US troops broke up a demonstration with gunfire resulting in reports of seventeen Iraq fatalities and seventy wounded. The repeated violation of the private sphere of Iraqi domestic life by US troops searching for weapons and fugitives has caused recurring resentment across Iraq, especially when combined with the seizure of weapons and money. It has to be remembered that as brutal as Saddam's regime was, it never sought to disarm the Iraqi population.[30]

The United Kingdom and US have sought to internationalise the military presence in Iraq. In May, the Foreign Secretary told us:

    We are internationalising it as far as we can… there are 30 countries with forces on the ground in Iraq. South Korea is currently in the process of sending a large contingent of forces and for sure we would like to see other countries providing well trained forces obviously post 30 June at the invitation of the Iraqi sovereign government.[31]

However, the Foreign Secretary also noted:

    You are not going to see the American contribution nor ours replaced by anything except, over time, indigenous Iraqi forces. No one has the capability nor the political will to be a substitute for the American forces… As I say, it is a chicken and egg situation. In one sense the less that forces are needed from other countries the easier it will be to recruit them.[32]

24.  After considerable diplomatic efforts, UNSCR 1546 was unanimously adopted on 8 June. The Resolution notes that the multinational force is in Iraq "at the request of the incoming Interim Government of Iraq".[33] The Resolution also:

    Requests Member States and international and regional organizations to contribute assistance to the multinational force, including military forces, as agreed with the Government of Iraq, to help meet the needs of the Iraqi people for security and stability, humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, and to support the efforts of UNAMI.[34]

25.  It might reasonably have been hoped that those countries that participated in the drafting of the Resolution might have felt obliged to contribute to its implementation. However, the adoption of the Resolution has not resulted in greater internationalisation of the military presence. In June, the Iraqi Prime Minister requested that NATO provide technical assistance and training to help tackle the country's security problems. US President George Bush had earlier called for NATO to send troops to Iraq.[35] However, the NATO summit at the end of June failed to produce more than a commitment to assist the training of Iraq's security forces.[36] In particular, France opposed a greater NATO role in Iraq. [37] Nevertheless, there have been some welcome signs from the Arab world; King Abdallah has said that Jordan is willing to send troops to Iraq if requested by the new government.[38]

26.  We conclude that the insufficient number of troops in Iraq has contributed to the deterioration in security. We further conclude that the failure of countries other than the US and United Kingdom to send significant numbers of troops has had serious and regrettable consequences, not only for Iraqis but also in terms of the burden placed on United Kingdom resources and perceptions of the legitimacy of operations in Iraq. We commend the Government for its work achieving diplomatic consensus around UNSCR 1546. It is disappointing that so many countries have decided against committing forces to Iraq. We recommend that the Government renew its efforts to encourage other countries, including Islamic countries, to send troops to Iraq.

Use of private military and security companies

27.  The use of private military and security companies in Iraq has prompted concern. The US has made use of a number of private security firms and private contractors are now known to have supervised interrogations at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.[39] Notably, the US recently awarded a security contract to a company linked with Tim Spicer, the former British Army officer who was involved in the 'arms to Africa' affair in 1998.[40] On 12 July, the Foreign Secretary told the House that private military and security companies are "entitled to conduct their business within the law".[41] However, he also noted that such companies are "in a business that can in certain conditions have a direct and sensitive impact on international relations". Guidelines for contacts between officials and such companies have been revised a number of times, and were recently updated in view of the situation in Iraq. Nevertheless, there are also very real concerns about the regulation of such companies.[42]

28.  On 17 May, Bill Rammell told the House: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not employ any private military companies. It does employ two private security companies to provide armed protection for its staff and assets in Iraq."[43]

29.  In February 2002, the Government published a Green Paper on Private Military Companies (PMCs),[44] on which we published a Report the following August.[45] The Green Paper set out various options for the regulation of the activities of companies which provide military services for payment. We concluded that the activities of these companies should be subject to a licensing regime, similar to that which applies to applications for the export of arms. The Government welcomed our Report,[46] but has since failed to make any progress on its proposals.

30.  There has been no official announcement by the Government of its abandonment of a regulatory scheme for PMCs. However, in response to a question put by a member of this Committee, the Secretary of State has indicated that this is indeed what has happened: "We came down against legislation because of the difficulties involved, but there is no doubt that in countries such as Iraq the operations of such companies, be they UK-based or based elsewhere, should be properly regulated, and that will fall to the Iraqi authorities."[47]

31.  We conclude that the increase in the use of private military or security companies in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last two years has added to the case for regulation of these companies, where appropriate, by the British Government. We recommend that the Government either bring forward legislation to introduce a regulatory regime for private military companies, or explain in full its reasons for not doing so.

Tension with Iran

32.  On 21 June, members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard detained eight United Kingdom servicemen for allegedly straying into the Iranian side of the Shatt al-Arab waterway. The men were shown blindfolded on Iranian television, but were released on 24 June. Subsequently, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said the troops claimed that the Iranians had forced them over the border.[48]

33.  The Iranians have since failed to meet a deadline of 29 June for the return of the marine equipment and weapons seized. The reason for the refusal to return the captured global positioning system equipment may be that the reading would show conclusively that the boats were not in Iranian territorial waters. Commenting on the issue, the Foreign Secretary told the House on 13 July: "I…point out that we opposed very strongly, and I deplore, the masking of the service personnel. However, as a result of the diplomatic relations that we have with Iran we were able quickly to get the crew on those boats returned into United Kingdom presence."[49] We agree with the Foreign Secretary that the Iranian treatment of the detained British servicemen was deplorable.

34.  We conclude that the Government's condemnation of the Iranian Government's treatment of the British servicemen recently detained in Iran is wholly justified. We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government set out what it is doing to ensure the return of the marine equipment and weapons still held by the Iranian authorities.


35.  In our last Report in this inquiry we concluded that "the early decision to disband the Iraqi armed forces was entirely understandable in the conditions prevailing at the time, but that the re-establishment of such forces is an essential component of creating a new, safe and sovereign Iraq".[50] We also noted that the United Kingdom is providing assistance with police training. [51]

36.  In its response, the Government told us that establishing the new Iraqi Armed Forces is a "high priority"[52] but that it is "under no illusions that fully effective armed forces can be created quickly. Institution building and mentoring will require a sustained effort to which the UK is committed". The Government went on to describe in detail the assistance the United Kingdom is providing:

    There is an extensive police training plan for existing and newly recruited officers. 72 UK police officers are deployed to the Iraqi police training facility in Jordan, which is expected to be have [sic] 2000 recruits in place from end-March. The Regional Police Training Academy in Az Zubayr near Basra has been open since December and is operating to capacity in delivering Transitional Integration Programme (TIP) training course to 300 existing Iraqi police officers every three weeks. There are currently 24 UK civilian police officers at the Academy. To enhance current efforts in the run up to the handover in July, a new Coalition Police Assistance and Training Team is now being established with greater access to military resources, which is likely to be led by a British Brigadier. The UK is also examining more widely what more it could do to support the policing programme in the South. International involvement in policing in Iraq is expected to continue in Iraq after the hand-over for some time under the auspices of the multinational force.[53]

37.  In March, John Sawers, Director-General, Political, and former United Kingdom Special Representative in Iraq, updated us on the status of military training:

    The training for the Iraqi Civil Defence Corps has gone ahead very quickly and we are now close to the target of 36 battalions that we sought. The training of the army, a fully professional army, which Iraq has not had for many years, is going to take considerably longer and that is not a matter of months to achieve that.[54]

38.  In May, the FCO provided us with further information on the United Kingdom's efforts to train the Iraqi police:

    According to statistics provided by the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team, there are 78,224 Iraqi Police Officers on duty. In total, 14,746 officers have completed police training to date. This figure comprises 12,422 who have completed refresher training for serving officers through the Transitional Integration Programme (TIP), and 2,324 students who have completed the 8 week new recruit training. There are a further 2,003 students currently attending TIP training, and 1,837 on new recruit training, totalling 3,840 students. It is anticipated that an additional 50,000 will be trained. Figures for the wastage rate of trainees are not centrally collated.[55]

39.  Despite these efforts, we heard from our various witnesses about the continued inadequacy of the Iraqi army and police force. The ICG wrote to us about their inadequate numbers, training and motivation as well as their inability to improve basic security.[56] Dr Alani told us that:

    There is no entity to handle the security because the Iraqi army is demoralised and very weak… Establishing the Iraqi army and Iraqi bodies has become a joke because those people are coming for US$280 a month and when they are really needed they say that they are not going to fight. They are demoralised, under armed and not really effective.[57]

40.  Iraq's security forces performed particularly badly when violence erupted in Fallujah and Najaf in April. An army battalion refused to join US forces in the siege of Fallujah and many members of the Iraqi police force abandoned their stations during the uprising in Najaf.[58] Concerns have also been raised about the possible infiltration of the security forces. In April, a US Army General was reported as saying that about 10% of new officers were rebels and a further 40% had left their jobs, but the rest "stood tall and stood firm".[59] There are indications that the Iraqi forces are playing a more visible role now that sovereignty has been transferred.[60] On 6 July, an attack on Fallujah by US forces was conducted with Iraqi co-operation; Prime Minister Allawi made a statement that Iraqi security forces provided intelligence for the attack.[61] The same was true of a similar attack on Fallujah on 18 July.[62]

41.  We commend the Government for its work assisting the formation of the Iraqi security forces. However, we conclude that the Iraqi police and army remain a long way from being able to maintain security. We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government set out what it regards as the minimum and optimum numbers of Iraqi armed forces, police, Civil Defence Corps and border police; what is the timetable envisaged for achieving these numbers; and what is being done to meet that timetable.


