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Iraq wmd war (2003)

Iraq attack, February 2003 (pre-war):

Iraq attack:
How to supplement the US budget

by Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

“ This confrontation is not, and cannot possibly be, a money-maker for the United States. Only someone ignorant of the easy-to-ascertain realities could think that the United States could profit from such a war, even if we were willing to steal Iraq’s oil, which we emphatically are not going to do.”

Douglas J. Feith

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, ‘Post-War Planning’, Testimony, February 11 2003, Hearings: ‘The Future of Iraq’, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, US Congress 108-1

Occupation costs

Say you’re President of the United States; you’ve wrecked a hard-won balanced budget; and once again the national debt is soaring by hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Yet, you’ve got your new projects you hope will make you famous (tax-cuts, star-wars, AIDS relief).

Though you have no earthly idea what to do about this, those around you have a plan. It’s a license to print money, and here it is:

  Conquer a rich country with 10% of the world’s oil reserves producing an already existing revenue-stream from operating oil fields.

  Set-up a military dictatorship—the US Military Government of Iraq (USMGI)—which is legally entitled to pay its costs of occupation from those oil revenues.

  Transfer to the USMGI the payroll of the 300,000 troops used to conquer the country (now an occupation force).

  Sell or lease to the USMGI the hardware used to conquer the country, unexpended ordnance, logistic/maintenance facilities. This, for pacification and defense of the occupied territory. Use the original acquisition cost, include maximum spare parts, and add cost of transport to Iraq.

  Contract with the USMGI to operate and maintain this equipment (a service agreement). This might justify per year, say 25% of the cost of the equipment (crew training, maintenance, accounting, management).

  Contract with the USMGI to provide defense services against external threats (an occupation expense) from ‘terrorists’ or others who may seek to liberate Iraq from the new military dictatorship. This includes most US operations in the Gulf region (Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Diego Garcia), including naval forces there, because their new primary task will be to provide defense of the USMGI. And, intelligence, satellite, NSA operations in the US, because they too will be providing defense services to the USMGI.

The effect of this plan is to shift from US taxpayers onto Iraq’s oil revenues part of the $380 billion annual US defense budget. A nice piece of business. Let’s see now, how much does that add up to so far?:

Payroll: This depends on the mix of officers ($26,200-142,500/year), enlisted wo/men ($12,775-50,170), and warrant officers ($25,600-62,000) and their years of service (about 60% more than 4 years). That’s their basic pay. Let’s say 300,000 people at $40,000/year. That’s $12 billion/year. But, we have to double that (based on historical data) because their ‘regular military compensation’ also includes housing, food, and tax benefits; and in addition they also get pension accruals, combat-pay, flight-pay, sea-pay, transport, health-care, family allowance, family separation allowance, clothing, and more. That’s $24 billion/year.

Apache AH-64D helicopters, with all the trimmings (spare parts, missiles and such), about $80 million each, based on the sale of 8 to Singapore in 1998 at $77.5 million/each (excluding the $3.6 million Longbow Fire Control Radar). The US Army has 800+ AH-64s in operation (not all are D-models); they have to be stored somewhere; they might as well be parked in Iraq, so Iraq can pay for them, and the routine training for the next decade. Let’s say 600 Apache AH-60Ds at $80 million each: that’s $48 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

Blackhawk H-60 helicopters, with all the trimmings (spare parts, armaments and such), about $20 million each? (I haven’t got there yet). The Army has about 1,540 of these in operation and the Air Force and Navy have their own specialized versions. Let’s plan on 1,000 in Iraq, at $20 million each: that’s $20 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

