to take over
The file of Lieutenant-General Jay Garner
- US arms trader to run Iraq
- US general with Iraq role linked to hardline Israelis
- Britain: Times leaks secret UN blueprint for post-war Iraq the neo-colonial character of the US takeover of Iraq becomes ever more apparent, the UN will be required to step in and provide a cloak of international legitimacy
- Bush's Man in Baghdad
- Retired General Faces Big Job Planning post-war rebuilding of Iraq
- Pentagon works on plan for
Exclusive: Ex-general who will lead reconstruction heads firm behind Patriot missiles
Oliver Morgan, industrial editor
Sunday March 30, 2003
Jay Garner, the retired US general who will oversee humanitarian
relief and reconstruction in postwar Iraq, is president of an arms
company that provides crucial technical support to missile
systems vital to the US invasion of the country.
Garner's business background is causing serious concerns at the United Nations and among aid agencies, who are already opposed to US administration of Iraq if it comes outside UN authority, and who say appointment of an American linked to the arms trade is the 'worst case scenario' for running the country after the war.
Garner is president of Virginia-based SY Coleman, a subsidiary of defence electronics group L-3 Communications, which provides technical services and advice on the Patriot missile system being used in Iraq. Patriot was made famous in the 1991 Gulf war when it was used to protect Israeli and Saudi targets from attack by Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles. Garner was involved in the system's deployment in Israel.
SY Coleman has also worked on the Arrow missile defence system, deployed in Israel, and is involved in the US national missile defence programme. Garner joined SY Technologies, taken over last year by L-3, in 1997, after leaving the US army.
Defence analyst David Armstrong of the Washington-based National Security News Service says: 'It seems inappropriate for somebody to step into a humanitarian and administrative role from a company with a role in providing equipment which, albeit defensive, is vital to the success of the US operation.'
Phil Bloomer of Oxfam said 'The worst case scenario would be to put in charge of the reconstruction someone from the US or UK linked to the arms or oil industries.'
According to its website, SY Coleman provides technical services such as missile system engineering and target system design for a wide range of US military programmes, and also makes some components. It also provides operational services such as battle management and 'warfighter support'.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that it was a Patriot missile that was involved when a British Tornado was hit last week.
Jack Tyler, an SY Coleman senior vice-president, confirmed that Garner still held his position at the company.
26 March 2003
Lieutenant-General Jay Garner, the co-ordinator for civilian administration in Iraq, put his name in October 2000 to a statement blaming Palestinians for the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence and saying that a strong Israel was an important security asset to the United States.
The statement was sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa), which pays for retired US military officers to visit Israel for security briefings by Israeli officials and politicians. Richard Perle, one of the architects of the US invasion of Iraq, is a member of the institute's board of advisers, as was Vice-President Dick Cheney before he took office in 2001.
Lt-Gen Garner went on Jinsa's annual trip to Israel in 1998. Two
years later, he and 42 other senior retired officers said: "We are
appalled by the Palestinian political and military leadership that
teaches children the mechanics of war while filling their heads with
hate. The security of the state of Israel is a matter of great
importance to US policy in the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean,
as well as around the world. A strong Israel is an asset that
American military planners and political leaders can rely on"
Kuwait City - Inside a row of luxury villas along the Persian Gulf here, a group of retired American generals, serving military officers and American diplomats are plotting Iraq's future inside a cocoon of secrecy.
Headed by a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, Jay M. Garner, the group is charged with everything from overseeing Iraq's reconstruction to providing humanitarian relief to establishing and running a new government for Iraq.
Almost nothing is known about Garner's plans - "My impression is Jay Garner does not think highly of the Fourth Estate," said an American official who knows the retired three-star general - although bits and pieces about what a post-war Iraq will look like have seeped from his obsessively secret organization.
Confronting Garner are prodigious obstacles to any realistic transformation of Iraq, a country that has been brutalized by the Saddam Hussein regime for 24 years. The country has been at war for nearly two decades, first against Iran; then it was driven from Kuwait after its invasion in 1990, and now under relentless attack, it has been effectively hived off in two with the creation of an autonomous Kurdish republic in the north.
