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Bremer Announces Iraqi National Security Structure

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2004 – Coalition Administrator Paul Bremer announced the men who will head Iraq's national defense structure and announced the formation of a new Iraqi intelligence agency during a Baghdad press conference today.

Bremer said that Ali Allawi will be the interim minister of defense and Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed al-Shehwani will be the director general of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service. Allawi has been the Iraqi minister of trade since September 2003.

Al-Shehwani was in the Iraqi military from 1955 until 1984, when Saddam's forces forced him into retirement. He fled to the United Kingdom around 1990, where he led an underground opposition group from 1991 to 1996. He fought alongside coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

There are now more than 200,000 Iraqis involved in the security forces. These include the Iraqi Police, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, the Iraqi Border Police, the Infrastructure Defense Force and the new Iraqi army.

"Maximizing the effectiveness of these forces requires that they operate in concert with the police and coalition forces, with the benefit of the best intelligence available and in obedience to a democratic government," Bremer said.

To integrate these efforts and to ensure the security forces are under civilian control, Bremer announced the creation of the ministry of defense, the intelligence service and the Ministerial Committee for National Security. He said the three entities will help Iraq take on terrorists and insurgents.

Further, Bremer said that the charter for the institutions is open to all. The Transitional Administrative Law codifies civilian control of the institutions. He said the prime minister commands the military and orders flow through the minister of defense to the military. All are under the watchful eyes of members of the National Assembly.

Intelligence is crucial to Iraq protecting itself and winning its own war on terror. The intelligence agencies of the previous regime were routinely used to quash dissent, arrest those who disagreed with Saddam Hussein and terrorize the Iraqi people. "Iraq has too much sad experience of unbridled power to permit too much power to reside once again in one set of hands," Bremer said.

The head of government will appoint the director general of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, and that person will be confirmed by the National Assembly. The service will not meddle in politics, Bremer said.

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Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III

Related Sites:
Coalition Provisional Authority

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