F/A-18 Hornet fighter/attack aircraft, with all the trimmings (spare parts, armaments and such), about $100 million each (E/F models)? (I haven’t got there yet). The US Navy and Marine Corps have about 1,500 of these. Let’s plan on 500 in Iraq, at $100 million each: that’s $50 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter/attack aircraft, with all the trimmings (spare parts, armaments and such), about $75 million each (C/D models), based on the sale of 48 to Poland announced in 2002 at $73 million each and the sale of 10 to Chile at $70 million each, finalized in 2002. The US Air Force took delivery of 2,216 of these, and has about 1,000 in operation. Let’s put 500 in Iraq, at $75 million each: that’s $37.5 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft, with all the trimmings (spare parts, armaments and such), about $85 million each (I model), based on the sale of 30 to Israel announced in 1998 at $83.3 million/each. The US Air Force took delivery of about 2,000 of these, and has about 500 in operation. Let’s put 200 in Iraq, at $85 million each: that’s $17 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft, with all the trimmings (spare parts and such), about $200 million each (B model)? (I haven’t got there yet). The US Air Force has about 140 of these. Let’s put 50 in Iraq (because there’ll be a lot of construction in the early years of occupation, and there’re all those T-bone steaks for the 300,000 troops), at $200 million each: that’s $10 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

E-3 Sentry (AWACS) ‘airborne warning and control system’ aircraft, with all the trimmings (spare parts, comms, radar and such), about $1 billion each (a guess). The US Air Force has 33 of these. Let’s put 8 in Iraq for air traffic command and control of routine CAPs (combat air patrols) and to surveil Iran, Syria, the Gulf (it’s an NSA platform as well), at $1 billion each: that’s $8 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, with all the trimmings (spare parts and such), about $6 million each. The US Army has about 4,400 of these, and the Marine Corps about 400. We’ve got to park them somewhere; so why not Iraq: They’re useful to remind the locals who’s boss (and, of course, to remind Iran who’s next). Let’s keep 3,000 in Iraq, at $6 million each: that’s $18 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq (big bucks).

Heavy Equipment Transporter System (HETS), about $600,000 each, comprising the M1070 tractor ($254,582) and the M1000 trailer ($341,756). They transport 1 tank plus the tank crew. The US Army has about 2,400 of these and the Marines, I don’t know. Let’s put 2,000 in Iraq, at $600,000 each: that’s $1.2 billion, but let’s add 25% for spare parts and call it $1.5 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq. I guess they’re still using several thousand of the previous versions (M911/M747), but we’ll put the expensive ones in Iraq, as they’re already there and Iraq will be paying for them.

M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS), with all the trimmings (spare parts and such), about $4 million each. The US Army has about 7,000 of these. Like the tank, we’ve got to park them somewhere. Let’s keep 4,000 in Iraq, at $4 million each: that’s $16 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

Light Armored Vehicles (LAV), with all the trimmings (spare parts and such), about $2 million each. The US Army has 2,131 of these on order and there are previous versions. Let’s put 2,000 in Iraq, at $2 million each: that’s $4 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

HMMWV: ‘High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, with all the trimmings (spare parts and such), about $100,000 each. The US Marine Corps has 25,000 of these and the Army, I don’t know, probably 200,000+. Not every soldier in Iraq needs one, but Iraq is paying for them, and Detroit needs the jobs; so let’s give one for every 4 soldiers and put 75,000 in Iraq, at $100,000 each: that’s $7.5 billion, plus cost of transport to Iraq.

(There’s a lot more)

Rough summary:

US occupation costs payable by Iraq

Equipment$ billion


48.0 Apache AH-64D helicopters 


20.0 Blackhawk H-60 helicopters 


50.0 F/A-18 Hornet fighter/attack aircraft 


37.5 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter/attack aircraft 


17.0 F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft 


10.0 C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft 


8.0 E-3 Sentry (AWACS) aircraft 


18.0 M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank 


1.5 Heavy Equipment Transporter System (HETS) 


16.0 M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems (BFVS) 


4.0 Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) 


7.5 HMMWVs 

Other (not yet detailed, includes transport) 


Total immediate cash reimbursement 

$ 436.0

$ 436.0

Annual costs$ billion

Payroll: 300,000 occupation personnel 


Service: Equipment maintenance/operation 


External defense: Gulf force, US intelligence 


Total annual cash reimbursement 

$ 124.0

$ 126.0

Note: incremental costs v. reimbursable costs


Iraqi oil revenues

But can Iraq pay that much? No. It’s rich, but not that rich, not at the moment ($13 billion/year oil exports, ie: in addition to what it uses internally). But, it can get a lot richer pretty fast under US control ($25 billion/year?), and richer still in due course, as it has vast undeveloped oil and gas fields, the second largest reserves in the world (behind Saudi Arabia).

