US embassy cable - 05BAGHDAD4238

SAMARA SUNNI ARABS IN DENIAL ABOUT THEIR IP PROBLEM

Identifier: 05BAGHDAD4238
Wikileaks: View 05BAGHDAD4238 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2005-10-15 15:48:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV KDEM PNAT PHUM PTER IZ Sunni Arab Security
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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 004238 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, PNAT, PHUM, PTER, IZ, Sunni Arab, Security 
SUBJECT: SAMARA SUNNI ARABS IN DENIAL ABOUT THEIR IP 
PROBLEM 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Robert Ford for reasons 
1.4(b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C)  Summary: During an October 12 meeting in Samarra 
to discuss security and governance, MOD Senior Advisor 
General Amer al-Hashimi asked Coalition Force officers to 
reduce their security controls in the city.  LTC Wald of 
the 42ND ID noted that there had been no change in the 
demands of the Samarran leaders for many months, and also 
no cooperation on security matters.  The Samarrans were not 
forthcoming with any deliverables.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  On October 12, General Amer al-Hashimi, Senior 
Advisor to the Minister of Defense, met in Samarra with 
city council members, tribal leaders, local imams, and 
officers from the 42ND ID.  The meeting was the result of 
an invitation from Shaykh Ahmed al-Sammarai, Secretary 
General of the Sunni Waqf, who recently approached Minister 
of Defense Dulime offering his assistance and that of 
Samarra residents to forestall the need for possible MOD 
military action due to insurgent activity. 
 
3.  (C)  The city council had promised a list of Samarrans 
willing to sign up for police duty, and another list of 
usable intelligence on insurgent activity in the area. 
They provided neither.  Instead, local notables presented a 
list of demands for Coalition Forces to meet, most of which 
centered on lessening the Coalition presence in the city. 
 
4.  (C)  Al-Hashimi urged the Coalition to reopen roads 
previously closed due to frequent IED attacks, and to 
remove checkpoints on major roads.  He was vague when asked 
by 42ND ID officers what specific commitments local leaders 
would make in return, saying merely that "it will be 
better." 42ND ID, which has tracked a strong correlation 
between checkpoint management and rate of daily attacks, 
was skeptical.  LTC Wald noted that there has been no 
change in the demands of the Samarran leaders for many 
months, and also no cooperation on security matters. 
 
5.  (C)  Al-Hashimi outlined a plan for the Iraqi Army (IA) 
4th Division to take charge of security for the whole city. 
Coalition Forces would withdraw or reduce their security 
activities but provide support to the IA.  The IA would 
maintain control only until the Iraqi Police (IP) could 
resume full responsibility for the city. 
 
6.  (C) Al-Hashimi maintained that a similar process had 
worked in Mahmudiyah, and he believed it would work in 
Samarra.  However, Lt. Colonel Wald said that Sammarrans 
themselves first need to they take direct steps to improve 
security.  The first step, he explained, was to create a 
functional Iraqi Police force. He noted that one day after 
the last Coalition Force withdrawal from one site in the 
city, Al Qaeda websites were broadcasting from the exact 
same location a video of a person targeted by insurgents 
for assassination walking openly in the streets of Samarra. 
 
8.  (C) COMMENT: Reconstruction efforts and Iraqi 
assumption of local security responsibility in Samarra have 
been bedeviled by endemic corruption and intimidation, 
which have trebled project costs, halted construction, 
frightened IP officers from the streets, frozen local IP 
recruitment, and dampened the development of accountable 
local government.  The news that the new City Council is 
taking a technocratic approach is encouraging, and serious 
efforts should be made to engage and assist them. However, 
the reluctance of prominent Samarrans to discuss means of 
lowering the rate of insurgent attacks is discouraging. 
 
10.  (C) COMMENT CONTINUED While al-Hashimi's commitment to 
assist Samarra is commendable, it is not clear how his 
intent to introduce an Iraqi Army battalion into Samarra 
correlates with national-level MOD planning. Moreover, his 
eagerness to please local sheikhs and clerics by advocating 
the dismantling of the current Coalition security apparatus 
is troubling. End Comment. 
Khalilzad 

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