HKMUN 2012 – Chair Report Forum: Security Council Issue: The Situation in Iraq- the path forward Student Officer: Resa Ng Position: President of the Security Council Note: This document serves as an introduction to the topic. All delegates are strongly advised to supplement this document with independent research. ______________________________________________________________________
Introduction Iraq became battleground for competing forces after the U.S.-led ousting of President Saddam Hussein in 2003. The 2003 campaign to remove Saddam Hussein began with a U.S. missile attack on Baghdad in the early hours of 20 March. U.S and British forces invaded from the south days later. Only three weeks after the start of the fighting, they entered Baghdad, and the Iraqi leader’s grip on power had withered. The majority Shia population, which had to a large extent been excluded from power, was initially positive. However, optimism gave way to despair as insurgent groups, mainly drawn from embittered Sunnis had dismissed army officers and supporters of the former regimebegan an increasingly bloody campaign of bomb attacks. The insurgents- with Al Qaeda in Iraq were the most violent groups- they targeted civilians as well as security forces, at times killing hundreds of people in one day. The conflict descended into near sectarian warfare in 06-07 when Shia militant groups struck back with a campaign of kidnapping and killings. The Shia-led government had previously struggled to restore order until a large “surge” of U.S troops in late 2007 began to push insurgents and militias out of cities and provinces they had long contested. The country remains volatile, as disputes with the autonomous Kurdistan Region over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk have threatened to derail progress towards political stability. The transfer of power to an interim Iraq government in June 2004, and seven months later, Iraq’s first multi-party elections in 50 years, brought an overwhelming Shia-dominated coalition to power. However, it failed to stem the violence of the insurgents. By 2008, U.S troops enter Iraq to confront the insurgents, to co-opting of moderate Sunni tribesmen in the struggle against militants and in improving Iraqi army had succeeded in turning the situation around. Attacks had lessened although sporadic attacks continued to
plague the population. In June 2009, U.S troops withdrew from Iraq’s town and cities, handing over security to Iraqi forces. The last U.S combat troops left Iraq in August 2010, all U.S troops are meant to be gone from Iraq by the end of 2011. However, Iraq’s top army officer had warned that the Iraqi military might not be ready to take control for another decade.
Time frame 2005 Iraq's first competitive election in a half-century takes place, marking an historic breakthrough for the democratic principle in Iraq. The focus of the insurgency has now shifted away from military personnel and on to civilians. Iraqi voters approve a new constitution, which aims to create an Islamic federal democracy. 2006 The prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, seeks parliamentary approval for the first full government since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In July, coalition forces transfer control of a province, Muthanna, to local Iraqi authorities for the first time. 2007 The Iraqi government approves a draft law allowing former members of Saddam Hussein's outlawed Ba'ath Party to return to their official posts. 2008 The number of enemy-initiated attacks has decreased by about two-thirds since June 2007 to early-2005 levels. Coalition forces focus on training Iraqis to eventually take over security measures. Iraq held its first nationwide elections since Jan. 30, 2005 2009 British forces lower their flag over the city of Basra to signify the end of their combat operations. 2010 The last US combat troops leave Iraq, but 50,000 American service members remain in an advisory capacity, training and assisting the Iraqi military. 2011 The US and the Iraqi governments fail to reach an agreement about extending criminal immunity for US forces in Iraq - this effectively guaranteed that troops would leave by the time the current military agreement between the US and Iraq expires on 31 December, 2011.
Key Issues Uncertainty The Iraqi central government has made significant progress, but many ministries have serious problems and limited effectiveness that hinder their ability to guard against largescale attacks. These problems in governance interact with Iraq’s unstable politics and present a major challenge to Iraq’s future security and stability. It is also far from clear that “democracy” and holding elections is a substitute for effective negotiation and governance. The provincial elections early in 2009 led to broad upheavals in Shi’ite Arab, Sunni Arab and mixed ethnic areas like Ninewa. In many cases the incumbent leaders were voted out and there are still political struggles for power. The campaign for the Iraqi national elections in March 2010 also led to destabilizing political struggles, competition and coalition building at every level. Peace and stability A strong and stable Iraq will be a major bulwark against Iran without threatening Iran or serving as a new source of tension in the region. Iraq has no reason to go back to the regional ambitions that have helped stabilize the Gulf since British withdrawal in the 1960s. Iraq will have every incentive to work with the GCC states, Turkey, Jordan and its neighbors, as well as with the U.S and USCENTCOM in reshaping the U.S strategic posture in the Gulf. Furthermore, Iraq will become a moderate voice in the struggle for the future of Islam, and sectarian and ethnic struggles in the region. It will be a moderate voice in dealing in Arab-Israeli tensions and the search for a stable peace. Making Iraq secure affects the security of the entire Gulf- a region that has nearly 60% of the world’s proven oil reserves and some 40% of its gas. Iraq has at least 9% of the world’s proven resources, and it almost certainly will have a substantially higher percentage once its reserves are fully explored- after some 30 years of conflict and civil disorder. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the Department of Energy projects that a stable Iraq will increase petroleum production from 2.5 million barrels per day (MMBD) in 2010 to 2.9 MMBD in 2015 and 5.0 MMBD in 2030 in its reference case projections. It also protects that Iraqi output could be as high as 6.7 MM BD by 2030. The significance of helping Iraq become a far larger oil producer and exporter will limit world oil prices and reduce the cost of U.S energy imports. Most broadly, it will ensure the stability of a global economy that is increasingly critical to world economic growth and prosperity.