Note: details

Note: oil for food

Iraqis have to eat, and bleeding Iraq’s remaining oil revenues into the US Treasury at the rate of $10 billion/year or even $20 billion/year won’t balance the US budget-deficit, which US President George W. Bush has now ballooned to over $300 billion/year, not counting the estimated cost of conquest (another $95 billion).

Query: Is this an estimate of incremental costs? Or, instead, is it mostly money the US is spending anyway, war or no (payroll, equipment operation and maintenance, intelligence and such)? And was it leaked as mere propaganda, to make war appear a bad bargain (to refute one of the suspected motives for war)? Though, spending $100 billion to acquire a revenue-stream of $10/20 billion/year from Iraqi oil revenues for a decade:– this is a deal any Wall Street investor would grab in a moment. And, there’re the kickers:– additional enormous private profits/taxes of the US oil/service companies and private joint-ventures. And the political objectives:– installing permanent military bases in the heart of the middle-east. Also, how much is this estimate padded with a replacement-reserve contingency for damaged equipment (which may end-up unscathed)?; how much for ordinance which can be replaced over several future years?; and how much of it is a reimbursable occupation cost, per the above summary?

But $10 billion here and there adds up, as do US income taxes on the huge profits awaiting US oil companies (and oilfield service companies) from taking-over Iraq’s oilfields, though US tax-benefits for the oil industry may reduce those expectations. And, of course, there’s the immense, and lasting, gratitude these oil industry companies will feel towards those political leaders who made their windfall riches possible.


US Military Dictator of Iraq

Whatever Iraq can afford to pay, the United States is entitled to 100% of it for its military occupation costs—not the Iraqi citizens—as the above summary demonstrates, even if you give or take a few hundred billion dollars.

And, how much Iraq can afford to pay, and how much the US is entitled to demand, and how much will the US allow Iraq to keep—these three decisions belong solely to US President George W. Bush, as commander-in-chief of his military dictator of Iraq.

And, his decisions are final—no matter how arbitrary, how secret, and how plainly they may violate international law: The US will not permit lawsuits against it on such issues in any court. And, the US will not, in any event, obey orders of the United Nation’s International Court of Justice (Nicaragua v. United States), even were a nation—aggrieved over loss of existing oil contracts (eg: Russia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan)—able to sue the USA there—rare, ever since US President Ronald Reagan withdrew the US from the UN Court’s compulsory jurisdiction (April 6 1984).

So too, the quota decision:– how much oil to pump and how fast to pump it. That decision too is solely for US President George W. Bush and nobody else and his decision is final.

And what of Iraq’s existing oil contracts? Can US President George W. Bush void all existing oil contracts and grant new ones to such US oil companies, and on such terms, as he specifies? Certainly so, and despite what any law may say. And if the US military commander President Bush installs as his military dictator of Iraq won’t obey his commander-in-chief’s orders, that puppet-dictator won’t be long in the job—such is government by chain-of-command (dictatorship).

Who can the existing contract-holders sue and in what court? Not the US, not in a US court, and not in the UN’s own International Court of Justice.

Might it be, that this absolute, unbridled, unaccountable power of US President George W. Bush as Military Dictator of Iraq partly explains opposition to his leadership, and skepticism of his claims? Do decades of US refusal to be held to account in any court for claims against it by foreigners now inform their opposition, and justify their skepticism? Would these millions feel differently if Nelson Mandella were President? And what if the US would first agree to a Charter for its Military Government of Iraq, restricting the US President’s absolute power?