"This is the biggest thing we have done since Lucius Clay," said an American official, referring to the military governor of Germany from 1947 to 1949, the man who succeeded Dwight D. Eisenhower and who oversaw the final de-Nazification of Germany.
Like post-war Germany, one of the most formidable tasks, according to officials familiar with discussions, is how to excise the Baath Party from Iraqi society. The party retains control of everything from the school system to the distribution of food supplies, to the secret police to the running of the oil industry.
An American official familiar with the group's plans, and who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, "This is one of the big issues. How do you get rid of an organization that is so infiltrated into the society?"
The creation of the Iraqi Interim Authority March 15 by the Bush administration has drawn strong criticism. Many countries, particularly those opposed to the war, maintain that only the United Nations possesses the legitimacy to head the rebuilding of the country. Last week French President Jacques Chirac vehemently opposed a British proposal for Security Council authorization of an Anglo-American administration of post-war Iraq.
Aware of the building pressure for international participation in determining the shape of Iraq's rebuilding, members of the Garner mission concede that their work may eventually be superseded by a broader international effort.
But the group's efforts still face serious complications, including potential Arab sensibilities over the background of its leader. Garner, a 64-year-old Floridian who retired from the Army in 1997, has come under fire recently for visiting Israel with the sponsorship of a right-wing group that says the United States needs Israel to project U.S. force in the Middle East.
In October 2000, Garner put his name to a statement blaming Palestinians for the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence and saying that a strong Israel is an important security asset to the United States. The statement was sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, which pays for senior retired U.S. military officers to visit Israel for security briefings.
But some officials say Garner's role as director of Operation Provide Comfort, the program that provided food and shelter to the Kurds in northern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, gives him valuable insight for the rebuilding effort. Garner's mission then was so successful that he was heralded by the Kurds as he left.
Now, Garner is set to become the overlord of Iraq. Under him will be, in effect, three governors general, one each for the north, the center and the south of the country. Two retired generals, Bruce Moore and Buck Walters, will be assigned to the north and the south, respectively. The most important, and sensitive region, the center dominated by the capital Baghdad, will fall under the governorship of Barbara Bodine, a former American ambassador to Yemen. The new administration plans to keep as many key Iraqi breaucrats, including former civil servants now in exile, as possible.
Already there are several hundred members of Garner's mission here in Kuwait, divided into teams to plot the distribution of humanitarian relief, the reconstruction of the country and the rebuilding of a civil administration.
Initially, however, it will fall to the British, in the south, and the U.S. Army elsewhere, to establish the first elements of an administrative infrastructure and the core delivery systems for relief.
"The priority is water," said Col. Chris Vernon, the spokesman for British forces in Iraq and Kuwait.
In the meantime, the hectic pace of events and the fact that Garner only arrived last week has entailed a good deal of confusion and miscommunication. When President George W. Bush announced Sunday that humanitarian assistance would begin arriving within 36 hours, one member of the Garner team quipped, "Bush said relief supplies would begin in 36 hours. Nobody told us."
Retired Army Lieutenant General Jay M. Garner knows firsthand the ethnic rivalries that plague Iraq. After the first Gulf War ended in 1991, he was the top U.S. military official in the north, overseeing the resettlement of Kurds. An uprising against Saddam Hussein had failed, and thousands of Kurds made a beeline to the mountains, fearing reprisals by Iraqi troops despite the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish zone.
Garner coaxed them back down by persuading Saddam's troops to withdraw, then turning the northern town of Zakhu into a tent-filled way station to provide food, water, medicine, and a free ride home. At one tense point in Operation Provide Comfort, Garner had to face down well-armed Kurdish guerrillas preying on fellow Kurds in an attempt to impose their own rule. Garner managed to talk his way out of this and many other tight spots -- and, according to press reports at the time, was even carried on the shoulders of one thankful group of refugees, like a coach whose team had just won the big game.
