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Unformatted text preview: 10 The Occupation under the Coalition Provisional Authority Once the Coalition invaded Iraq, the US expressed its intent to rule directly for a year. It did so first under the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), which was set up in mid-April. By mid-May, however, the US replaced the ORHA with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) headed by L. Paul Bremer. Bremer immediately implemented two policies that, in retrospect, were extremely problematic. He enforced the de-Baathification of government, which took 30,000 experienced administrators out of the political structures of the country. He also disbanded the armed forces, which left 300,000 men--all highly trained and familiar with the Iraqi terrain--unemployed (Tripp, 282). The CPA then set out to establish the institutions of a liberal democracy, which, since WMDs were never found, became the legitimizing justification for the invasion. Thus, Bremer and the CPA formed the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) in July 2003, and its twenty-five members served in an advisory role to Bremer and his team. Despite the efforts of the CPA--or, as more likely, because of them--an insurgency began, and fighting intensified during its period of direct rule. Some Iraqis fought in order to express their anger at rule by a foreign military power, and popular resentment grew as the country struggled with high unemployment and low access to basic utilities, like electricity. Added to the general angst, there was a struggle to ensure that different parties had access to the future political life of their country as well as the resources that the state distributed. Many Sunnis feared that the US was privileging Shiis and Kurds. And some Shiis feared that the US was imposing a secular form of democracy. Ethnic and sectarian divisions became more prominent in Iraqi political and social life, thereby undermining the liberal reforms sought by the US. By the time the CPA disbanded and handed over sovereignty to Iraq in June 2004, a full-scale insurgency had come into being. As a result, the fighting between Iraqis and Coalition forces continued and worsened in the first year after the invasion. This Iraq War was not a military engagement in which there was a designated front line and enemy soldiers fought each other. Instead, all of Iraq became a front line, putting this country’s entire population of 26 million at risk. This was true during the actual invasion, and it remained true once the insurgency began. By October 2004, the estimates regarding civilian deaths at the hands of Coalition Forces ranged from a conservative 30,000 (proposed by Iraqis and Americans) to 100,000 (Tripp, 295). Civilian deaths are not easy to count....
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- Spring '11
- Reconstruction, Saddam Hussein, 2003 invasion of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, Governing Council