When it comes to international justice, the US proudly respects only one authority:– force. This lesson, the US has patiently taught ‘terrorists’ over and over again, for decades. So long as the US continues its refusal to resolve international disputes peaceably in a courtroom, violent countermeasures will remain the sole remedy the US permits to the victims of its wrongdoings. Thus, ‘terrorism’ against the US will never cease, because justice and the rule-of-law entitle victims to a remedy for wrongdoings. And as for innocent civilians, this last-resort legal remedy, sadly, includes an eye for an eye (a species of self-defense). Witness Iran Air 655 (290 innocent victims, July 3 1988) and Pan Am 103 (270 innocent victims, Dec. 21 1988).

Just as respect breeds respect, so too contempt breeds contempt.

In the end there’s only one defense against terrorism:– respect.

And the best thing about it:– it’s free.


Motives and needs

In assessing the motives for war:

  It’s one thing to sacrifice for the humanitarian benefit of mankind (to remove a dangerous dictator).

  It’s another thing if, by conquest, politicians can grab windfall profits for a decade or so, to ameliorate budget deficits at home—an otherwise talisman of their political doom.

In assessing the need for war:

  If you believe their motives are humanitarian in the face of huge sacrifice, you will likely feel confident that the politicians believe what they claim, when they advocate war.

  But, when profit enters the picture—and especially large profits—if you then feel it’s unlikely they believe their own claims, you’ll certainly have plenty of company.

And if you perceive additional motives, these too may influence your feelings:

  Installing military bases to intimidate the heart of the Middle East, permanently.

  Setting oil production quotas and granting long-term oil contracts to whom they please, who will all be grateful for a product with a guaranteed market at a guaranteed profit with zero risk.


Charter of the US Military Government of Iraq

US officials have created millions of skeptics and opponents.

Yet, curiously, the bulk of these millions agree with the essence of the US plan. It’s the plan’s sponsors they don’t trust. And not merely about the trigger for war. They think they know what’s coming next.

US officials can easily banish suspicions about their intentions, and substantiate their belief about the need for an early war.

They only have to surrender their occupation powers:– to bleed Iraq with occupation cost reimbursements, seize control of Iraq’s oil revenues and oil fields, void existing oil contracts and grant new ones, censor the press and outlaw free speech, prohibit access to the country and internal travel, dictate the policies of their puppet civilian government, duration of their occupation, development of the new constitution, and such.

These occupation powers are of little interest to US officials. They don’t intend to exploit Iraq. They insist their concern is for the Iraqi people, their motives are pure, their intentions honorable, their beliefs genuine, and the world is in great peril.

Surely, to prove their skeptics wrong, to banish suspicions, to secure international support, they will transfer their absolute power over Iraq’s immense wealth to a committee, universally trusted and absolutely incorruptible:– the Nelson Mandellas, Jimmy Carters, Tony Benns of this world.

And surely they will consent for the United States to be sued for claims arising from their Iraq conquest/occupation, and obey court orders.

The committee of trustees can then create and supervise the necessary impartial committees. Like this:

  An Occupation Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to determine the size and nature of the occupation force, equipment, and services which Iraq is required to pay for.

  An Audit Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to authenticate and certify reimbursement claims which the USMGI makes on the Iraqi oil revenues.

  A Disputes Forum, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to resolve disputes pertaining to the occupation, including financial disputes, with authority to issue binding orders.

  A Treasury Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to receive, invest, and disburse all revenues and financial assets belonging to Iraq, including all proceeds from the exploitation of oil.

  An Oil Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to establish and administer all contracts for the exploration, exploitation, and transport of Iraqi oil, with equal and free access by competitive tenders/bids to all the world’s oil companies, including Iraqi. And, to specify oil pumping quotas, to best serve Iraq by preserving its oil reserves for future generations and maximizing current prices.

  A Constitution Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to supervise the drafting of a Constitution with public participation with a view to establishing a domestic Iraqi Government and termination of the US military dictatorship at the earliest possible moment.

  A Law-Enforcement Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to supervise public order, policing, investigation, and arrest of offenders, including those to be charged with pre-occupation crimes.

