US embassy cable - 05BAGHDAD2376

ASSESSMENT OF IRAQ'S MINISTER OF INTERIOR AFTER ONE MONTH

Identifier: 05BAGHDAD2376
Wikileaks: View 05BAGHDAD2376 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2005-06-02 16:26:00
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Tags: PGOV MOPS MCAP PREL PTER PINS PINR MARR IZ Parliament
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002376 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, MOPS, MCAP, PREL, PTER, PINS, PINR, MARR, IZ, Parliament 
SUBJECT: ASSESSMENT OF IRAQ'S MINISTER OF INTERIOR AFTER 
ONE MONTH 
 
REF: A. BAGHDAD 001844 
     B. BAGHDAD 001995 
     C. BAGHDAD 002210 
 
Classified By: Classified by Political-Military Counselor Ronald E. 
Neumann for reasons 1.4 (a), (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (S/REL UK AND AUS) SUMMARY: In the month since 
Minister of Interior Baqir Jabor took office, he 
appears to be delivering on his initial commitments 
(ref A).  Jabor retained qualified personnel 
regardless of their ethnic background or political 
affiliation, while also developing a plan to remove 
unqualified personnel.  Jabor traveled to Najaf to 
discuss national versus provincial roles with the 
Governor and Chief of Police.  To emphasize the 
importance of the provincial Chiefs of Police, Jabor 
held a national conference in Baghdad his second week 
in office.  Although rumors and innuendo are always 
circulating, there is no specific evidence to support 
widespread concerns of a Shia-led security strategy 
within the Ministry of Interior (MoI) directed against 
the Sunni.  Nothing is guaranteed to last, but Jabor 
seems to be actively reforming the MoI to address the 
security challenges Iraq is facing.  END SUMMARY 
 
2.  (C/REL UK AND AUS) SENIOR PERSONNEL: Jabor's 
personnel actions are commendable.  Prior to making 
any personnel decisions, Jabor sought recommendations 
from the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office (IRMO)- 
MoI advisors and the Multi-National Security 
Transition Command-Iraq (MNSTC-I).  Jabor has met with 
his Deputies on multiple occasions, both as a group 
and individually.  Jabor kept his word on retaining MG 
Adnan (a Sunni and the uncle of the former Minister of 
Interior) as the head of the special police, including 
the commandos.  After extensive consultation, Jabor 
retired two Deputy Ministers: MG Hekmet (Deputy 
Minister for the Iraqi Police Service) and MG Abdul 
Jabal (Deputy Minister for the National Crime Agency). 
Replacements have not been decided; however, Jabor 
intends to replace Hekmet with a young Sunni with 
career law enforcement experience based upon the 
individual's capabilities and not simply time spent in 
the Ministry.  We have a generally poor view of 
Hekmet; letting him go is a sound decision. 
 
3.  (C/REL UK AND AUS) RANK AND FILE: Jabor stated he 
would not add to the ranks of the police for political 
patronage.  Jabor plans personnel system reforms that 
would release from duty or retire his predecessor's 
numerous Samarah patronage hires; "ghost" employees, 
who are on the payrolls, but perform no clear service 
for the ministry; employees identified as unqualified 
by the MoI Qualification Committee (MOIQC) (ref B); 
personnel age 60 or over (subject to waiver); and 
those charged by the inspector general with 
corruption.  Jabor asserts a commitment to retaining 
"hard-working professionals."  However, the 
predominantly Sunni work force (and likely the broader 
Sunni population) may perceive the terminations as a 
purge of their ranks.  Jabor is faced with significant 
budget constraints and understands that the number of 
police on the payroll needs to be reduced 
significantly. 
 
4.  (C/REL UK AND AUS) PROVINCIAL AND NATIONAL 
JURISDICTION: Last month, the MoI hosted a two-day 
Chiefs of Police conference that did not yield any 
specific results, but was valuable symbolically. 
Sixteen provincial Chiefs of Police attended; never 
before had this been accomplished.  The provincial 
representatives stayed late on a Thursday evening and 
even met on their day off, Friday.  CPA Order 71, 
which outlines, inter alia, provincial and national 
level authorities, was discussed at length among the 
attendees.  A healthy debate ensued with some 
attendees claiming ignorance of CPA Order 71, and 
others disagreeing with the order.  The real value of 
the conference was the opening of lines of 
SUBJECT: ASSESSMENT OF IRAQ'S MINISTER OF INTERIOR AFTER 
communication. 
 
5.  (C/REL UK AND AUS) The Minister's trip to Najaf 
was a clear indication of his intention to address 
issues head-on.  Initially, there was concern that 
Jabor would not fully engage with IRMO-MoI advisors; 
the opposite has been true, as evidenced by the IRMO- 
MoI advisor accompanying the Minister to Najaf (ref 
C).  Once again the Minister kept his commitment to 
address problems that had been ignored by the previous 
Minister. 
 
6.  (S/REL UK AND AUS) COMMENT: There is widespread 
concern of a Shia security strategy to purge the MoI 
ranks of Sunnis and implement a MoI de-Ba'athification 
plan.  Jabor was handed a Ministry with serious 
personnel, leadership, control and financial problems. 
The proactive agenda pursued by the Minister fits the 
task of reforming the Ministry; however, the dismissal 
of Sunni MoI employees, raids on Sunni insurgents and 
discussions with Shia leaders (such as Grand Ayatollah 
Sistani) leave an impression of a Shia plot against 
the Sunni. 
 
7.  (S/REL UK AND AUS) COMMENT CONTINUED: Nothing we 
are seeing is guaranteed to remain the same.  Although 
the Minister continues to do and say the right things, 
we will remain vigilant.  The Minister is politically 
astute and a skilled technocrat who knows his every 
move is being watched for signs that Iran, the Shia, 
the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq 
(SCIRI) and/or Badr Corps are controlling the Minister 
behind the scenes and directing unprovoked action 
against the Sunni population or implementing a 
separate de-Ba'athification policy.  We also remain 
cognizant of Shia influence in the south and continue 
to watch for incidents of Shia purging Sunnis from the 
police ranks at the provincial and local levels and 
installing SCIRI/Badr loyalists in their stead.  There 
are some indications that this may be occurring, 
albeit quietly (septel).  Jabor appears to be his own 
man; however, it is unclear to what degree his 
decisions are influenced by SCIRI, particularly its 
leader Hakim.  END COMMENT. 
 
8.  (U) REO Basrah, REO Hillah, REO Mosul and REO 
Kirkuk minimize considered. 
 
 
Satterfield 

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