3 Generals Bound by Iraq Will Guide Trump on Security


H. R. McMaster, a colonel at the time, speaking with an Iraqi man in April 2005.CreditCraig F. Walker/The Denver Post, via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — At one point or another, they each strode the sands of Iraq, fighting on the unforgiving battlefield of America’s costliest war since Vietnam. Now all three will sit around the table in the White House Situation Room, steering a new president through the treacherous crosscurrents of a stormy world.

President Trump’s appointment of H. R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, as his new national security adviser creates a powerful troika of senior officers who served in Iraq, teaming him up with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, both retired four-star Marine generals. This administration is the first to have all three security jobs filled by senior military veterans at the same time.

The ascension of the three generals to political jobs at the National Security Council reflects the rise of a generation of military leaders that came of age during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Each officer saw up close what a losing war looked like and took away lessons about how to avoid repeating fatal mistakes. Each got to where he is today in part by bucking the military hierarchy.

“This generation of generals lived through some of the struggles, especially in the ’04, ’05, ’06 time frame in Iraq when we weren’t doing things right,” said Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, an Army veteran who served in Iraq. “They understand that security and military force are the pre-eminent requirement, but it’s not sufficient. This generation of generals who grew up in the Iraq war probably understands that more than any previous generation.”

Mr. Cotton was the one who persuaded the White House to consider Mr. McMaster, who became known over the years for questioning orthodox views of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. “Donald Trump is an unconventional president, and I think it fits him well to have someone who for many years colored outside the lines and so many times was proven right,” Mr. Cotton said.


General John F. Kelly during a handover ceremony with Maamoun Sami Rashid Al-Alwani, right, the governor of Anbar Province, in Ramadi, Iraq, in September 2008. CreditWathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images

While some critics worry about the prevalence of military officers in political posts, others have welcomed the three generals, hoping that they will serve as a brake on bad ideas. “All three of them showed an independent streak and a talent that is in my view extraordinary, and I’ve known a hell of a lot of them over the years,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said in an interview.

How much any of the three will be able to shape Mr. Trump’s policies remains an open question. When the president considered reinstituting torture for the interrogation of terrorism suspects, Mr. Mattis objected and Mr. Trump backed down, saying he would defer to his defense secretary. But when the White House enacted a temporary ban on refugees and on any visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Mr. Kelly was not fully briefed until late in the process.

Mr. McMaster, 54, will have an office across the West Wing from Mr. Trump, and will see him more than any of the three. He has the least Washington experience of the group, meaning he will have to learn on the job how to balance the various constituencies, including the Pentagon, the State Department, the C.I.A. and Congress. He will also have to get to know a president who, Mr. Cotton said, had never heard of Mr. McMaster just a week ago.

Mr. McMaster will also have to figure out how to handle Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, who was given a seat on the cabinet-level national security principals committee and has played a strong role in foreign policy so far. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday that Mr. McMaster would have authority to organize the national security team as he sees fit.

But the three generals are not known only for their experiences during war. Mr. McMaster and Mr. Mattis are both thought of as scholar-soldiers. The author of a dissertation examining the failures of the military leadership during Vietnam, Mr. McMaster has lately been running a command charged with rethinking the Army of the future. Mr. Mattis, 66, a student of history, is “just as likely to quote Cicero to you as Clausewitz,” as former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates put it.

As the head of Southern Command, Mr. Kelly, 66, spent a lot of time thinking about how to protect the southern border and fight drug trafficking beyond traditional combat operations. He also represented the Marines on Capitol Hill, learning the byways of Congress.

“The wars clearly played a role in shaping all three men, and also certainly in shaping their reputations,” said Mr. Gates, who served Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But, he added, “These are much broader, deeper people than just their experience in Iraq, and I find that all reassuring.”

The three generals did not all overlap at the same time and place in Iraq. Mr. Mattis and Mr. Kelly grew up together in the Marine Corps, rising to four-star generals in a service that has only a handful of officers at that rank. Mr. Kelly served as assistant commander of the First Marine Division under Mr. Mattis during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. Mr. Kelly returned there in 2004 and a third time in 2008, when he was named the top American commander in western Iraq.

While the Marines focused on Anbar Province, Mr. McMaster and the Army’s Third Armored Cavalry Regiment concentrated on Tal Afar to the north, where in 2005 he introduced a new counterinsurgency strategy that bucked the military leadership’s thinking and helped recapture the city. His success was later cited as a model in a counterinsurgency manual that Mr. Mattis had a role in drafting with Gen. David H. Petraeus and that inspired the larger strategy shift that turned the war around in 2007 and 2008.

Mr. McMaster’s approach was not always appreciated by the military brass, however, and he was twice passed over for promotion to brigadier general. Mr. Gates personally intervened by summoning General Petraeus to take over the promotion board and ensure that Mr. McMaster would receive his first star.


General Jim Mattis, center, speaking with his commanders in Iraq in March 2003.CreditOzier Muhammad/The New York Times

Mr. Mattis was not always in concert with superiors, either. He led the first Marines into Afghanistan after Sept. 11, but when he sought to pursue Al Qaeda into the Tora Bora region, he was not given permission, and Osama bin Laden ultimately escaped. In Iraq, where Mr. Mattis’s radio call sign was Chaos, reflecting the havoc he sought to rain down on enemies, Mr. Mattis objected when told to abort an offensive to retake Falluja early in 2004 for what he considered political reasons.

Mr. Kelly is also known for speaking his mind. While leading Southern Command, he talked about the need to rebuild aging facilities at the Guantánamo Bay prison, despite the Obama administration’s official policy that the detention center was about to close. He also called for more Navy ships to conduct counternarcotics patrols despite being repeatedly told to back down.

“He does what he thinks is right, and is anything but politically correct,” said James G. Stavridis, a retired admiral who served as NATO’s top military commander and has known the general since 1979.

If all three share common experiences from the wars of the last 16 years, they were most personally felt by Mr. Kelly. In 2010, his son, Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, was killed when he stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan, making the father the highest-ranking officer to lose a son or daughter in either war.

“They’ll bring a very sober, realistic, practical experience base to the discussions in the Situation Room because they’ve lived it,” said Douglas E. Lute, a retired three-star Army general who was a senior national security aide to Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama.

David W. Barno, another retired lieutenant general and a former commander of American forces in Afghanistan, said the three would take a more thoughtful approach to the use of force. “They’ll bring in some hard-nosed realism of what war looks like,” Mr. Barno said. “It doesn’t mean they shy away from using the military, but they will have a perspective no one else in the White House will have.”


Iraqi special forces stand to gain stature with a victory over IS



A member of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service stands in a military vehicle during a battle with Islamic State militants in east of Mosul, Iraq, Jan. 21, 2017. (photo by REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani)

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service‘s star is rising as it battles the Islamic State (IS). The unit’s success is fueling its influence, which is only expected to grow now that Iraq has launched what it hopes will be the final stage of liberating western Mosul.

Summary⎙ Print Iraq’s counterterrorism bureau, which is receiving accolades and lots of support, could become even more powerful in the post-Islamic State era.

TranslatorSahar Ghoussoub

Iraq has given the most important task of that operation to the counterterrorism force and its elite unit, the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF), also known as the Golden Division. ISOF commander Lt. Gen. Sami Arda said Feb. 17, “Anti-terrorism forces will be responsible for undertaking the street battles in the [western half] of Mosul.” They also have prepared the plan for the operation, according to the commander of counterterrorism forces Lt. Gen. Abdul Ghani al-Asadi. Now, they are moving toward the western heart of the city from the south.

Al-Monitor learned from a senior source at the counterterrorism bureau, who declined to be named, that after the liberation is completed, bureau officers could serve in high posts, including the premiership’s military secretary, army general staff, military attache in Washington, the Mosul operations command and even the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) presidency.

The counterterrorism bureau has already received increasing attention recently in both security and political spheres. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been recommending bureau members for positions in both areas, including the new defense minister, Maj. Gen. Irfan Hayali. Hayali previously served as head of the bureau’s training and development unit for 10 years.

Abadi has also assigned other bureau leaders to security and political positions. In July, Abadi instructed Maj. Gen. Jalil Jabbar al-Rubaie to lead the Baghdad operations, replacing Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir al-Shammari. Rubaie served as head of intelligence in the counterterrorism bureau.

After protesters stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone in April, Abadi removed Lt. Gen. Mohammed Rida from duty and appointed Maj. Gen. Karim Abboud al-Tamimi in his place to head Green Zone security. Tamimi had been a leader in the counterterrorism bureau, serving in different positions there since 2007.

This indicates that officers within the counterterrorism bureau are gradually taking up top security and military positions in the state, especially following the bureau’s achievements against IS.

The most recent battles in eastern Mosul produced a field leadership that was accepted by both Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Pictures of counterterrorism bureau leaders were everywhere on social media. They have major support from the people, who recognize that these leaders are an extension of theformer Iraqi army, which was disbanded in 2003.

At the same time, some members of the PMU see these leaders as potential competitors.

“I fear the ambitions of these leaders, amid the military support and flow of weapons from the US,” a PMU leader who spoke on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor.

After the liberation of eastern Mosul, the bureau, army brigades, the Special Weapons and Tactics team, and the federal and local police were charged with preserving security there, according to Lt. Gen. Abdullah Yarallah, a commander of one of the liberation operations.

Concerning the liberation of western Mosul, the counterterrorism bureau is in charge of securing the floating bridges from one side of the Tigris River to the other. The bureau, alongside its two brigades, is responsible for breaking IS defense lines along the Tigris, which runs through the city.

In an exclusive statement to Al-Monitor, one of the prominent leaders in the bureau, Maj. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saidi, said bureau units neutralized large numbers of IS fighters and leaders in the battles for eastern Mosul, dealing a severe blow to IS morale. He expects the operation to retake western Mosulto be easier, given that IS has been hit hard already and given that the western part of Mosul is smaller.

The counterterrorism bureau also has strong support from parliament. In August, parliament passed a bill defining the bureau as being part of the security and intelligence apparatuses and a legal entity linked to the general commander of the armed forces.

The law gave the bureau broad powers, including the ability to establish a department for intelligence, military and combat pilot training. The bureau is also allowed to arrest terror suspects and can request telephone taps, monitor social networking sites and seek to have bank accounts frozen.

“This bill has allowed the bureau to be completely independent from the Ministry of Defense, after having been associated with it administratively and in terms of salaries and appointments. This bill boosted the morale of the bureau’s fighters, as now they feel their rights are preserved and protected,” Saidi said.

Also, the 2017 budget allows for a $2.5 billion contract with a Chinese company for arms and ammunition supplies to the ministries of Interior and Defense, the PMU and the counterterrorism bureau.

The bureau also receives direct support and training from the United States and other coalition members. A TV report on France 24 in November showed French special forces officers accompanying the counterterrorism units for advisory and training purposes in operations to liberate Mosul.

All of this mounting influence indicates that the counterterrorism bureau will assume a major role in the post-IS era not only at the military level, but also at the political and security levels.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/02/counterterrorism-bureau-iraq-us-mosul.html#ixzz4ZNAdMFj3

Abadi discuss with the US delegation restore Ayman Mosul


BAGHDAD – The Journal News
Search Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Tuesday, with a delegation from the US Congress, international support for Iraq and restore operations Ayman Mosul.

A statement by the Office of the Abadi stated for “Journal News”, “The prime minister received a delegation from the US Congress included Joe Wilson, Republican member of the Armed Services Committee, Claudia Tenney for the GOP member of the Finance Committee, and Donald Norchos on the Armed Services Committee, Democratic Party and the Committee on Education and the workforce and Steve Knight Republican member of the Senate armed Services Committee. “

He added that “The meeting discussed the course of editing the right side of the connector operations and strengthen bilateral relations and international support for Iraq and the US in the fight against terrorism.”

He said the delegation, according to the statement, “continued US support for Iraq in all fields,” expressing “admiration for the significant progress of the capabilities of the Iraqi forces in fighting al Daesh.”



of the Council of Ministers takes the security and economic decisions , notably to borrow 500 million euros from Sweden


Council of Ministers takes the security and economic decisions, notably to borrow 500 million euros from Sweden
one hour ago

Twilight News / Iraqi Council of Ministers adopted during its weekly meeting on Tuesday, among other decisions, including concerning the economic side, most notably borrow 500 million euros from Sweden.

According to a statement released by the Office of Abadi and seen by Twilight News, the Council voted to exempt the Ministry of Municipalities and the Municipality of Baghdad from the private Cabinet decision to protect the national product in terms of chlorine up to June 30, 2017.

The face of the cabinet by the disarmament of militias and the Department audited the presence of members of the Awakening in the participating teams have areas and the transfer of employees of the Awakening Who’s really to the security services or the same body the popular crowd and their customizations complete solution department no later than October 31 2017.

With regard to the payment of dues dry gas supplier was approved recommendation of the Committee on Economic Affairs to postpone the public treasury to claim a share of the profits accruing to the company’s oil pipelines and be repaid the amount received by the Petrochemical Industries Company.

As it has been the approval of the draft amendment to the Civil Service Act proposed by the Council of Ministers and verified by the State Shura and send it to the House of Representatives.

There was discussion of sale system and rent properties and state lands and the public sector project for the purposes of investment and leasing them was guidance to reconsider the project and hold a workshop with a number of actual investors to develop the mechanisms of successful and encouraging investment.

As it has been approved to authorize the Minister of Finance to sign the Swedish loan of 500 million euros to finance the Ministry of Electricity Projects

Were presented their findings support international stability group agreed on 54 projects for the rehabilitation of water and electricity, health, education and service projects in the liberated areas and guidance regardless employees who joined the work in the liberated areas immediately unless indicate towards them security issues and speeding secured the return of displaced people from the camps to the left side of the salaries.

With regard to lifting the ban on Iraqi stadiums were eighth Council of Ministers Chairman and members of the International Federation of Football initiative (FIFA) to send a commission examining the stadiums in the three governorates (Basra, Karbala, Arbil) and the Board wishes a final decision to lift the ban on Iraqi stadiums as soon as.

And advanced cabinet thanks and appreciation for sports ministries and institutions, local governments and all those who contributed to the success of the visit of the Committee of FIFA to Iraq.

The Council affirms the continuity of support and backing of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Olympic Committee and the Iraqi Paralympics Committee and the Football Association for the development of sports in order to ensure the application of international standards and reception teams, teams and sports audience from all over the world.

He called on the Council of Ministers, ministries and local governments to implement all international standards and to provide the appropriate conditions inside and outside the sports ground in Iraq to receive the teams and sports teams and fans and calls for the private sector’s biggest and active participation to invest in sports and tourism-related project to lift the ban and set up tournaments and international sports festivals, Asian and Arab role.


Abadi: Iraq needs $ 60 a barrel to meet the budget deficit


Abadi: Iraq needs $ 60 a barrel to meet the budget deficit
39 minutes ago

Twilight News Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi / said at a news conference in Baghdad on Tuesday that Iraq needs to be an oil price of 60 dollars per barrel in order to fill the general budget deficit.

The Iraqi government, which is almost totally dependent on oil production revenue to fund spending since the decline in crude prices in 2014 and suffered the same year in which the organization of the Islamic state over large parts of the territory of the country dominated.

The price of Brent crude oil around $ 57 a barrel on Tuesday.

And Iraq’s second-largest oil producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia.



Abadi: Maliki will stand before the court soon on charges of “high treason”

Abadi: Maliki will stand before the court soon on charges of "high treason"

Last updated: February 21, 2017 – 14:04

BAGHDAD / News Network Iraq  , Prime Minister of Iraq , Haider al – Abadi said on Tuesday that so far did not understand why gave Nuri al – Maliki ” the withdrawal is” to army troops in Mosul on 06/09/2014 specifically for the three divisions of the Iraqi army to withdraw from Mosul, leaving their weapons and tanks for Daesh and to come to Baghdad Ebadi said in a press statement today: Nuri al – Maliki has committed treason on this withdrawal , which make the Iraqi army loses its entirety by giving orders to withdraw three teams from the Iraqi army was up more than 60 thousand troops and leave the vehicles and tanks and armored vehicles and guns with ammunition to come Daesh and seize the province of Nineveh the province of Mosul and the whole weapons of the three military teams and that more than $ 12 billion Dolar.ookd Abadi that the fall of Mosul , however Daesh by Maliki ordered the withdrawal of army troops and the resulting displacement and killing, displacement and wasting more than $ 300 billion due to the fall of the provinces of Mosul, Anbar, Salah religion bears responsibility Nuri al – Maliki and leaders at the time will soon eliminate al – Maliki to charges of “high treason “.



President Barzani to visit Ankara next Saturday


After the end of his European tour

President Barzani to visit Ankara next Saturday

Informed sources said the Turkish Foreign Ministry, said on Tuesday that President of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, will visit Ankara after the end of the European tour.

Turkish sources said that President Barzani and his accompanying delegation will visit to Ankara on Saturday.

The same sources pointed out that President Barzani will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirim and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

She added that the independence of Kurdistan file will be one of the most important themes in President Barzani talks with Turkish leaders as well as the war on terrorism.

President Barzani had held intensive talks with world leaders, including Yildirim on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, which began on Friday and lasted three days.


Urgent rapid reaction frees Ghazlani camp south of Mosul



History of edits:: 21/2/2017 17:0857 visits readable
[Where-Baghdad] security forces liberated today Ghazlani camp south of the city of Mosul.
A security source told all of Iraq [where] announced today that “rapid reaction forces liberated the camp today Ghazlani south of the city of Mosul.”
The federal police force, had imposed absolute control over the Golan Abu Seif and the surrounding villages in the southern axis on the right side of the city of Mosul.

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Shabibi: al-Maliki, the country’s treasury destroyed the Iraqi state and stole and (on the Keywords) followers

Shabibi: al-Maliki, the country's treasury destroyed the Iraqi state and stole and (on the Keywords) followers

Last Updated: February 21, 2017 – 11:50

# BAGHDAD / News Network Iraq blew former governorIraqi Central Bank, Sinan alShabibi, Tuesday, surprise when he noted, “money received byformer Prime Minister Nuri alMaliki, was enough to buildnew home can accommodateto 30 million people and that alMaliki appointed four membershis ruling party big positions withincentral bankthey are notprofessional untilBank influenced and took random spread widely,they Directormoney laundering department, the directorlegal department, and directorbanking surveillance, and Directoreconomic Department”he Alshabibi inpress statement today : that “whendecidedchange from appointedalMalikimembershis party camehimletter fromprime minister prevented him from removalthese corrupt includedveiled threat betweenlines, and when removedfirst elementscorrupt gangmad Maliki issued by his partner and friendMedhat alMahmoud warrantarrested after Iin Switzerland lecture aboutnew monetary policy inglobal symposium World monetary Fund”he saidadding,””corruption takingrampant withincentral bank by colleagues Maliki inparty and thatdirectorlaundering department funds allocate money laundering Iraq in favorruling partylegal directorgloss by traders and directorbank surveillance taking sold dollars to private banks associatedprime minister, less thanmarketamounts that make Iraq millionsdollars becausethis corruption andsmugglinggovernment budget funds abroad in favoralMaliki and his followers “losedaythe recipe he continued Shabibi” he then appointed alMaliki called (onKeywords), central bank governor to spoil allIraqi state reserve inamount$ 67 billion inlast dayshis dominance ongovernment to hand over power to Haidar alAbbadi andbudgetempty and provision ravished, to enter Iraq inmajor financial crisis can not recover from a decade latereven if improved oil prices today”noting that” alMaliki received more money than allrulersRepublicIraq together starting from Abdul Karim Qasim leader Saddam Hussein, was being investigatedany noteworthy accomplishmentIraqi people andhomeland. “

You can read the news in the source from here: INN

Parliamentary Finance: the coming days will see a marked decline in dollar


Economy News / Baghdad …

Parliamentary Finance Committee unveiled Tuesday by the Central Bank of Iraq’s intention to pump additional amounts of dollar in local markets to lower dollar prices, noting that the bank will announce a new mechanism for the disbursement of the dollar through its ports to prevent speculation.
 He said committee member Ahmed Sarhan Sarhan said in a statement, said that “the Iraqi Central Bank intends to inject additional funds from the dollar in the domestic market to prevent the rising dollar prices.”
 “The high dollar prices in front of the Iraqi dinar exchange does not serve the economic and commercial interests and the control authorities to prevent the rise in any way possible.”
Sarhan said that “the Bank will announce a new mechanism for the disbursement of the dollar through its ports to prevent speculation and dollar exchange to those who deserve it all,” noting that “these steps will return dollar prices as they were in the past and demonstrate the exchange rate against the dinar in the coming days.”