  A Judicial Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to supervise the detention, prosecution, defense, trial, and punishment of those arrested.

  An Appointments Committee, staffed two-thirds by non-US/UK officials, to appoint members of the committees and their staff.

  A Charter of Liberties, guaranteeing free speech and a free press (no military censorship) including freedom to criticize the new military dictatorship and advocate its abolishment, free access to the country (no military restriction on visas), free travel within the country (no military-designated no-go zones, except for military bases themselves), open public access and televising of all meetings of all committees, and democratic government.


A committee of Saints? February 25 2003

To understand opposition to Bush & Co:–


1. Occupation law: How much of Iraq’s wealth can the US legally seize?

2. Discretion: Can G.W.Bush dictate exploitation of Iraq’s oil?

3. Remedies: Can anyone contest what G.W.Bush does?


1. The US is legally entitled to 100% of Iraq’s export revenues ($13 billion) after feeding Iraqis (G.W.Bush can ensure that US occupation costs will exceed Iraq’s revenues, a simple shift of part of the US defense budget off US taxpayers and onto Iraq’s oil revenues).

2. The US Military is the government of Iraq during the US occupation, and so can legally grant contracts, in Iraq’s name, to US oil/service companies, as the commander-in-chief directs (G.W.Bush).

3. The US does not permit lawsuits against it in any court, on such issues; thus, the US can act unlawfully with impunity.

This is the blueprint of imperialism: absolute, unrestrained power over another nation, which can be contested only by force.

STEPHEN1776 wrote (374.23 in reply to 374.2):

“Transfer their power over Iraq to a ‘committee’ of Carter, Mandella, et al.? How about this for a quaint idea — Transfer power in Iraq following a war to a ‘committee’ of Iraqis nominated and vetted by the world community, with the promise of free and full elections within 18-months. You know, let the Iraqis run Iraq for a change. Why let a group of outsiders do it, even if it is Saints Jimmy, Nelson & Co?”

Who gets the oil contracts, and on what terms, are matters of discretion. Skeptics expect G.W.Bush to exercise his right to appoint decision-makers who will follow his orders; he has no obligation to obey the nominations and vettings of the ‘world community’. And even if he did, his power to pay and reward them, and to fire them, holds them in his power.

Saints Jimmy, Nelson & Co can select and pay Iraqi decision-makers who are free to consider solely the best interests of Iraq in exercising discretion over billions of dollars in contracts.

No promise by G.W.Bush can be enforced in any court; no decision he makes can be contested in any court. And, he can operate in complete secrecy: The lucky big-name oil companies will have to disclose their spoils to investors, but not the privately-held oil companies (including new ones formed for the purpose) which receive oil contracts from G.W.Bush; they can profit secretly from their own operations and also secretly from any subcontracts they may grant to the publicly-owned companies.


“The USA had absolute power over Germany and Italy after WWII, and did what? ‘Turned it over’ to the people of Germany and Italy.” Ditto the Philippines.

These countries had no vast wealth to exploit. This is the first modern offensive war against fabulous wealth, which is guaranteed to succeed.


“Time and time again, ‘U.S. aggression’ and ‘occupation’ has meant one thing: the advent of long-term democracy led by the people of the occupied country.”

Korea? (1945 division of a single country into two by a US military dictatorship, [on orders of President Truman], presiding (1945-1949) over the execution of 100,000 democratic activists, followed (1950-199?) by a succession of puppet military dictatorships).

Iran? (1953 US/UK overthrow of a democratically elected government, and a 26-year reign of terror (1953-1979) by the US-backed Shah [on orders of President Eisenhower. Details: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/ NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/index.html].)

Guatemala? (1954 overthrow of a democratically elected government by a US-backed military dictatorship [on orders of Presidents Truman (a failed 1952 attempt) and Eisenhower, and the murder of about 100,000 citizens by a succession of US-backed military dictatorships. Details: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/ike/guat/ (FRUS, May 15 2003) and http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/ latin_america/guatemala.html and http://www.foia.cia.gov/ search.asp?pageNumber=1& freqReqRecord=Guatemala. txt and http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/ Blum/Guatemala_KH.html].)