All that should soon come in plenty handy. Garner, a close friend of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, is about to burst on the Iraq scene again. Only this time, the press-shy, 38-year veteran has been tapped by President George W. Bush to run the entire country as the top civilian under General Tommy R. Franks. Once Saddam is ousted, Garner, as head of the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction & Humanitarian Assistance, will oversee everything from distributing food and medicine to pumping oil to purging Saddam loyalists from the ruling Baath Party. It's a job that could once again make him a local hero -- or frustrate the U.S. as it tries to show a skeptical world that its botched prewar diplomacy won't mean a botched postwar peace. Already, critics worry that Garner's ties to Israel could make him the wrong man to run the show in Iraq.
Garner, 64, is stepping into what may prove to be the toughest job on earth. He will attempt to make a functioning civil society out of the tatters of Iraq's institutions. He has a plan to achieve this -- but he's not willing to go public. And while Garner has sought to calm the fears of nongovernmental organizations and U.N. programs that they will be cut out of the action, he is unwilling to share details with them either. He would not comment for this story.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others have made it clear that Garner's role is to pave the way for an interim Iraqi authority to take over many government functions as quickly as possible. Garner will immediately divide the country into three regions, each with its own American civilian leader reporting to him. He'll also name three other assistants -- one each for reconstruction, civil administration, and humanitarian assistance. Another early task: appointing an advisory council of Iraqi expats and other technocrats who stayed behind but show no loyalty to Saddam.
While Garner is widely admired for his work with the Kurds, he has his critics. Michael Young, a leading columnist in Lebanon who writes often about Islamic issues, says Muslims are suspicious of Garner because of his strong ties to Israel. It's easy to see why. In 2000, Garner signed a statement by the conservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, praising Israel for its handling of the Palestinian intifada. And as president of SY Technology, a unit of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc., Garner worked closely with Israeli security to develop its Arrow missile-defense system. "There is the problem of credibility if you have someone who can be tagged as [Zionist]," says Young.
Credibility was a problem after the first Gulf conflict, too. Part
of Garner's job then was to deploy the Patriot missile to protect
Israelis against incoming Iraqi Scuds. While he told a skeptical
Congress that the Patriot was effective, Defense officials many years
later pronounced it a dud. This time, Garner won't be able to
sugarcoat events. His success or failure will be on display for the
entire world to see.
By Paula Dwyer in Washington and Laura Cohn in
Times leaks secret UN blueprint for post-war Iraq
By Julie Hyland
8 March 2003
World Socialist Web Site
The United Nations has drafted a confidential blueprint for administering Iraq, following a US-led attack on the country. The London Times claims to have seen the plan and quoted sections from it in its March 5 edition.
According to the newspaper, the UN began secretly working on a plan for government in post-war Iraq last month. This is despite the fact that Security Council agreement for a military attack has yet to be given.
The Times alleges that The UN is breaking a taboo, and arguably breaching its charter, by considering plans for Iraqs future governance while it deals daily with President Saddam Husseins regime as a legitimate member... a clause in the UN Charter bars it from interfering in a member states internal affairs. When Mr. Annan wanted to discuss contingency plans for war-time humanitarian operations with the Security Council last month, Russia insisted that he do so informally in his own office rather than in the council chamber.
But the newspaper reports that Louise Frechette, the Canadian deputy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who ordered the report to be drawn up, held a 90-minute meeting on March 3 with Lieutenant-General Jay Garner, the former US Army general predicted to act as US governor of post-war Iraq. Garner is in charge of the Pentagon office of reconstruction and humanitarian affairs, which is currently assembling a number of Iraqi exiles and US advisers to act as a government in waiting and to take over Iraqs major ministries and public works agencies, following war, the newspaper reports.
A six-member group drew up the 60-page document at the UNs New York headquarters. The Times reports, UN sources expected the plan to be implemented even if the US goes to war without a UN resolution authorising military action. It recommends that the UN immediately appoint a senior official to co-ordinate its strategy, who would become the UN special representative in post-war Iraq.