42.  Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said that he plans to reverse de-Ba'athification in the army, although his precise plans are not yet clear.[63] Given the fact that for many Iraqis membership of the Ba'ath party was simply a means to get a job, this approach appears eminently sensible, although clearly high-ranking officials and those guilty of human rights abuses should be excluded. On 6 July, Prime Minister Allawi signed into law the new National Safety Law, which allows him to impose emergency measures to tackle the security situation. These measures include the imposition of martial law for limited periods in specific places under special circumstances, and empower the government to implement curfews, erect checkpoints and search and detain suspects. The law provides for the revision of emergency measures every 60 days.[64]

43.  We recommend that the Government set out in its response to this Report its understanding of how the United Kingdom's role in Iraq has altered following the transfer of sovereignty and the signing into law of provisions for emergency measures.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

44.  In our last Report in this inquiry we noted that "because Saddam Hussein's development of WMD was cited by the Government—though not by the US—as the primary reason for his removal from power, the failure to find such weapons remains an important backdrop to the Coalition's continuing occupation of the country".[65] We also concluded that the continued failure of the Coalition to find WMD has damaged the credibility of the US and United Kingdom in their conduct of the war against terrorism.[66]

45.  Since our last Report, there have been a number of statements and reports on the work of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG). On 28 January, former head of the ISG Dr David Kay[67] gave evidence to the US Senate Armed Services Committee. Dr Kay told the Committee:

    Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 required that Iraq report all of its activities: one last chance to come clean about what it had. We have discovered hundreds of cases, based on both documents, physical evidence and the testimony of Iraqis, of activities that were prohibited under the initial U.N. Resolution 687 and that should have been reported under 1441.[68]

46.  However, Dr Kay also told the Committee that he believed "we were almost all wrong" about Iraq's WMD and that "it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed militarized chemical and biological weapons". Nevertheless, Dr Kay said that the work of the ISG should continue. Dr Kay's successor, Charles Duelfer, has been more cautious about reaching preliminary conclusions. On 30 March, Mr Duelfer told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that:

    I do not believe we have sufficient information and insight to make final judgments with confidence at this time. Interim assessments could turn out to be misleading or wrong. I believe there is more work to be done to gather critical information about the regime, its intentions, and its capabilities, and to assess that information for its meaning.[69]

47.  However, on 6 July, the Prime Minister told the Liaison Committee that weapons of mass destruction may never be found in Iraq, although he reiterated his belief that Iraq did pose a threat in terms of WMD.[70] While it has not found WMD, the ISG has uncovered evidence of sanctions busting. The Committee is pleased to have been advised that none of the transgressors were United Kingdom, US or EU companies or individuals.

48.  In February the Foreign Secretary announced the Butler Inquiry into intelligence and the failure to find WMD in Iraq.[71] The inquiry's report, which was published on 14 July, found that although it is premature to reach conclusions about Iraq's prohibited weapons, the Iraqi regime:

    Had the strategic intention of resuming the pursuit of prohibited weapons programmes, including if possible its nuclear weapons programme, when United Nations inspection regimes were relaxed and sanctions were eroded or lifted.

    In support of that goal, was carrying out illicit research and development, and procurement, activities.

    Was developing ballistic missiles with a range longer than permitted under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

    Did not, however, have significant—if any—stocks of chemical or biological weapons in a state fit for deployment, or developed plans for using them.[72]

We note that our conclusions about intelligence in our Report into the Decision to go to War in Iraq were consistent with those reached by the Butler Inquiry.[73]


49.  In two cases, information relevant to the conflict in Iraq known to officials was not communicated to Ministers. In the first case, the fact that the 45-minute intelligence claim related to battlefield weapons only was known by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence shortly after publication of the dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in September 2002,[74] but the Permanent Under-Secretary in the FCO received the same information as late as June 2003, which is also when the Foreign Secretary was informed.[75]

50.  We raised the question of why officials in the MoD had not communicated a crucial part of this intelligence to their FCO counterparts when the Permanent Under-Secretary appeared before us in June. Sir Michael told us that:

    We learn lessons all the time from these kinds of issues and the relations which I have with Sir Kevin Tebbit, which the Foreign Office has with the Ministry of Defence, is now extremely close. We have regular meetings between the Chiefs of Staff and the top management in the Foreign Office. My deputy, the Director General for Defence and Intelligence, regularly attends the Chiefs of Staff weekly meeting. I cannot imagine a similar issue arising in the future.[76]

51.  The second case relates to information about the alleged mistreatment of Iraqi detainees by coalition forces. On 26 February, FCO officials in Iraq attended a meeting with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at which they were formally presented with the interim findings of an ICRC inquiry into the treatment of detainees. The officials in Baghdad sent a telegram to the FCO in London the day after this meeting. The Foreign Secretary told the House that:

    the telegram referred to was received on 27 February 2004 in the FCO and other relevant Government Departments. Records indicate that it was distributed at official level to private offices. It was not marked for ministerial attention. Action was already in hand on the allegations concerning UK forces.[77]

52.  The FCO has confirmed that the FCO did not obtain a copy of the report containing these interim findings for another two weeks:

    The ICRC report of 10 February on 'The Treatment by the Coalition Forces of Prisoners of War and Other Protected Persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq During Arrest, Internment and Interrogation' (which has been referred to as the interim report) was obtained by a Foreign and Commonwealth Office official on 19 March during a visit to Baghdad. It was not marked for Ministers' attention as MOD action was already in hand on the allegations concerning UK forces. Ministers received copies on 10 May after the report had been leaked to the media on 7 May.[78]

53.  Neither was the report drawn to the attention of the Permanent Under-Secretary.[79] We asked Sir Michael why the ICRC's interim report had not been marked for ministerial attention before the story broke in the media. He replied:

    I think in retrospect it would have been better if it had been brought to my attention and brought to the ministers' attention as well. … We have drawn our staff's attention to the need to be very sensitive to all human rights allegations and to make sure that those are brought to the attention of senior officials and ministers. … I hope that will ensure in any similar case, and I very much hope there will not be a similar case, the papers would indeed be marked to senior officials and ministers. That is what we need to ensure happens in future.[80]

54.  We are very concerned that key information on intelligence and on alleged human rights violations by British personnel was withheld from senior FCO officials and from Ministers. We welcome the assurances given by the Permanent Under-Secretary and we recommend that in its response to this Report the FCO set out in detail what measures have been put in place to ensure that sensitive or important information is (a) shared between Departments of State as appropriate, (b) always passed to an appropriate senior official level in the FCO and (c) always put to Ministers if of policy or presentational significance.



55.  In our last Report, we noted that progress was being made on reconstruction, including the supply of water and electricity and the rehabilitation of public buildings.[81] However, we concluded that despite signs of economic revival since the war, Iraqis have been disappointed by the slow pace of reconstruction (although we also noted that Iraqi expectations were probably unrealistic).[82]

56.  There have been some improvements since our last Report. These include the completion of the sweet water canal reservoir, which according to USAID will contribute to the supply of water to more than 1.75 million people in the Basrah Governorate.[83] USAID has also reported a number of positive developments in the health field, for example on vaccinations, training, renovation of facilities and planning.[84] According to Unicef, services have been restored or improved at about 80% of Iraq's primary health centres, with major reconstruction work at about 50 centres. However, the agency has reported that the poor security situation is limiting access to immunisation services in some areas.[85] The UN also has concerns over the need to ensure a minimum supply of electricity and water, particularly in the south of the country:

    Water and electricity supply has further deteriorated in the recent weeks, particularly in the south of Iraq. While regular power cuts amount [to] an average of 12-15 hours a day, electricity in Basra and its environs is available only for 6-8 hours a day. Blackouts are expected to last for longer periods in the summertime. Poor electricity supply severely cripples the water supply system, impacting heavily on the health situation of an estimated 4.5 million civilians in the four southern governorates. The shortage of water will become even more acute in the coming weeks as temperatures are already exceeding 50ºC… Some 40% of [Basra's] population is unable to access the piped water due to the poor state of local infrastructure… The lack of potable water is likely to become more acute in the coming weeks and, in tandem with continuing electricity and fuel shortages, may result in civil discontent.[86]

57.  The CPA Administrator's weekly report for 12-18 June cites the average electricity production for that week as 4,341 Megawatts (MW); the CPA target was to increase this figure to 6,000MW by 1 July.[87]

58.  We heard from Dominic Hughes about the frustration felt by many Iraqis at the slow pace of reconstruction: "The most animated conversation I had with an Iraqi was when he was telling me about the power failures. He could not understand why the Americans, with their much-vaunted know-how, were unable to get the power on in Baghdad."[88] Mr Hughes also noted that "there is rubbish and rubble everywhere."[89] During a visit to Iraq in February members of the Committee witnessed the huge amount of uncollected rubbish in Basrah and heard about concerns over the implications for public health. Given the high levels of unemployment in Basrah, it would seem sensible to employ people to collect rubbish—an important and relatively inexpensive task.

59.  The ICG told us about the failure to give sufficient attention to certain aspects of the reconstruction effort:

    Too little attention has been given to quick and high-impact reconstruction and social development projects… Examples may include collecting garbage, street cleaning and public works… assistance could be given to establish housing and agricultural credit banks to (temporarily) provide low-interest loans to alleviate housing shortages and decay in the agricultural sector and, in turn, trigger economic growth and employment.[90]

60.  The deterioration in the security situation has hindered reconstruction efforts. As well as raising the costs of reconstruction owing to higher insurance premiums and security expenditure, security concerns are delaying and even preventing critical reconstruction work. Several companies have been forced to suspend or cease operations owing to the increase in attacks.[91] Reconstruction efforts are being deliberately targeted, in particular electricity and oil infrastructure.

61.  Reconstruction efforts have been criticised for relying on foreign firms and workers. In our last Report we recommended efforts to "ensure that Iraqi contractors are able to bid for reconstruction contracts".[92] In its response, the Government told us:

    We agree that Iraqi firms should be given as many opportunities as possible in the reconstruction of their country. Iraqi firms are given preference in contracts funded by the Development Fund for Iraq and let by the CPA. In addition USAID contracts, which by law have to go to US prime contractors, give preference to Iraqi sub-contractors.[93]

62.  The International Crisis Group wrote to the Committee about continued problems in this area: "Both Iraqi workers and businessmen complain they have insufficiently benefited from reconstruction projects financed by the Coalition and supervised by large multinational or foreign companies."[94] In addition, the International Crisis Group told us that "Iraqis—whether in existing state institutions or within civil society—have been insufficiently involved in key decision-making on reconstruction."

63.  The Madrid donor conference in October 2003 resulted in pledges of around US$13 billion for Iraq's reconstruction.[95] However, we heard from the International Crisis Group that there is a problem with the disbursement of donor funding: "verbal commitments have thus far failed to be followed up by transfers of funds matching the promises made in Madrid."[96]

64.  We conclude that the provision of basic services in Iraq is not yet satisfactory and that the failure to meet Iraqi expectations, whether realistic or not, risks damaging the credibility of the United Kingdom in Iraq and Iraqi goodwill towards it. We recommend that in its response to this Report, the Government set out the current level of water and electricity provision, the targets for the coming year, and what steps it is taking to achieve these targets. We further recommend that the Government set out what steps it is taking following the handover of sovereignty in the Basrah area to assist reconstruction efforts and to ensure Iraqi involvement in these efforts, together with an update on the disbursement of funds pledged to Iraq.


65.  Important progress has been made on reconstituting the judiciary. We heard from Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the United Kingdom's Special Representative for Iraq, that: "The Iraqi court system and judiciary generally have been developed quite well as an independent judiciary since the occupation began and is capable of handling more ordinary court cases."[97] The Judicial Review Committee has completed its review of judges and prosecutors for membership of the Ba'ath Party, corruption and human rights violations. The overall dismissal rate was around 25 per cent.[98]

66.  The legal framework for the Iraqi Special Tribunal was issued on 10 December 2003. The Tribunal will prosecute senior members of the former regime accused of crimes against humanity. However, concerns have been expressed about the Tribunal's capacity. Sir Jeremy Greenstock told us that:

    The Tribunal is going to handle a number of quite complicated cases… the collection and analysis and sifting of evidence is going to be quite a complex business. So I think that even an international court like the Yugoslav one in The Hague, which has taken its time to get through a number of cases, would have found it quite a complex business to get about the indictment and prosecution of senior targets in the Iraqi system.[99]

67.  In May, the FCO wrote to us about the assistance the United Kingdom is giving the Tribunal:

    The UK has seconded a total of 10 officials to the CPA Office of Human Rights and Transitional Justice (OHRTJ) including the Head of the Office of Human Rights. There are currently 8 in Iraq. This is an area where the UK has made a significant contribution. Prior to his departure, the former UK Head of the Investigations Unit within the Office of Transitional Justice developed the investigations strategy for the IST and trained Iraqi judges for the Tribunal. He is now assisting HMG and the US with identifying suitable qualified investigators. The former UK legal adviser to the Investigations Unit supported the drafting of the Statute and Rules of Procedure for the IST. He is now assisting with the redrafting of the Rules of Procedure and the drafting of Elements of Crime. The UK has a further 6 staff in the Office of Human Rights who are establishing systems for storing and analysing documentation retrieved from the former regime and co-ordinating the forensic exhumation process. In collaboration with the relevant ministries, they are developing training programmes to build Iraqi capacity to take testimonies and witness statements and to analyse regime documentation.[100]

68.  However, plans to reinstate the death penalty have raised questions over international assistance to Iraq's judiciary. The Foreign Secretary told us :

    We have ruled out explicitly, for example, any British Government involvement in the role of the prosecutor if capital punishment is available. On the other side, we are actively seeking a role for the British Government over ways to ensure that the court trial process is fair because if there is capital punishment available, there is a greater requirement than ever to ensure a fair process and there is much we can do in between in terms of decent court administration which also contributes to the justice of the process, and that is unaffected by the potential sentence.[101]

The FCO later wrote to us, detailing the United Kingdom's position:

    Following Ministerial discussion we decided that we could in principle provide assistance in a number of keys areas in line with our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Our assistance in these areas will of course depend on available resources, but we would like to provide at least some assistance in some of the following areas: forensic expertise; judicial training; judicial advisers; public education and outreach; victim and witness counselling; witness protection; international observers. We are also encouraging other EU partners to consider favourably requests for assistance from the Iraqis.[102]

69.  On 30 June, Saddam Hussein was transferred to Iraqi custody along with eleven other defendants, including former deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. However, the men remain under US guard.[103] Saddam Hussein was charged with seven counts of crimes against the people of Iraq and Kuwait in an Iraqi court on 1 July.[104] It is vitally important that the trial is seen to be fair and procedurally beyond reproach.

70.  We note the progress made by the Iraqi judiciary and commend the Government for its role in assisting this. We conclude that the judiciary, and in particular the Iraqi Special Tribunal, will continue to require international assistance. We recommend that the Government provide in its response to this Report an update on what the Government is doing to support the Iraqi Special Tribunal, the establishment of fair systems of criminal and civil justice in Iraq, and the new Iraqi government's efforts to ensure that human rights are respected.


71.  In our last Report, we noted the successful introduction of the new currency and the welcome increase in public sector pay. We were also heartened to see signs of economic recovery.[105] Further positive developments include moves to make the Central Bank independent and the introduction of a liberal foreign investment code.[106]

72.  However, further reforms are required. During its visits to Iraq, the Committee heard about the significant degree of economic distortion that has occurred in Iraq. For example, around 60 per cent of the population continue to receive the 'food basket', which contains basic foodstuffs. In addition, a number of subsidies remain in place. Sir Jeremy Greenstock told us:

    Iraq must be one of the cheapest places to live in in terms of energy prices, electricity prices and taxation… We decided in the CPA not to make many changes in these areas for two reasons. One, we have not got much time to institute new systems and bring them into being and, two, as an occupation under the Fourth Geneva Convention we are not supposed to bring in laws that affect the long term future of the Iraqi state, only what is necessary for the current administration of it; and to that extent we have postponed for the sovereign period the larger macroeconomic decisions and fiscal decisions on taxation, pricing and the relationship between the centre and the regions in the management of the economy, so much of that is still to come.[107]

73.  Iraq's US$120 billion foreign debt burden also remains to be addressed. The G8 summit in June failed to reach agreement on debt relief but concluded that:

    Debt reduction is critical if the Iraqi people are to have the opportunity to build a free and prosperous nation. The reduction should be provided in connection with an IMF program, and sufficient to ensure sustainability taking into account the recent IMF analysis. We will work with each other, within the Paris Club, and with non-Paris Club creditors, to achieve that objective in 2004.[108]

74.  We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government outline how it plans to assist economic reform following the handover of sovereignty. We further recommend that the Government set out what progress has been made towards an IMF programme for Iraq and agreement with Iraq's various creditors, as well as the anticipated timeframe for agreement.

The oil industry

75.  Iraq's oil production has continued to increase, albeit with setbacks owing to sabotage. Revenues are expected to reach US$18 billion this year and are projected to rise to US$28 billion by the end of 2005.[109] However, the oil industry is vulnerable in the current security environment; the long pipeline from the northern Kirkuk field to Turkey has been sabotaged and there have been attacks on terminals in the south of the country, reducing domestic supply and exports.[110] In June, attacks on a pipeline from southern oilfields severed the flow to the Basrah oil terminal, effectively stopping the flow of crude oil through Iraq's main export route.[111] In June, Iraqi output declined as a result of sabotage, with the country's daily output falling 270,000 barrels per day to 1.78 million barrels per day—the lowest level since September.[112] The United Kingdom is providing important assistance in protecting oil refineries and pipelines in southern Iraq.[113]

76.  There are also questions about the geographical location of Iraq's oil assets—much of Iraq's oil wealth is situated in the north of the country. We understand that the Kurdish position is that all active oil fields are national assets, but that undeveloped fields in Kurdish areas belong to the Kurds, although the revenues that derive from these fields will be used to the benefit of the whole country. Control of the area's oil wealth is seen as an important guarantee of security.

77.  Although Iraq's oil industry holds great potential, in our last Report in this inquiry we concluded that "sustainable economic development and diversification will be essential for the long term stabilisation of Iraq".[114] We also noted the early successes of the United Kingdom-led CPA in southern Iraq, including the provision of plastic sheeting to enable the production of a tomato crop.[115] The FCO funded an economics seminar on Iraq in London in December 2003.[116]

78.  We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government provide full details of the assistance it is providing the Iraqi oil industry as well as its efforts to assist economic diversification.

79.  Under UNSCR 1483 (2003) the CPA was obliged to deposit all proceeds of oil exports into the Development Fund for Iraq. UNSCR 1546 (2004) gave Iraq full control over its oil resources from 1 July. However, oil and gas funds will continue to be deposited into the Development Fund, which itself will continue to be monitored by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board.[117] In a recent report, auditors have criticised the CPA for its spending of oil revenues and said that the Fund is "open to fraudulent acts".[118] A recent report by Christian Aid also criticised the CPA for its lack of transparency:

    On 30 June, the US-controlled coalition in Baghdad will hand over power to an Iraqi transitional government. As it prepares to do so, the first audit of how the coalition has spent billions of dollars of Iraqi oil revenue is only just being delivered. Put another way, this means that for the entire year that it has been in power in Iraq, it has been impossible to tell with any accuracy what the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has done with some US$20 billion of Iraq's own money. This also means that the CPA will disappear without ever having been held accountable for the money. Early reports of the audit say that it criticises the CPA's handling of Iraq's oil money, which it says left the funds open to fraud. It also says that CPA staff resisted the investigation… The CPA's failure to demonstrate openness also sets a very bad precedent for the incoming Iraqi government.[119]

80.  We are concerned at reports of irregularities in the handling of the Development Fund for Iraq. We recommend that the Government inform us of its understanding of these allegations and the role played by the United Kingdom in managing the Fund.


81.  In our last Report, we noted that the ambiguity of the legal framework may be an obstacle to reconstruction.[120] We requested that the Government set out its understanding of the extent to which the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Conventions constrain the Occupying Powers' capacity to carry out economic reform.[121] In its response the Government said:

    The various measures of economic reform undertaken by the Coalition Provisional Authority have been undertaken within occupation law, as supplemented by Security Council Resolution 1483 of 22 May 2003. Occupation law does indeed constrain the capacity of an Occupying Power to carry out economic reform. Article 43 of the Hague Regulations sets out the general obligation to respect the laws in force in the occupied country, and the second paragraph of Article 64 of Geneva Convention IV expands upon the circumstances in which an Occupying Power may legislate; that is, where necessary to fulfil the Occupying Power's obligations under Geneva Convention IV (which would broadly cover humanitarian purposes), for security purposes, or to maintain orderly government of the territory. Legislation to achieve economic reform is permissible under occupation law within these limits. That position is supplemented by Security Council Resolution 1483, and in particular paragraph 8(e) which envisages assistance to the people of Iraq for the promotion of economic reconstruction.[122]

82.  The legal framework has since been clarified by the adoption of UNSCR 1546, which calls on the international community to assist in Iraq's reconstruction, and encourages progress on identifying ways to reduce Iraq's debt burden.[123]

83.  However, uncertainties remain over the status of contractors following the handover of sovereignty and the dissolution of the CPA. Existing CPA orders and regulations will remain in force until they are amended or revoked.[124]

84.  Under CPA Order No. 17 (revised) foreign contractors and sub-contractors are not subject to Iraqi laws or regulations in respect of their contracts. Contractors are also immune from Iraqi legal process with respect to acts performed pursuant to the terms and conditions of their contract. However, immunity may be waived pursuant to Section 5 of the Order. Requests to waive immunity for contractors will be referred to the relevant 'sending state'.[125]

85.  We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government set out its understanding of the legal position of foreign contractors and subcontractors working in Iraq, now that the CPA has been dissolved, including any plans to waive immunity from Iraqi legal process.


86.  The Oil-for-Food programme was set up in 1996 as a temporary measure to enable Iraq to use some of its oil revenues to buy food and aid. The programme, which ran until November 2003, was monitored by a committee including representatives from all 15 member states of the UN Security Council. In April, Secretary General Kofi Annan set up an independent inquiry after the emergence of allegations of fraud and corruption in the programme. The inquiry is being led by Paul Volcker, former head of the US Federal Reserve Board. It will investigate actions by UN officials and agents and contractors who worked in connection with the Oil-for-Food programme and will have access to all UN documents and personnel; the Secretary General has promised to take action against any staff members found guilty of wrongdoing, although it is not clear if this includes former personnel.[126]

87.  In April the Committee wrote to the Foreign Secretary requesting clarification of the Government's policy towards the inquiry. In response, the Foreign Secretary told us:

    The UK supports the UN inquiry and will co-operate fully with it. The International Development Secretary and FCO officials saw Paul Volcker on 6 and 7 May to stress our willingness to do so, and our agreement with his public statement that the inquiry must not only determine what had happened in the past, but also draw lessons on what could be done to avoid such problems in the future.

    I can confirm that the Government has been given copies of documents relating to the corruption allegations, and that these name a small number of UK individuals and entities. The first batch of documents has been passed to Her Majesty's Customs and Excise (HMCE) as the appropriate investigative authority, for consideration. The second batch is in translation and will also be passed to HMCE as soon as possible. You will understand that I cannot at this time comment on the specific allegations of wrongdoing until the work of HMCE, and the UN inquiry underway in New York, are completed.

    I can assure you that during the lifetime of the OFF programme, the UK worked strenuously in the UN Iraq Sanctions Committee to prevent Iraqi efforts to abuse the system for its own ends. For example, in August 2001 we secured agreement for a retrospective oil pricing mechanism to counter Iraqi attempts to impose an illegal oil surcharges. As a result the UN escrow account received a considerable amount of revenue that might otherwise have gone to the former Iraqi regime.[127]

88.  We are concerned that the documents given to the United Kingdom Government relating to the Oil-for-Food Programme corruption allegations name a small number of United Kingdom individuals and entities. We are glad to have been assured by the FCO that none of the individuals or entities is connected with the United Kingdom Government. We recommend that in its response to this Report, the Government provide further information on the progress of the inquiry into allegations of corruption in the Oil-for-Food programme, including any further information on United Kingdom involvement.


89.  In our last Report, we recommended that "the CPA urgently address the unemployment issues evident in the Basrah region".[128] In its response, the Government estimated that overall the CPA has created over 400,000 jobs, with a further US$125million recently allocated to create an additional 125,000 jobs, and US$9million for the creation of employment centres across Iraq.[129]

90.  In June, the FCO wrote to us with an update on efforts to create jobs:

    There are now functioning employment centres in all the Governorates of Iraq. Employment generation schemes continue across the country, including the 'Seven Cities' scheme aimed at boosting urban employment (which aims at creating 100,000 new jobs in urban centres including Basra) as well as a programme of public works aimed at rural and agricultural areas. The CPA has committed itself to putting Iraqis first in the procurement of goods and services funded by the US$18.4bn US supplemental budget allocated to reconstruction in Iraq. The expansion and Iraqiisation of the security forces has also created 249,102 jobs (as of 28 May 2004).[130]

91.  However, unemployment remains a serious problem. Most sources put the figure at 40-50 per cent, with an additional 20 per cent under-employed.[131] In March, the Foreign Secretary told us that "Estimates vary about levels of unemployment, but it is almost certainly around 50 or 60 per cent".[132]

92.  We commend the Government's efforts to address the unemployment problem in Basrah. However, we conclude that considerable further progress is required. We recommend that in its response to this Report, the Government set out what steps it is taking in the Basrah area following the handover of sovereignty to assist job creation and economic regeneration.

93.  We recommended in our last Report that, as well as creating jobs for Iraqis, the Government "do its utmost to ensure that the CPA and Iraqi ministries are staffed with experienced personnel, who are capable of drawing up and implementing plans for Iraq's economic development, including detailed and politically sensitive options for the distribution of Iraq's oil revenues".[133] In its response, the Government told us that the United Kingdom has been "seconding suitably qualified individuals with public and private sector experience (from HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and various City and consultancy firms) to act as advisers to the Iraqi Central Bank and Ministries of Finance, Planning, Trade and Industry and Minerals".[134]

94.  In June, the FCO wrote to us with an update on the secondment of United Kingdom personnel in Iraq:

    We currently have around 165 British civilian staff at the British Office in Baghdad or seconded to the CPA and working with Iraqi institutions. These staff have expertise in a wide variety of fields including economic development, health, human rights, police training and provision of essential services.[135]

95.  We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government provide the latest figures for United Kingdom personnel working with Iraqi ministries following the handover of sovereignty, including details of the timeframe of their involvement.

Political developments

96.  In previous Reports in this inquiry we have described the setbacks and policy changes of the immediate post-war period. These included changeover of personnel at the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), with Paul Bremer replacing Jay Garner, and the subsequent revision of Coalition plans for the transfer of sovereignty.[136] We have discussed the formation of the Interim Governing Council (IGC) and the difficulties encountered by the Coalition over how to transfer sovereignty, in particular regarding the timetable for elections.[137]

97.  We described the 15 November agreement for the handover of power in our Report of January 2004.[138] Among other things, this agreement provided for:

  • the IGC to draft a Fundamental Law by February 2004 to apply for the transitional period until full national elections could be held;
  • the formation of a Transitional National Assembly to be established by June 2004 through a system of caucuses; and
  • the handover of sovereignty by 1 July and the dissolution of the CPA.[139]

98.  Some aspects of this agreement endured: the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) was agreed on 8 March and sovereignty was transferred on 28 June. However, the plan for the Transitional National Assembly to be formed through a system of caucuses was abandoned after widespread opposition led by the spiritual leader of the Shia community, Ayatollah Sistani, who demanded that sovereignty should be transferred to a democratically elected government.[140] We heard considerable frustration with the role played by Ayatollah Sistani in the disintegration of the 15 November agreement; efforts had been made to consult Sistani and it had been believed that he had given his approval to the plan.[141] However, during our visits to Iraq, we also heard about the failure of the Coalition to communicate the plan to the population effectively—many people we spoke to told us that the caucus system was not widely understood in Iraq.
Transitional Administrative Law

On 8 March, the IGC signed the Law of Administration for the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period (TAL). The TAL sets out the two phases of the transitional period:
Phase I: On 30 June 2004, an Iraqi Interim Government will be vested with full sovereignty and the CPA will dissolve.
Phase II: The Iraqi Transitional Government will take office after elections for the National Assembly. These elections will take place as soon as possible, but no later than 31 January 2005.
The TAL was widely praised as a unique document in the region. It outlines the system of government in Iraq, which is to be republican, federal, democratic and pluralistic. Federalism will be based on geography, history and the separation of powers and not on ethnicity or sect. The armed forces are to come under the control of Iraq's civilian political leadership. Islam will be the official religion of the state and will be considered "a source" of legislation. The Law will respect the Islamic identity of the majority of the Iraqi people and guarantee the freedom of religious belief and practice. Arabic and Kurdish will be Iraq's official languages.
The TAL states that the people of Iraq are sovereign and free. All Iraqis are equal in their rights without regard to gender, nationality, religion or ethnic origin. The government will respect the rights of the people, including: the right to freedom of thought, conscience and expression; to assemble peaceably and to associate and organise freely; to justice and a fair, speedy and open trial; to vote in free, fair, competitive and periodic elections; and to file grievances against officials when their rights have been violated.
The TAL states that federalism and local government will ensure a unified Iraq while preventing the concentration of power in the central government that enabled tyranny and oppression. The Kurdistan Regional Government will be recognised as an official regional government within a unified Iraq, and will continue to exercise many of the functions it currently exercises. Groups of governorates elsewhere will be permitted to form regions and take on additional authorities. All authorities not reserved to the Federal Government may be exercised as appropriate by the governorates and the Kurdistan Regional Government.[142]

99.  The disintegration of the 15 November agreement resulted in considerable uncertainty over the political process, and in particular the nature of the body to which sovereignty would be handed. However, it also helped to pave the way for the return of the UN to Iraq.


100.  In our last Report, we concluded that "the United Nations still has the potential to play an important role in facilitating political transition in Iraq, and in conferring legitimacy on the process".[143] In its response, the Government told us: "We strongly support a greater role for the UN in support of the transitional political process in Iraq… The UN has a lot to offer in building consensus in support of the political process and in helping to organise elections."[144]

101.  The UN had obvious concerns over security. In our last Report, we discussed the August 2003 attack on the UN headquarters in Iraq, which killed 23 UN personnel, including the Secretary-General's Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.[145] However, while in New York we heard that in addition to resolving its security concerns the UN wanted to receive an invitation from the Iraqis and clarify its role in Iraq before returning to the country.

102.  On 19 January, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan convened a meeting with the IGC and CPA. This meeting was held in the context of mass protests against the plan for caucuses and in support of elections.[146] Following requests from both parties, the UN dispatched a fact-finding mission to Iraq to assess the timeframe and conditions required to conduct credible elections. The team visited Iraq from 6-13 February and was led by Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi. The mission's report, which was presented on 23 February, found that it would not be possible to hold democratic elections ahead of 30 June.[147] The report also found that the system of caucuses proposed in the 15 November agreement did "not appear to enjoy sufficient support among Iraqis to be a viable option any longer".

103.  The report did not make proposals for what type of body sovereignty should be handed to. It simply concluded that:

    The resolution of the timing of the election provides opportunity and space for Iraqis (both those on the Governing Council and those outside the political process) and the Coalition Provisional Authority to engage in a more focused dialogue on the mechanism to which sovereignty will be transferred on 30 June 2004… The United Nations would be willing to offer its assistance to help build consensus among Iraqis on the specific powers, structure and composition of such a provisional governance body and the process through which it could be established.[148]

104.  On 17 March, Kofi Annan received a letter from Mohammed Bahr Al-Uloom, then president of the IGC, requesting the assistance of the UN in the formation of the interim government as well as preparations for elections.[149] We were in New York at the time and were able to discuss these events with Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi. We were given the clear understanding that the security of UN personnel was a key consideration in the UN's return to Iraq.

The Brahimi plan

105.  Following broad consultations in Iraq, Brahimi presented his report on 27 April. He proposed the formation of a caretaker government to be led by a prime minister, with a president serving as head of state with two vice-presidents. He noted that:

    Ideally, the Iraqi people themselves should select this Government. They know who is, and who is not, honest or qualified. … It should not be difficult to identify a list of extremely well qualified candidates—men and women—for every single position, who are representative of Iraq's diversity.[150]

106.  In addition to a caretaker government, Brahimi proposed that a Consultative Assembly should be appointed by a national conference. Along the lines of the Afghan Loya Jirga, the national conference would bring together:

    anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 people representing every province in the country, all political parties, tribal chiefs and leaders, trade and professional unions, universities, women's groups, youth organizations, writers, poets and artists, as well as religious leaders, among many others.[151]

107.  On the UN role in this process, Brahimi said:

    The United Nations can certainly help the Iraqi people in that process, as requested, by meeting with as many of them as possible, and identifying where points of consensus could be forged. Though it will certainly not be easy, we do believe that it shall be possible to identify, by the end of May, a group of people respected and acceptable to Iraqis across the country, to form this Caretaker Government.[152]

108.  Our witnesses were broadly positive about the Brahimi plan. Dr Dodge told us: "the Brahimi Plan is the best plan we have. As it takes shape it seems to be extremely sensible… [It provides for a] speedy movement to democracy whilst the country is held together with a technocratic government".[153] Dr Alani also told us that the plan was a sensible approach. However, he was sceptical about the likelihood that members of the Interim Governing Council would step aside.[154] Dr Dodge, too, expressed reservations about Brahimi's plan:

    where is Mr Brahimi going to pick the president and prime minister? It seems very likely that he will be forced to choose from the core of the ICG, that has to date formed the revolving presidency of the council. If he does succumb to this temptation then all the problems that dogged the IGC, its lack of legitimacy, its inability to forge meaningful links with the population and criticisms of it being appointed and not elected will resurface.[155]

109.  While there have been some concerns about how the UN would be viewed in Iraq owing to its role in the sanctions era,[156] several of our witnesses told us that the UN should be playing a substantially greater role in the political process than that envisaged by Brahimi. The International Crisis Group told us:

    Political responsibility for the transition should be handed over to the UN, acting through an appropriately empowered Special Representative. After 30 June, this should involve certain residual powers to: supervise the political process; break a deadlock between Iraqi institutions; act as a check on decisions by the Iraqi executive that may exceed its limited mandate; or, in the event a very broad consensus exists among Iraqis, approve of amendments to the Temporary Administrative Law (TAL)… Should the Assembly reject the government, the UN Special Representative would be tasked with proposing another; should the Assembly reject a government decree and, after resubmission in a modified form, reject it again, the Special Representative would step in as an arbiter to overcome the deadlock.[157]

110.  Dr Dodge also told us that enhanced international involvement was needed to "reduce the suspicion felt towards the CPA by sections of the Iraqi population".[158] The point is easier to make than to realise given the reluctance of many countries to commit troops and assistance to Iraq.

Interim Government

111.  On 1 June, Iraq's new interim government was announced. Iyad Allawi, a secular Shia, was named prime minister and Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar, a Sunni with strong tribal links, was named president. Of the thirty-one members of the cabinet, twenty-two had not served in the IGC and six are women. Following the announcement of the cabinet, the IGC dissolved itself and handed over its responsibilities to the new government, including control of the 14 ministries already under full Iraqi authority.

112.  On 7 June, the Foreign Secretary told the House:

    The announcement of the new Interim Government was the fruit of many weeks of wide-ranging consultation conducted by Ambassador Brahimi and his team. The result is, I believe, a competent, professional and broad-based Government acceptable to the widest-possible range of Iraqis and reflective of Iraq's diversity.[159]

However, despite this process of consultation, the process was marked by wrangling between the US and UN, with the IGC influencing the choice of candidates for the top posts. The UN appears to have had more influence on the choice of ministers, who include a number of technocrats.[160]

113.  Reflecting the concerns raised by Dr Dodge, the International Crisis Group told us that the formation of the interim government jeopardised its independence from the Coalition and therefore its popular legitimacy.[161] The International Crisis Group warned that: "This threatens to undermine the political process leading up to the elections planned for January 2005." Several Shia parties were also critical of the way the government had been formed.[162]

114.  Nevertheless, the interim government has surprised many in the short time since it was formed. Prime Minister Allawi robustly asserted the caretaker government's right to determine the future of foreign troops in Iraq, brought about the early handover of sovereignty on 28 June and requested and received legal custody of Saddam Hussein with the result that he was charged by an Iraqi judge on 30 June, just two days after the handover.[163] Since the transfer of sovereignty, Prime Minister Allawi has signed the new National Safety Law, which allows him to impose emergency measures.[164] Prime Minister Allawi is also considering some form of limited amnesty for insurgents; this issue will be a key test of how much freedom of movement members of the Coalition are willing to allow the government and will be critical to ensuring Prime Minister Allawi's domestic credibility.[165]

115.  We conclude that the process of wide-ranging consultation overseen by the UN played an important role in the formation of the interim Government on 1 June. While it is too early to judge the performance of the interim Government, its successful establishment and assumption of sovereignty on 28 June underline the importance of UN engagement in Iraq. We conclude that it is crucial that the sovereignty of the new government is respected and that foreign governments should not interfere in its decision making.

New UN Security Council Resolution

116.  We noted elsewhere the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1546 on 8 June.[166] After months of seeking agreement, this marked an important step towards restoring international co-operation on Iraq. On 8 June, the Prime Minister told a press conference:

    This is an important milestone for the new Iraq. We all now want to put the divisions of the past behind us, and united behind the vision of a modern democratic and stable Iraq… The world community has spoken with one voice and has given its support to the new Iraqi government, led by Prime Minister Alawi, and it has also expressed its clear support for the timetable to democracy and the holding of elections next year… So the people of Iraq now know that the world community is united in helping them take charge of their future.[167]

117.  Some key points of UNSCR 1546 are that it:

  • Endorses the formation of a sovereign Interim Government and its full responsibility and authority in the interim period.
  • Sets out the timetable for Iraq's transition, with the convening of a national conference reflecting the diversity of Iraqi society and direct democratic elections by 31 December 2004 if possible, and in no case later than 31 January 2005, to a Transitional National Assembly, to have responsibility for forming a Transitional Government and drafting a permanent constitution leading to a constitutionally elected government by 31 December 2005.
  • Reaffirms the authorisation for the presence of the multinational force and sets an expiry date for this mandate.[168]

On the role of the UN in Iraq, the Resolution states that the UN will:

  • Take the lead role in supporting the political process.
  • Assist in convening a National Conference to select a Consultative Council.
  • Advise and support the Independent Electoral Commission as well as the Iraqi Government and the Transitional National Assembly on the process for holding elections.
  • Promote national dialogue and consensus-building on the drafting of a new constitution.
  • Advise the Iraqi government on how to develop effective civil and social services.
  • Contribute to the co-ordination and delivery of reconstruction, development and humanitarian assistance.
  • Promote the protection of human rights, national reconciliation and judicial and legal reform.
  • Advise and assist the Iraqi government on planning for a comprehensive census.

118.  While these provisions include important concessions to the wishes of states such as France, Germany and Russia, there remain concerns that the new Resolution may not significantly boost international commitment to Iraq. The NATO summit in Istanbul failed to produce commitment to Iraq beyond the training of Iraqi security forces.[169] There is a clear shared interest in the success of the Iraqi government and its is unfortunate that those members that contributed to the Resolution have failed to commit forces to Iraq. More positively, there are signs that some Arab states may be willing to contribute forces to Iraq following the adoption of UNSCR 1546 and the handover of sovereignty.[170]

119.  The letter from US Secretary of State Colin Powell attached as an annex to UNSCR 1546 says that: "the MNF is prepared to establish or support a force within the MNF to provide for the security of personnel and facilities of the United Nations".[171] However, it is uncertain how this will work. On 6 July, the Prime Minister told the Liaison Committee that the issue of who will provide protection to the UN is under discussion.[172]

    There is no problem providing security for the UN. The reason I am not saying who it is is that I know there are discussions going on with the UN as to who is best to provide that. There are sufficient troops there to do that. The issue, really, is less to do with whether you bring in more foreign troops but the speed with which you can equip and train the Iraqi security forces.[173]

On 12 July, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Pakistan's Ambassador to the US, Ashraf Qazi, as his Special Representative for Iraq. This is a positive step. However, it is critical that UN staff return to Iraq and are able to move around the country.

120.  Another issue of concern relating to UNSCR 1546 is Kurdish dissatisfaction with its failure to endorse the TAL, which guaranteed Kurdish rights in a federal Iraq.[174]

121.  We conclude that UN engagement in the political transition was critical to the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1546. However, although the unanimous adoption of the Resolution reflects improved international consensus regarding Iraq, many states continue to hold back from assisting the country. We recommend that the Government set out in its response to this Report its understanding of what security assistance will be provided to the UN to facilitate its return to the country.


122.  The UN fact-finding team reported in February that:

    preparations [for elections] will need at least eight months after a legal and institutional framework has been established….The mission was told that political agreement on the legal framework may be secured by May 2004. In that case and provided that other conditions are met, elections could be held by the end of 2004 or shortly thereafter.[175]

Despite the cautious tone of the UN report, the Transitional Administrative Law set the date for elections to the National Assembly as 31 January 2005 at the latest.

123.  On 4 June, Carina Perelli, head of the UN Electoral Assistance Division, announced the formation of Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission. A system of proportional representation will be used and the country will comprise a single district.[176]

124.  Dr Dodge wrote to us about the high level of popular enthusiasm over elections: "look at Iraqi society, read Iraqi newspapers, see opinion polls, every Iraqi is calling out for democracy."[177] However, he also told us about some of the problems facing the process of democratisation:

    For the Iraqi population, politics only began on April 9 last year. The Iraqi political organizations that the CPA are trying to liaise with have either been in existence for little over a year or have been imported into the country in the aftermath of regime change. This means that they have had a very short period of time to gain the attention of the population and more importantly win their trust or allegiance. With no indigenous civil society organizations surviving Saddam's rule, Iraqi politics are today extremely fluid….[178]

125.  Nevertheless, Dr Dodge told us that elections could play an important role in channelling "the hopes and aspirations but also the alienation and anger of the Iraqi people into the political process."[179] This would also force political parties to develop national platforms rather than narrow sectarian or regional policies: "Political parties, in order to prosper, would be forced to both be responsive to Iraqi public opinion but would also, to some extent, be responsible for shaping it. This process would also link the population, through the parties, to state institutions."

126.  The poor security situation could hinder the electoral process. On 7 June, the Foreign Secretary told the House: "There will be those who will continue to seek to disrupt the transition to successful democracy in Iraq, and to force decisions by the bomb, not the ballot box."[180] Election registration and polling efforts would be obvious targets for those seeking to wreck the political process. The letter from US Secretary of State Colin Powell attached as an annex to UNSCR 1546 says that: "the MNF is prepared to establish or support a force within the MNF to provide for the security of personnel and facilities of the United Nations."[181] However, there is no specific reference to efforts to assist the election.

127.  We conclude that it is highly desirable that elections proceed on schedule in order to foster Iraqi engagement and confidence in the political transition. However, we are concerned about the impact that the security situation could have on the validity of the election process. We recommend that the Government set out in its response to this Report what plans it has, bilaterally with Iraq, and in conjunction with the US and UN, for providing security specifically for the elections. We further recommend that the Government encourage states that remain reluctant to commit troops to counter-insurgency operations in Iraq to send forces to assist with the elections.


128.  In our last Report we noted that a number of difficulties were affecting the political process and could potentially hinder prospects for a smooth transition. These included: issues of legitimacy (of both Iraqi politicians and the Coalition); poor links between those governing Iraq (the CPA, IGC, and ministries) and the population; poor popular trust in new institutions; and problems seeking to create a genuinely representative Iraqi government.[182]

129.  Since that Report, the credibility of the Coalition came under serious pressure in a number of areas. In April, Lakhdar Brahimi told the Security Council about the need for confidence building measures to positively influence the political process and address the "very serious grievances" raised by Iraqis around the country.[183] Our witnesses also told us that Iraqi perceptions of the (CPA) suffered a serious setback in the months leading up to the handover of sovereignty. Dr Dodge told us that the population was increasingly alienated from the occupation and that the Coalition had lost the confidence and faith of the population.[184] A number of factors contributed to this deterioration, including revelations about the abuse of Iraqi detainees, the deterioration in the security situation,[185] uncertainty over the degree of sovereignty to be vested in the new Iraqi government and continued difficulties in communication between the Coalition and the Iraqi population.

130.  We conclude that the United Kingdom Government should join with the US government to make clear that the Iraqi government is sovereign in reality as well as in name.

Treatment of Iraqi detainees

131.  In our last Report, we concluded that:

    it is unacceptable that comprehensive information is not available about detainees being held by the Occupying Powers in Iraq. We recommend that the British Government ensures that such information is provided as a matter of immediacy including the names of all detainees; their nationalities; where they are held; in what conditions they are held; what rights they have, including access to lawyers; the legal basis for their detention; the offences of which they are suspected or charged; and when and how they will be tried or released.[186]

132.  In its response, the Government told us:

    Information about internees is available. When someone is arrested their details are passed to the International Committee of the Red Cross which then informs the person's family. Iraqi police stations and CPA offices hold lists of all those in detention. The CPA is currently in the process of listing all detainees on the CPA website in Arabic. We accept, however, that the information flow on detainees could be further improved. We are working with our coalition partners on ways to achieve this. The UK attaches great importance to upholding human rights in all circumstances. All UK prisoners in Iraq are held in conditions which conform to all of our international obligations. Coalition internment facilities are subject to regular inspection by the ICRC who are given full and unrestricted access to the internees.[187]

133.  Since our last Report it has emerged that in February the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) submitted to the United Kingdom and US governments a confidential report detailing its concerns over the abuse of prisoners. [188] Revelations of the abuse of Iraqi detainees held by the US in the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad also emerged in the form of a series of graphic photographs. In addition, a series of photographs allegedly showing abuse by United Kingdom soldiers was published, although these images were later found to have been faked. However, a number of cases of abuse by United Kingdom personnel have been discovered and are being investigated. On 8 June, Adam Ingram informed the House that 75 cases of civilian death, injury or alleged ill-treatment have been or are being investigated.[189]

134.  In May, the Foreign Secretary told us:

    I am satisfied that we and also the Ministry of Defence… and the Army took our collective responsibilities under the various international treaties and customary international law very seriously indeed… If there were failings (or worse) in the way in which prisoners have been treated they will be the subject of rigorous investigation and, as the Chief of Defence Staff has made clear, also appropriate and serious punishment.[190]

135.  In June, the FCO wrote to us about the training given to United Kingdom forces:

    The British Armed Forces are fully aware of their obligations under international law. They are given thorough mandatory training courses which include specific guidance on handling prisoners of war. All personnel must attend refresher training every year.

    Before going to Iraq all personnel are briefed on the Rules of Engagement and procedures for dealing with prisoners of war or other detainees. Each combat unit is required to have senior non-commissioned officers trained in handling Prisoners of War. And units which are responsible for the routine handling of detainees conduct further specialist training.[191]

The Government also provided us with the aide memoire provided to all UK service personnel deployed in Iraq. This outlines the key principles of the Law of Armed Conflict and offers practical guidance on its application.[192] We note that this aide memoire makes no specific reference to the treatment of civilians being detained for security reasons or to the interrogation methods permitted.

136.  Despite efforts by both the United Kingdom and US to investigate allegations of abuse and deal with them according to due process, the revelations have been immensely damaging to the credibility of the Coalition forces. Dominic Hughes, who was in Baghdad at the time the photographs emerged, told us:

    It was a disaster for the Coalition, I think - on all sorts of levels. First, the Iraqis have enormous shame that their fellow countrymen were being treated in this way… It was also immensely damaging because of where it took place. Abu Ghraib is a prison with this terrifically awful reputation, notorious under Saddam for executions, beatings and torture, and here are pictures of American soldiers beating and humiliating people.[193]

137.  On the damage caused by the fraudulent images of United Kingdom abuse, Dr Alani told us:

    In Iraq perception is more important than reality and even if these pictures, which were published in every Iraqi newspaper and published in every Iraqi station, are proved not to be true, nobody will listen… I think this is very dangerous for the safety of the British forces because a lot of elements now in Iraq have the tools and have the reason to classify the British as an enemy. The image of the British compared to the Americans was more positive but now I think we have lost that.[194]

Clearly, these images caused great damage to the standing of the United Kingdom in Iraq and the wider region; the subsequent admission they were faked is unlikely to erase this. The actions of the Daily Mirror in using faked photographs were grossly irresponsible.

138.  We recommend that the Government set out in its response to this Report what lessons have been learned from the mistreatment of detainees and what safeguards are being put in place to prevent a recurrence of such appalling incidents.

139.  The ICRC has also raised concerns about the unclear legal status of Iraqi prisoners of war and detainees held by members of the Coalition following the handover of sovereignty.[195] In March, the Foreign Secretary told us that the United Kingdom would have no power to continue to detain prisoners after 30 June: "so they will become the responsibility of the Iraqi sovereign authority."[196]

140.  However, in May, the FCO told us:

    If on June 30th we are detaining people who still pose a threat to the multinational force, including UK forces, we will want to make sure that they continue to be detained and are unable to realise that threat. Until the political arrangements for the transition of power are finalised, we are not able to say exactly how this will be done.[197]

In June, the FCO further clarified its understanding of the legal status of prisoners:

    After 30 June, we will no longer be Occupying Powers and so our right to intern under the Geneva Conventions will end. However, we will still have the right to intern as provided under UNSCR1546 and the side letters from the US Secretary of State and the Iraqi Prime Minister to the UN Security Council.[198]

141.  We recommend that in its response to this Report the Government inform us of how many Iraqi detainees or prisoners of war it held on 28 June and on the most recent date for which figures are available, including details of their status and location and the likely future of their detention.

Meaningful sovereignty

142.  In May, the Foreign Secretary told us not to underestimate the symbolic importance of the handover of sovereignty: "Symbols are very important in politics as in life and the transfer of sovereignty of power is very important and it will also be a real transfer of power."[199] However, the Committee heard concerns that the handover might be a triumph of symbol over substance.

143.  Dr Dodge told us that the 30 June date for the handover was a mistake because it offered a false promise and that in fact very little would change:

    When the Iraqi population which has been led to this date wake up on 1 July and realise not much has changed that is another crushing blow to their faith and to their understanding of what they are living through and, more importantly, why they are living through it.[200]

144.  The International Crisis Group also argued that there was a need to be candid about what was being handed over:

    What is needed is to redefine what the deadline represents… For a start, it would be best to give up the fiction that the June 30 deadline has anything to do with "transferring sovereignty"… [T]he sovereign power exercised by the new Iraqi government will be incomplete and to pretend otherwise could do lasting damage to the very notion of sovereignty in Iraqi eyes. That does not mean the June 30 deadline should be ignored. By now, too many Iraqis have come to expect it and too much US credibility is invested in it; even Iraqis originally sceptical of the timetable would be quick to denounce its overturn.[201]

145.  The issue of the status of foreign forces following the handover has been especially problematic. When he outlined his proposal for political transition in April, Lakhdar Brahimi said that the preparations for the Caretaker Government:

    should include reaching crystal clear understandings on what the nature of the relationship will be between the sovereign Caretaker Government, the former Occupying Powers and any foreign forces remaining in the country after 30 June, in addition to what assistance, if any, might be required from the UN.[202]

However, resolution of this issue has been slow and subject to considerable uncertainty.

146.  In March, the Foreign Secretary told us:

    The precise status of forces after 30 June has not yet been finalised… We are there in support and there will be various bilateral and multilateral agreements for the multilateral force… There have to be clear arrangements for security post-30 June, which arrangements have to have been put in place some time before because all members of the coalition need, on behalf of their own forces, to know the circumstances in which the forces can be present, to include things like powers of arrest, rules of engagement and so on. These things have not yet been pinned down, but they will be before 30 June.[203]

147.  On 25 May, the Prime Minister told a press conference:

    After 30 June there will be the full transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi government, therefore the people who will decide whether the troops stay or not will be the Iraqi government… So if there is a political decision as to whether you go into a place like Fallujah in a particular way, that has to be done with the consent of the Iraqi government and the final political control remains with the Iraqi government.[204]

148.  However, these comments appeared to be qualified, if not contradicted, by US Secretary of State Colin Powell the following day, when he said that any action taken by US forces would ultimately be the decision of the US administration:

    If it comes down to the United States armed forces protecting themselves or in some way accomplishing their mission in a way that might not be in total consonance with what the Iraqi interim government might want to do at a particular moment in time, US forces remain under US command and will do what is necessary to protect themselves.[205]

Dominic Hughes told us that such arguments over the degree of sovereignty to be vested in the new government damaged Iraqi perceptions of the Coalition.[206]

149.  While UNSCR 1546 reaffirms the mandate of the multinational force, its relationship with the caretaker government remains ambiguous. The letters from Prime Minister Allawi and Secretary of State Powell attached as an annex to the Resolution refer to the intention to set up "appropriate security structures" that will allow the Iraqi government progressively to take on the responsibility for security in Iraq.[207] These include the Ministerial Committee for National Security, which will "set the broad framework for Iraqi security policy." This Committee will comprise Prime Minister Allawi, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers of Defence, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Finance. The National Security Advisor and Director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service will serve as permanent advisory members. As appropriate, the MNF Commander, his deputy or the MNF's representative will be invited to attend meetings. In addition, "further mechanism for coordination with the MNF" will be developed. These various structures "will serve as the fora for the MNF and the Iraqi government to reach agreement on the full range of fundamental security and policy issues, including policy on sensitive offensive operations, and will ensure full partnership between Iraqi forces and the MNF, through close coordination and consultation".[208] However, the letter from Powell also states:

    In order to continue to contribute to security, the MNF must continue to function under a framework that affords the force and its personnel the status that they need to accomplish their mission, and in which the contributing states have responsibility for exercising jurisdiction over their personnel and which will ensure arrangements for, and use of assets by, the MNF. The existing framework governing these matters is sufficient for these purposes.[209]

150.  The status of the MNF is also dealt with by CPA Order No. 17 (revised). On 8 July, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon told the House:

    The Iraqi Government has approved a new version of Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 to cover Status of Forces issues for Multinational Forces in Iraq. The order's provisions are similar to the provisions of the status of forces arrangements for the multinational forces deployed in Afghanistan and the Balkans, which are closer parallels than the NATO arrangements implemented by the Visiting Forces Act of 1952.[210]

The Order sets out arrangements for managing Iraqi airspace and the facilities available to the MNF. However, it does not set out the relationship between the MNF, or constituent forces, and the Iraqi government and does not give detail on operational matters. The Order also states that: "The Force Commander and the Government may conclude supplemental arrangements of Protocols to this Order and shall ensure close and reciprocal liaison at every appropriate level."[211] There clearly remain ambiguities and lacunae in the rules by which foreign forces operate in Iraq.

151.  We recommend that in its response to this Report, the Government set out what arrangements have been put in place regulating the presence of United Kingdom forces in Iraq, including details of powers of arrest and rules of engagement. We further recommend that the Government set out why it has not reached a separate status of forces agreement with the Iraqi government.

Relations between the CPA and population

152.  We noted earlier the impact of the security deterioration and slow pace of reconstruction on the population's attitude to the coalition.[212] Dr Alani told us:

    the Americans and British specifically are now seen as occupiers and not liberators. In the beginning few months there was an image of them as liberators. I think now we have reached a point where they are now considered as occupiers. Occupiers will be treated as occupiers and the resistance movement is now gaining more legitimacy, whether terrorism or political resistance.[213]

153.  In our last Report we also commented on the difficulties encountered in communicating effectively with the Iraqi population. We concluded that:

    it is unfortunate that the majority of Iraqis have very limited access to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Interim Governing Council, and probably have little knowledge of their actions or policies, or receive through their media a distorted or one-sided view. We further conclude that this isolation may well have increased Iraqis' sense of alienation from and hostility to the Occupying Powers and those working closely with them.[214]

154.  In its response, the Government said:

    the security situation creates logistical challenges: CPA officials and public affairs officers must be escorted on calls; security checks on journalists are time consuming. Nevertheless, the Iraqi people have much greater access to information now than they were ever allowed under the former regime… Visible progress on the ground, whether it be in the areas of reconstruction, the economy, the move towards Iraqi security services or the political transition to democracy… sends a clear message of what is being done to bring about a new future for the people of Iraq.[215]

If the Coalition had relied on visible progress to communicate its policies, recent months would have been a disaster for public diplomacy.

155.  However, the Government also told us:

    The IGC, Ministries, CPA and Multinational Forces have been mounting an extensive information campaign to explain the political plans for the transition to an Iraqi Government. Handbills, posters, and public broadcasts have been backed up by a series of town hall and other civic gatherings across the country where thousands of people have taken part in discussions.[216]

Despite these efforts, our witnesses told us that the issue remained a problem:

    What the Coalition Provisional Authority has been extremely bad at doing is communicating with wider Iraqi society. I guess you have been to Baghdad and seen the Coalition Provisional Authority isolated in its palace almost like a spaceship dumped in the middle of Baghdad. It has no communication with the rest of the population. Now that is understandable but in May and June straight after the liberation that was not understandable. Political violence was at a very low level and those links that should have been thrown out immediately were not.[217]

156.  Dr Dodge also highlighted the inadequate number of Arabic speakers and lack of expertise on Iraq among Coalition personnel: "Within the CPA's headquarters there are very few experts on Iraqi society, politics or economy. Those experts who have been posted to Baghdad have tended to be a small number of British civil servants, usually on six-month postings."[218] While in Basrah, the Committee heard that students studying Arabic at British universities had been recruited to work as translators.

157.  We recommend that the Government set out in its response to this Report what steps it is taking to ensure that there is a sufficient body of expertise in the United Kingdom to enable better communication with the Arab and Islamic world.


158.  In our last Report, we concluded that: "a continued United Kingdom military and civilian presence in Iraq is likely to be necessary for some time to come, possibly for several years. We conclude that this presence must include a significant FCO component if it is to succeed."[219]

159.  In May, the FCO wrote to us about its plans for United Kingdom representation following the transfer of sovereignty:

    We are intending to establish an Embassy in Baghdad, a Consulate-General in Basra, and a very small Consulate in Kirkuk. The missions in Baghdad and Basra will both consist of around 80 staff, including staff from FCO, DFID, MOD, and UKTI, and also the British Council, DFID consultants and trainers for the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and police. This will enable us to maintain close links with the Iraqi Government, as well as providing expert advice to a number of the Iraqi Ministries. The US are also intending to establish an Embassy in Baghdad, and smaller missions elsewhere. We are discussing with the US how best to ensure that we maintain a high level of co-ordination with them after transition.[220]

160.  While there would be changes at the top levels of United Kingdom representation, Sir Jeremy Greenstock told us: "a number of people serving with the CPA and in Basra and in my office at present will continue on into the embassy so that a number of individuals at all levels will carry on the experience of the present stage".[221]

161.  On 26 April, the FCO announced the appointment of Edward Chaplin as Ambassador to Iraq, Simon Collis as Consul General in Basrah and Noel Guckian as Consul General in Kirkuk (Northern Iraq).[222] We met Edward Chaplin shortly before he travelled to take up his post in Baghdad.

Duty of Care

162.  In our last Report, we noted the difficult conditions under which CPA and other officials were working.[223] We concluded that "United Kingdom personnel in Iraq, both military and civilian, are making a vital contribution to the administration and reconstruction of the country, despite having to work in the most difficult and dangerous circumstances. Their performance deserves the highest praise, and appropriate recognition."[224]

163.  In May, the Foreign Secretary told us:

    A lot of work has gone on to better ensure the safety of staff working for the CPA in Baghdad… In terms of British contractors working we give public advice through travel advice as well as detailed and sometimes private advice to contractors and potential contractors. It obviously includes advice about how they provide close protection for themselves and also how to link in with the British and other forces.[225]

164.  We recommend that the Government set out in its response to this Report what steps it is taking following the handover of sovereignty in Iraq to ensure the safety of United Kingdom personnel.

165.  We recommend that the Government update us in its response to this Report on the current status of United Kingdom representation in Iraq. We further recommend that the Government inform us of its understanding of the constraints imposed by the security situation on the operations of United Kingdom personnel, including their ability to move around the country.

Iraq and the wider region

166.  In our last Report, we concluded that:

As we noted earlier, success in Iraq is also critical in the wider war against terrorism now that al Qaeda is involved in the country.[227]

167.  Expanding on the significance of what happens in Iraq, Dr Dodge told us:

    The importance of Iraq to the geo-political stability of the Gulf and the wider Middle East area can hardly be overestimated. Geographically it sits on the eastern flank of the Arab Middle East with Turkey and Iran as neighbours… With oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia its economic importance is clearly global. If the present domestic situation does not stabilise then violence and political unrest would be expected to spread across Iraq's long and porous borders. A violently unstable Iraq… would further weaken the already fragile domestic and regional stability of the surrounding states and the wider region beyond. Iraq's role as a magnet for radial Islamists from across the Muslim world, eager to fight US troops on Middle Eastern soil, would increase. In addition there is a distinct danger that neighbouring states would be sucked into the country, competing for influence, using Iraqi proxies to violently further their own regime's interests.[228]

We conclude that the alternative to a positive outcome in Iraq may be a failed state and regional instability. It is therefore of the utmost importance that current problems are resolved in favour of the forces of order and that those who seek to impede Iraq's transition to a free and democratic state are defeated.

1   HC (2002-03) 405, paras 113-30 & HC (2003-04) 81 para 18. Back

2   HC (2003-04) 81, paras 19-20 Back

3   HC (2003-04) 81, para 56; and HC (2002-03) 405, para 164. Back

4   'Dozens die in Iraq car bomb blast', BBC, 10 February 2004; and 'Huge bomb targets Iraqi recruits', BBC, 17 June 2004. Back

5   The IGC had a rotating presidency. Back

6   'S Korean hostage beheaded in Iraq', BBC, 22 June 2004. Back

7   Ev 187 Back

8   Q184 Back

9   'Iraqis' optimism falls - survey', BBC, 28 June 2004. Back

10   Q312 Back

11   HC (2003-04) 81, para 25. Back

12   FCO, Foreign Policy Aspects of the War against Terrorism: Response of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Session 2003-2004, Cm 6162, 29 March 2004. Back

13   Ev 55 Back

14   Ev 55 Back

15   Ev 56 Back

16   Q192 [Alani] Back

17   'Iraq PM death threat is serious', BBC, 23 June 2004. Back

18   Q160 Back

19   HC (2003-04) 81, para 23. Back

20   Ev 56 Back

21   See para 60 Back

22   See para 126 Back

23   Q159 Back

24   HC (2003-04) 81, para 28. Back

25   HC (2003-04) 81, para 34. Back

26   Ev 67 Back

27   HC (2003-04) 81, para 37. Back

28   Cm 6162 Back

29   Ev 54 Back

30   Ev 56 Back

31   Q245 Back

32   Q255 Back

33   UNSCR 1546 (2004), para 9. We discuss this Resolution in greater detail in paras 116-21. Back

34   UNSCR 1546 (2004), para 15. Back

35   'Iraq asks Nato to help in tackling security problems', Financial Times, 24 June 2004. Back

36   'Alliance to support Iraq with troop training', NATO press release, 29 June 2004. Back

37   'Chirac argues against Nato post-handover role', Financial Times, 29 June 2004.' Back

38   'Command of forces passes to Iraqis - but no change is likely in handling of security', Financial Times, 2 July 2004. Back

39   'US military in torture scandal', Guardian, 30 April 2004. Back

40   'Controversial ex-British army officer given key Iraq post', Financial Times, 19 June 2004. See also FAC Report on Sierra Leone, HC (1998-99) 116 Back

41   HC Deb, 12 July 2004, col 53-54WS Back

42   'FCO note on Dealing with Private Military and Security Companies in Iraq, 07.07.04' and 'FCO noted on Guidance on Contracts with Private Military and Security Companies, 30.06.04'. Back

43   HC Deb, 17 May 2004, col 676W Back

44   'Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation', HC 577 (Session 2001-02) Back

45   Ninth Report of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Session 2001-02, HC 922 Back

46   FCO, Private Military Companies, Session 2001-2002, Cm 5642, October 2002. Back

47   HC Deb, 7 June 2004, col 32 Back

48   Britons forced in Iran waters, Daily Telegraph, 1 July 2004 Back

49   HC Deb, 13 July 2004, col 1250 Back

50   HC (2003-04) 81, para 40. Back

51   HC (2003-04) 81, para 44. Back

52   Cm 6162 Back

53   Cm 6162 Back

54   Q115 Back

55   Ev 68 Back

56   Ev 187 Back

57   Qq184, 186 Back

58   'Bremer: Iraqis Not Ready to Run Security', Associated Press, 19 April 2004. Back

59   'Iraqi forces 'turn on coalition'', BBC, 22 April 2004. Back

60   'Iraqi forces to take more visible security role', Financial Times, 29 June 2004; 'Increasingly, the public face of security is Iraqi', International Herald Tribune, 19 July 2004. Back

61   'Iraqi PM backs strike on Falluja', BBC, 6 July 2004. Back

62   'Fourteen killed in Falluja strike', BBC, 18 July 2004 Back

63   'I want to reconstitute four divisions of the army', Daily Telegraph, 30 May 2004. Back

64   'Clashes in Baghdad as Allawi signs security law', Reuters, 7 July 2004; and 'Iraq's interim leader signs emergency law', Guardian, 7 July 2004. Back