Major Parties involved and their views United States of America There are sharp limits to what the U.S can do to decrease levels of violence in Iraq or to address the underlying challenges of political accommodation and governance that caused the sectarian conflict to begin with. Iraqis politics and nationalism increasingly restrict the role the U.S can play in dealing with problems in Iraqi governance at every level, including the rule of law. Iraq The prospect of a stable and prosperous society now directly lies in the hands of the Iraqis and its government. The Iraqis had mixed confidence in its Government (GoI). Statistics show that only 46% of Iraqis said that the GoI was effective and over 70% said they felt safe with the Iraqi Army (IA) and Iraqi Police (IP) in their neighborhoods. United Nations The UN and other countries have tried to quietly negotiate a settlement to Arab, Kurdish and minority disputes. However, having had limited and mixed results. After a year of such efforts, a UN report identified 15 “disputed areas” along the Kurdish-Arab fault line and examined local conditions in detail. Detailed suggestions were made for confidencebuilding measures to defuse tensions while government officials agree on a settlement. The UN encourages the government of Iraq to approve of an inter-ministerial committee to lead and coordinate effort with regard to the Kuwait national archives. Furthermore, the goal of the UN is to act on a “spirit of the confidence and cooperation building process, which should contribute to the further strengthening of good-neighborly relations and enhancing of regional stability.” Delegates must consider the role of the UN and the possibilities of strengthening the relationships between minorities in order to opt for peace and stability for Iraq.
Possible solution and resultant U.S-Iraqi Strategic partnership The period from 2010-2014 will be particularly critical in determining Iraq’s future and whether a U.S-Iraqi strategic partnership can be in play to secure both Iraqi and U.S interests. The U.S-Iraqi Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) that the U.S signed with Iraq on November 17, 2008, provides a potential basis for such a partnership. It describes areas for long-term cooperation “to support the success of the political process, reinforcing national reconciliation within the framework of a united and federal Iraq, and to build a diversified and advanced economy that insures the integration of Iraq into
the International economy.” The role of the UN Security Council may be to facilitate such agreement with support from member states. There is no way to be certain how this cooperation called for in this Strategic Framework Agreement will become unless the U.S is willing to help Iraq mean the kind of challenges posed by the continuing level of violence in Iraq. This requires a new form of partnership whereby Iraq is in the lead, but in which nations can work together over the next few decades to make Iraq a nation that can play a major role in ensuring the stability of the Gulf and the world’s energy supply. If they do not, the worlds of the strategic agreement will remain simply words. Such a U.S effort is essential to helping Iraq reach the level of security and stability it has lacked since the late 1970s. Success requires U.S and international policy makers to focus on making the strategic framework a coordinated response to the situation in Iraq. Rather than focus on “responsible withdrawal”, it requires them to plan on providing the necessary staff and aid resources through 2014 and beyond.
Useful links for research: Security Council Resolutions on Iraq http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/site/c.glKWLeMTIsG/b.2733223/ Insights on Security Council Reports on evolving issues http://whatsinblue.org/index.php United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq http://www.uniraq.org/ Office of the Iraq Programme (Oil for food) http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/ Iraq analysis (Post-war) http://www.iraqanalysis.org/ A list of link and resources on different spheres of the country http://www.globalpolicy.org/iraq/links-and-resources.html
"BBC News - Iraq Country Profile - Overview." BBC - Homepage. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14542954>. "BBC News - Timeline: US Troops in Iraq." BBC - Homepage. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16183966>. Cordesman, Anthony H., Elena Derby, and Adam Mausner. Iraq and the United States: Creating a Strategic Partnership. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2010. Print. Cordesman, Anthony H. "The Uncertain Security Situation in Iraq." Center for Strategic and International Studies. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://csis.org/publication/uncertainsecurity-situation-iraq>. "Timeline, 1990 - 2011 - US - Iraq War - ProCon.org." US-Iraq ProCon.org. Web. 18 Dec. 2011. <http://usiraq.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000670>.