The blueprint envisages the US occupying Iraq for three months after a successful war, before handing over to a UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, (UNAMI). The UN has apparently ruled out establishing a full-scale administration, as in Kosovo. The plan states that the UN should avoid taking direct control of Iraqi oil or becoming involved in vetting Iraqi officials for links to the President or staging elections under US military occupation. This is a somewhat pathetic attempt to distance the UN from the predatory designs of the Bush administration towards Iraq, given the apparent intention to collaborate with all other aspects of Washingtons policies and to assume direct responsibility for a semi-protectorate.
The assumption that the US would be prepared to cede control to the UN after just three months is optimistic to say the least. More important politically is the UNs open endorsement of a US occupation of Iraq. The document indicates that the UN is not entirely satisfied with outright occupation by the US, but sees little alternative to it. The group found that, although a UN-led transitional administration may seem more palatable than an administration by the occupying power, there are key drawbacks to a transitional administration: the UN does not have the capacity to take on the responsibility of administering Iraq, the document states.
Nonetheless, the UN clearly envisages playing a central role in post-war Iraq at some point. The document states, The considered opinion of the pre-planning group is that, while public statements assert that the coalition forces will be responsible for military and civil administration in the immediate period following the conflict, the likelihood of a more substantial involvement of the UN in the transition (post-three month) phase cannot be discounted.
The plan is couched in the language of humanitarianism and democracy. The preferred option for the UN is a UN assistance mission that would provide political facilitation, consensus-building, national reconciliation and the promotion of democratic governance and the rule of law, it states.
Full Iraqi ownership is the desired end-state whereby a heavy UN involvement is unnecessary. The people of Iraq, rather than the international community, should determine national government structures, a legal framework and governance arrangements.
These are weasel words, however. The UNs secret blueprint is presaged on a war carried out without any legal or moral legitimacy, and in flagrant violation of international convention, with the express aim of subordinating the Iraqi people, and the countrys resources, to the imperialist great powers. Having stood by and facilitated such action, the UN will not suddenly rediscover the Iraqi peoples rights. It will be exposed as complicit in these crimes.
The document hints at the UNs real role under such circumstances. It foresees that pressure for greater UN participation will build: As the extent of coalition force control becomes apparent, the Security Council and, indeed, members of the coalition forces may feel that UN involvement may be welcome in certain areas.
In other words, as the neo-colonial character of the US takeover of Iraq becomes ever more apparent, the UN will be required to step in and provide a cloak of international legitimacy.
The document describes the UNs role in post-Saddam Iraq as being based around the Afghanistan model. The plan presents this as an example of enlightened and altruistic self-governance, explaining how in Afghanistan the UN worked with US officials to set up an interim administration through which to run the country.
In reality the present Afghanistan administration functions as a smokescreen to obscure the fact that the countrys future is decided not in Kabul, but in Washington. An unstable mix of rival warlords has been imposed over the heads of the Afghani people. Not one of the 29 ministers of Afghanistans transitional administration was elected. They were all appointed by the transitional president, Hamid Karzai, who himself was selected by the US.
The UN has not disputed the existence of the plan. Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Annan, confirmed that a small working group had been established in case there is a conflict, but denied there was any assumption of war. US officials said that no decision had yet been made as to whether there should be an interim UN period between a US-run administration and a new Iraqi government.
A PENTAGON department is creating a blueprint for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, which involves seizing the countrys oilfields and weapons stockpiles, maintaining civil order by military force, rebuilding its schools and writing a constitution.
The new department has more than 30 staff and is headed by the retired Army Lieutenant-General Jay Garner, who had a leading role in Operation Provide Comfort, the post-Gulf War effort to aid displaced Kurds and refugees.
Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, insisted on Wednesday that America had no plans to claim Iraqs oilfields or use its petroleum revenue to recoup the cost of war. He said the oilfields would be held in trust for the Iraqi people.
The Pentagon team may be sent to the Gulf before a war and move into the country as soon as hostilities cease, to co-ordinate assistance from governments, non-governmental agencies and private businesses. Its first priority would be to rebuild schools, roads and hospitals.
Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, said Mr Garner was
brought in to begin the process of thinking through all of the
kinds of things that would be necessary in that early
- More Information on the Zionist
Genocide in Iraq
- Back to English
- To Radio Islam´s Pages in Other Languages