65   HC (2003-04) 81, para 9. Back

66   HC (2003-04) 81, para 119. Back

67   Dr David Kay resigned as head of the ISG on 7 December 2003. Back

68   Testimony of Dr David Kay to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, 28 January 2004, available at: Back

69   Testimony of Charles Duelfer to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, 30 March 2004, available at: Back

70   Q239, Liaison Committee, 6 July 2004, HC 310-ii (uncorrected transcript). Back

71   HC Deb, 3 February 2004, col 624-28 Back

72   HC (2003-04) 898, para 397. Back

73   HC (2002-03) 813-I paras 1-33. Back

74   HC Deb, 4 March 2004, col 1051W Back

75   HC Deb, 10 February 2004, col 1305W Back

76   Minutes of Evidence taken before Foreign Affairs Committee, 29 June 2004, Q152, to be published as part of HC 745. Uncorrected transcript available at: Back

77   HC Deb, 26 May 2004, col 1637W Back

78   HC Deb, 7 June 2004, col 62W Back

79   Minutes of Evidence taken before Foreign Affairs Committee, 29 June 2004, Q159. Back

80   Ibid Qq155-57 Back

81   HC (2003-04) 81, para 94. Back

82   HC (2003-04) 81, para 106. Back

83   DFID Iraq update 84, 28 April 2004, available at: Back

84   'Assistance for Iraq', USAID, available at: Back

85   'Iraq reconstruction: Health', Occupation Watch, 7 April 2004, available at: Back

86   Iraq situation report, UN, 7-13 June 2004, available at: Back

87   'Administrator's Weekly Report', CPA, 12-18 June 2004. Back

88   Q299 Back

89   Q310 Back

90   Ev 188 Back

91   'Russian contractors to quit Iraq', BBC, 26 May 2004; 'Contractors in Iraq cut back on work', Financial Times, 23 April 2004; and 'Violence in Iraq forces two big contractors to curb work', New York Times, 22 April 2004. Back

92   HC (2003-04) 81, para 106. Back

93   Cm 6162 Back

94   Ev 188 Back

95   'Iraq donors pledge at least US$13bn', BBC, 24 October 2003. Back

96   The Madrid donor conference was held in October 2003. Back

97   Q13 Back

98   DFID Iraq update 77, 8 March, available at: Back

99   Q11 Back

100   Ev 68 Back

101   Q124 Back

102   Ev 68 Back

103   'Iraq takes charge of Saddam case', BBC, 30 June 2004. Back

104   'Saddam mocks Iraqi court', Financial Times, 2 July 2004. Back

105   HC (2003-04) 81, para 95. Back

106   'Update on the Iraqi Economy', DFID update 89, 3 June 2004, available at: See also 'Elements of the economy strong despite violence', Financial Times, 29 June 2004. Back

107   Q25 Back

108   'Partnership for progress and a common future with the region of the broader middle East and North Africa', G8, Sea Island, Georgia, 9 June 2004, available at: Back

109   'Update on the Iraqi Economy', DFID update 89, 3 June 2004, available at: Back

110   Iraq Resumes Some Oil Exports', Washington Post, 21 June 200; and 'Saboteurs hit Iraq's oil lifeline', Financial Times, 16 June 2004. Back

111   'Attacks cripple Iraq oil exports', BBC, 15 June 2004. Back

112   'Crude Oil Jumps to One-Month High After Iraqi Exports Halved', Bloomberg, 6 July 2004. Back

113   'British troops hunt night oil raiders who are bleeding Iraq', Daily Telegraph, 13 July 2004 Back

114   HC (2003-04) 81, para 110. Back

115   HC (2003-04) 81, para 109. Back

116   Ev 128 Back

117   UNSCR 1546, para 24. Back

118   'UN slams US over spending Iraq funds', Financial Times, 21 June 2004. Back

119   'Fuelling suspicion: the coalition and Iraq's oil billions', Christian Aid, June 2004. Back

120   HC (2003-04) 81, para 107. Back

121   HC (2003-04) 81, para 108. Back

122   Cm 6162 Back

123   UNSCR 1546, paras 10, 15, 20 & 28. Back

124   Article 26 (c) of the Transitional Administrative Law of March 2004 (which will act as a transitional constitution for Iraq) states that "The laws, regulations, orders and directives issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority pursuant to its authority under international law shall remain in force until rescinded or amended by legislation duly enacted and having the force of law." Under the Annex to the TAL, which was agreed in 1 June, the Interim Government "may issue orders with the force of law that will remain in effect until rescinded or amended by future Iraqi governments." Back

125   'Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 17 (revised), Status of the Coalition Provisional Authority, MNF - Iraq, Certain Missions and Personnel in Iraq', available at: Back

126   UN press release, 3 May 2004. Back

127   Ev 129 Back

128   HC (2003-04) 81, para 96. Back

129   Cm 6162 Back

130   Ev 158 Back

131   'Handover in Iraq: the inheritance', Financial Times, 29 June 2004. Back

132   Q109. Back

133   HC (2003-04) 81, para 110. Back

134   Cm 6162 Back

135   Ev 158 Back

136   HC (2003-4) 81, paras 62-65. Back

137   HC (2003-04) 81, paras 58-59; HC (2002-03) 405, paras 131-42. Back

138   HC (2003-04) 81, paras 66-70. Back

139   'Agreement on Political Process', signed by Paul Bremer and Jalal Talabani, 15 November 2003. Back

140   'Changes in US Iraq Plan are explored', Washington Post, 25 January 2004. Back

141   'Shia party voices dissent over Iraqi interim government', Financial Times, 3 June 2004 Back

142   'Executive Summary, The Transitional Administrative Law', CPA, available at: Back

143   HC (2003-04) 81, para 92. Back

144   Cm 6162 Back

145   HC (2003-04) 81, paras 90-91 Back

146   'Iraqis protest at handover plan', BBC, 19 January 2004. Back

147   'The political transition in Iraq: report of the fact-finding mission', UN, 23 February 2004, S2004/140. Back

148   'The political transition in Iraq: report of the fact-finding mission', UN, 23 February 2004, S2004/140. Back

149   'Security Council, in presidential statement, strongly supports decision to dispatch UN assistance teams to Iraq as soon as possible', UN press release SC/8035, 24 March 2004. Back

150   'Statement of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Lakhdar Brahimi, to the Security Council on the political transition process in Iraq', 27 April 2004, available at: Back

151   Ibid Back

152   Ibid Back

153   Q187 [Dodge] Back

154   Q191 Back

155   Ev 54 Back

156   Q297 Back

157   Ev 187 Back

158   Ev 54 Back

159   HC Deb, 7 June 2004, col 21 Back

160   'Days of wrangling draw to a close as Iraq picks caretaker government', Financial Times, 2 June 2004. Back

161   Ev 187 Back

162   'Shia party voices dissent over Iraqi interim government', Financial Times, 3 June 2004. Back

163   'Timing of Saddam handover opens rift', Financial Times, 16 June. Back

164   See paras 42-43 Back

165   'Iraq amnesty announcement delayed', Guardian, 5 July 2004. Back

166   See para 24 Back

167   'Transcript of doorstep given by the Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, in Georgia on 8 June 2004', available at: Back

168   This issue is discussed in more detail in para 149. Back

169   'Tensions over Iraq resurface at G8 summit', Financial Times, 10 June 2004. Back

170   'Nato plans Iraq mission despite Chirac', Financial Times, 3/4 July 2004. We discuss elsewhere the Jordanian offer to sent troops to Iraq, see para 25. Back

171   Text of letter from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iraq, Dr. Ayad Allawi and United States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to the President of the Council', 5 June 2004, annex to UNSCR 14546 (2004). Back

172   Q253, Liaison Committee, HC 310-ii, (uncorrected transcript). Back

173   Q262, Liaison Committee, HC 310-ii, (uncorrected transcript). Back

174   See 'Transitional Administrative Law'. Back

175   'The political transition in Iraq: report of the fact-finding mission', UN, 23 February 2004, S2004/140. Back

176   'UN announces establishment of Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission', UN press release, 4 June 2004. Back

177   Q200 Back

178   Ev 51 Back

179   Ev 51 Back

180   HC Deb 7 June 2004, col 23 Back

181   Text of letter from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iraq, Dr. Ayad Allawi and United States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to the President of the Council', 5 June 2004, annex to UNSCR 1546 (2004). Back

182   HC (2003-04) 81, paras 71-87. Back

183   'Statement of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Lakhdar Brahimi, to the Security Council on the political transition process in Iraq', 27 April 2004, available at: Back

184   Q196 Back

185   We discuss this issue in greater detail in paras 4-8. Back

186   HC (2003-04) 81, para 27. Back

187   Cm 6162 Back

188   'Red Cross told US last year about abuse of prisoners', Financial Times, 8 May 2004. See also: Back

189   HC Deb, 8 June 2004, col 5-6WS Back

190   Q209 Back

191   Ev 158 Back

192   Ev 80 Back

193   Q307 Back

194   Q204 [Alani] Back

195   'Red Cross concerned over POWs once Iraqis take over', Financial Times, 15 June 2004. Back

196   Q126 Back

197   Ev 69 Back

198   Ev 157 Back

199   Q245 Back

200   Q185 Back

201   'What Iraq needs from a handover', Financial Timeseditorial, Gareth Evans and Robert Malley, 28 April 2004. The article draws on the ICG's report 'Iraq's Transition: On a Knife Edge', 27 April 2004.] Back

202   'Statement of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Lakhdar Brahimi, to the Security Council on the political transition process in Iraq', 27 April 2004, available at: Back

203   Qq 111-12 Back

204   'Transcript of press conference given by the Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, in London on Tuesday, 25 may 2004', available at: Back

205   'Blair insists that Iraq must have veto over troops' Financial Times, 26 May. Back

206   Q300 Back

207   See Appendix. Back

208   'Text of letters from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iraq Dr. Ayad Allawi and United States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to the President of the Council', 5 June 2004. This language is used in both letters. Back

209   'Text of letters from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iraq Dr. Ayad Allawi and United States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to the President of the Council', 5 June 2004. Back

210   HC Deb, 8 July 2004, col 827W Back

211   'Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 17 (revised), Status of the Coalition Provisional Authority, MNF - Iraq, Certain Missions and Personnel in Iraq', Section 19, available at: Back

212   See paras 1-8 Back

213   Q183 Back

214   HC (2003-04) 81, para 78. Back

215   Cm 6162 Back

216   Cm 6162 Back

217   Q185 Back

218   Ev 52 Back

219   HC (2003-04) 81, para 117. Back

220   Ev 67 Back

221   Q18 Back

222   Press release, FCO, 26 April 2004. Back

223   HC (2003-04) 81, para 50. Back

224   HC (2003-04) 81, para 51. Back

225   Q214 Back

226   HC (2003-04) 81, para 123. Back

227   See paras 12-20 Back

228   Ev 57 Back

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