Vietnam? (1956 US refusal to honor its 1954 agreement to hold a nationwide election, because 80% of a free and fair vote would elect the national hero Ho Chi Minh, as the CIA assured President Eisenhower who decided instead to declare a single country two, and to make permanent his interim puppet police-state in the South). [Geneva Declaration (July 21 1954) to hold a nationwide election in July 1956 {copy}. US declaration (July 21 1954), agreeing: “to achieve unity through free elections” and “that it will not join in an arrangement which would hinder this.” {copy}.]

Diego Garcia? (1971 ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population of the Chagos archipelago—forced deportation/exile—by the US/UK in partnership [on orders of President Nixon. Details: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ jksonc/5_DiegoGarcia.html].)

Chile? (1973 overthrow of a democratically elected government by a US-backed military dictatorship [on orders of President Nixon. Details: http://www.gwu.edu/ ~nsarchiv/latin_america/chile.htm and http://homepage. ntlworld.com/jksonc/schneider.html].)

Angola? (1975-2002 war to overthrow a democratically elected government initiated (July 1975) by a US-backed army [on orders of President Ford. Details: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB67/ and http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/cuba/US-Cuba/ reuters040102.html].)

Nicaragua? (1982-1990 war to overthrow a democratically elected (1984) government, by the US acting both directly and via its Contra army [on orders of President Reagan]).


“AMERICA DOESN’T WANT TO RULE THE WORLD, or even any part of it, except the USA.”

Except indirectly, via local dictators on the US payroll, or beholden to the US, including US-crafted ‘democracies’ (Central America) where the important political powers are held by non-elected dictators (defense, internal security, foreign policy) and the people get to do the rest (roads, schools, health-care, and such)—a pattern we can expect the US to impose on post-occupation Iraq.


“Meanwhile, it is the Europeans who seek to push their values on America, by doing things like refusing to extradite murderers to the USA for trial because they (the Europeans) have decided that the death penalty is bad, and the people of the USA still support it strongly.”

It’s their legal right to do so, under extradition treaties, if the US refuses to waive the death-penalty. Must others surrender their legal rights on orders of the US?


“It is the Europeans — often socialist, often communist, often fascist — that are seeking to impose their values on the rest of the world. It is for the sake of this Pan-European Union and its desire for “Power” that countries like France and Germany are against the USA.”

France and Germany understand better than most the consequences of the absolute power of a dictator. If they seek to restrain, mediate, moderate G.W.Bush’s absolute dictatorial power over Iraq, is their desire to restrain Power a “desire for Power”? Is restraint of power a value alien to the USA, itself carefully crafted to do so (domestically) by a separation of powers, and a Bill of Rights?


“— and isn’t it curious that France would be part of a Hitlerite Germany right now if it weren’t for the USA. The French should be ashamed of themselves for their naked grab for power at the expense of (a) their USA Allies and (b) the long-suffering Iraqi people, and the Germans should be doubly ashamed for their role as well.”

If the US President and Congress decided the ballooning world population is a threat to the world’s security, is France obliged by history to back a violent criminal plan to exterminate selected populations?

If they hold an informed opinion which differs from the claimed-opinion of US officials, does history require them to abandon their opinion? Or, instead, are they entitled to look to their whole history—including why they they had need of US help in the first place—and assert their opinion?

Should France and Germany feel ashamed to protect the “long-suffering Iraqi people” from economic exploitation by G.W.Bush, political oppression by interim puppet civilian officials of his choosing, and permanent subjugation by a successor form of government—structured, armed, and backed by the US with future US interests in mind—not freely created and staffed by the Iraqi people with Iraqi interests in mind?

Source:  http://forums.washingtonpost.com/wpforums/ messages?msg=374.155 (Forum: ‘Confronting Iraq, Discussion 2.24.2003’, Feb.24 6:41am—Feb.25 6:45am, 173 messages, The Washington Post Company, Washington DC).


Occupation costs:

ICRC flag Laws-of-war: http://www. icrc.org/ eng/ihl

Hague-4: Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land {copy} (The Hague, Oct. 18 1907, Jan. 26 1910), U.S. ratified, Nov. 27 1909, 36 Stat. 2277, status (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, depositary, 1907 Hague Peace Conventions):

* * *

Art 3.  A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said Regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation. It shall be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.

* * *
Annex to the Convention
Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land

* * *
Section III
Military Authority
over the Territory of the Hostile State
* * *

Art 42.  Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

Art 43.  The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.

* * *

Art 46.  Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.

Art 47.  Pillage is formally forbidden.

Art 48.  If, in the territory occupied, the occupant collects the taxes, dues, and tolls imposed for the benefit of the State, he shall do so, as far as is possible, in accordance with the rules of assessment and incidence in force, and shall in consequence be bound to defray the expenses of the administration of the occupied territory to the same extent as the legitimate Government was so bound.

Art 49If, in addition to the taxes mentioned in the above article, the occupant levies other money contributions in the occupied territory, this shall only be for the needs of the army or of the administration of the territory in question.

* * *

Art 52.  Requisitions in kind and services shall not be demanded from municipalities or inhabitants except for the needs of the army of occupation. They shall be in proportion to the resources of the country, and of such a nature as not to involve the inhabitants in the obligation of taking part in military operations against their own country.

Such requisitions and services shall only be demanded on the authority of the commander in the locality occupied.

Contributions in kind shall as far is possible be paid for in cash; if not, a receipt shall be given and the payment of the amount due shall be made as soon as possible.

Art 53.  An army of occupation can only take possession of cash, funds, and realizable securities which are strictly the property of the State, depots of arms, means of transport, stores and supplies, and, generally, all movable property belonging to the State which may be used for military operations.

All appliances, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, adapted for the transmission of news, or for the transport of persons or things, exclusive of cases governed by naval law, depots of arms, and, generally, all kinds of munitions of war, may be seized, even if they belong to private individuals, but must be restored and compensation fixed when peace is made.

* * *

Art 55.  The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.”

Source: http://www.icrc.org/eng/ihl (International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, full-text database of international humanitarian law), added: text {in braces}, highlighting. Also at (University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, Minneapolis Minnesota), and (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford Massachusetts).



US Army, Field Manual 27-10

The Law of Land Warfare {10.3mb.pdf/txt, source} (U.S. Army Field Manual, FM 27-10, July 18 1956, and amendment dated July 15 1976) {SuDoc: D 101.20:27-10, ditto, LCCN: 56062174, OCLC: 39027139, GPOCat, WorldCat} (omits the 1977 Geneva targeting Protocol-1, and other post 1954 laws):

Chapter 6: Occupation

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355. Occupation as Question of Fact.  Military occupation is a question of fact. It presupposes a hostile invasion, resisted or unresisted, as a result of which the invader has rendered the invaded government incapable of publicly exercising its authority, and that the invader has successfully substituted its own authority for that of the legitimate government in the territory invaded.

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364. Occupation Costs.  The economy of an occupied country can only be required to bear the expenses of the occupation, and these should not be greater than the economy of the country can reasonably be expected to bear.

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366. Local Governments Under Duress and Puppet Governments.  The restrictions placed upon the authority of a belligerent government cannot be avoided by a system of using a puppet government, central or local, to carry out acts which would be unlawful if performed directly by the occupant. Acts induced or compelled by the occupant are nonetheless its acts.

367. Functions of Government.

a. Paramount Authority of Occupant.  The functions of the hostile government—whether of a general, provincial, or local character—continue only to the extent they are sanctioned by the occupant.

b. Functions of Local Government.  The occupant may, while retaining its paramount authority, permit the government of the country to perform some or all of its normal functions. It may, for example, call upon the local authorities to administer designated rear areas, subject to the guidance and direction of the occupying power. