The Iraqis know him well .. Austin is a former at the Pentagon

Time: 01/22/2021 23:08:37 Read: 3,081 times

{International: The Euphrates News} The new US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, became the first person of African descent to lead the Pentagon in the history of the United States. His appointment would be a new achievement recorded in the file of representatives of people of color in state institutions.

Austin obtained Senate approval to appoint him defense minister, Friday, after broad support from Democrats and Republicans alike, although he needed to seek a special exemption from Congress as he had recently retired and was nominated for a position usually reserved for civilians.

US President Joe Biden chose Austin for the post last December, about a month after he won the US presidential elections.

Austin pledged to combat extremism in the US military after the participation of plainclothes soldiers in the attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. 

Austin (67 years) said, “The activities that we have recently witnessed in our ranks, in terms of behaviors that may denote racism or extremism, are totally unacceptable in my opinion.” 

The military commander played an important role in leading precise missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and senior military sources from Iraq described him as “an intelligent, calm, strong general with great knowledge of what is happening in the Middle East.”

Austin spent about 40 years at the Ministry of Defense, and the Iraqis know him well, as he was the commander of the US forces that entered Baghdad in 2003, then moved to Afghanistan until 2005, and in 2008 he commanded a multinational corps in Iraq and participated in several operations there.

During the era of former President Barack Obama, he became Commander-in-Chief of US forces in Iraq in 2010, then he ran for the position of Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Army, to take up the position in January 2012, and in 2013 Austin became commander of the US Central Command, Sentcom.

Because of Austin’s focus on countries that were at war with the United States, lawmakers asked questions about his readiness to face global threats, especially China and Iran.

In response to a question about Iran, which Joe Biden said he would like to resume dialogue with, Austin stated that Tehran is still a “factor to destabilize the region,” and its system’s possession of a nuclear weapon would be dangerous. As

for China, Austin replied that “China is the most difficult problem. And more complicated. ”He stressed that the United States wants to deter Beijing militarily, but wants to cooperate with China economically.

Austin did not reveal his plans to lead the US military, but in written responses to the elected officials, he said that he intends to review the decisions to withdraw from Germany and Somalia that Trump wanted. 

But he expressed support for the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“I would like to see this conflict end with a negotiated settlement,” he told senators, stressing that “focusing on counterterrorism operations in the future would be beneficial.” 

As for responding to Corona, Austin indicated, in answer to a question, that the virus “has caused the death of more than 400,000 Americans, and these are unbelievable losses,” indicating that the Pentagon can do more to combat the disease. 

The US Secretary of Defense pledged to “provide all tools for the American forces to deter and defeat the enemies of the country.”

Parliamentary Finance: Approving the budget within 10 days and limiting the salary deduction to these categories

Time: 01/22/2021 21:03:08 Read: 5,668 times

{Baghdad: Al Furat News} The Parliamentary Finance Committee expected the approval of the draft federal budget bill for 2021 within 10 days.

Committee member Naji Al-Saeedi said in a televised statement: “Sovereign expenditures in the budget are very high and we seek to reduce public spending to 130 trillion dinars instead of 163 trillion dinars and increase revenues to 120 trillion dinars from oil and non-oil outlets such as taxes, customs, border crossings, etc., to support the poor classes.” And the toiling, as well as retirees and employees, and we seek to classify this budget for these bodies. ”

He called on “the Kurdistan region to abide by the implementation of the agreement stipulated in the budget,” noting that “reducing financial expenditures is a strategy and maintaining this deficit means a collapse of the economic situation.”

Al-Saeedi noted that, ”

He stressed, “Parliament will raise the price of a barrel of oil sold to the refineries, as it will save more than 7 trillion dinars.”

Al-Saeedi expected “the budget will be approved in parliament within 10 days, and it will be completely restructured,” noting that “the Ministry of Finance does not know the number of its employees, and we have reached results that differ from what was mentioned in the budget and some of the numbers in the budget are inaccurate and must be reconsidered.”

He added, “We got unreal figures and found big differences, for example in the Ministry of Defense, and we got unreal data.”

Iraq: Preparations for the resumption of dialogues between Baghdad and Erbil

Arab Reports


Baraa Al-Shammari

January 22, 2021

The 2021 budget, the most important points of contention between Baghdad and Erbil (Twitter)

The Kurdistan region of Iraq is preparing to resume dialogues with the federal government in Baghdad , in conjunction with discussions held by parliamentary blocs on the 2021 budget , which represents the most important points of contention between Baghdad and Erbil. 

The Minister of Planning in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Dara Rashid, confirmed that two delegations, one governmental and the other political, will go to Baghdad soon with the aim of fixing the share of Kurdistan in the current year’s budget, expressing, in an interview reported by Kurdish media, his desire to complete the agreement with

He pointed out that the Kurdistan Regional Government is ready to deliver to Baghdad the amounts of 250 thousand barrels of oil per day, and 50% of the region’s local imports, in exchange for Baghdad’s approval to pay all the region’s dues, pointing out that the two Kurdish delegations will go through rounds of dialogue to fix everything related to the rights of the region. 

He continued, “In the event that an agreement is reached with Baghdad, we will have in the Kurdistan region 3 sources of income, which are the region’s share of the federal budget, our oil imports, and our non-oil imports,” adding: “And in the event that no agreement is reached with Baghdad on the budget, then The region will depend on its resources, as well as taking steps to implement reforms in all sectors to organize its resources. ” 

Informed Kurdish political sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the main Kurdish forces are holding dialogues with each other before the Kurdistan region negotiators go to Baghdad, indicating that the region has a real desire to reach an agreement with the federal government that would guarantee all the region’s financial dues. 

She explained that the representatives of the Kurdistan region in the Iraqi parliament have been engaged in deep discussions a few days ago regarding the region’s share in the 2021 budget, in order to expedite the resolution of this issue, and to ensure that previous financial crises between Baghdad and Erbil will not be repeated, pointing out that the dialogues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government will not be limited. On financial issues, it will also discuss the situation of the disputed areas, especially the security breaches in some of these areas. 

Yesterday, Thursday, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, said, during his meeting with representatives of the diplomatic missions in the region, that his government is working to establish the best relations with the federal government in order to solve all problems comprehensively and on the basis of the constitution, explaining that Kurdistan has fulfilled its obligations in this field. 

He pointed to the desire of the Kurdistan region to reach an agreement that serves the interest of all Iraqi citizens, stressing the need not to include the issue of salaries in the political conflict in a way that could make it a pressure card against the Kurdistan region, and to resort to the starvation policy towards those who receive salaries. 

Barzani pointed out that the Kurdistan region has made great efforts in order to provide the salaries of its employees, explaining that the regional government program emphasizes diversifying the economy, increasing sources of income, reducing expenditures, reorganizing taxes, and facilitating the work of foreign and local investors.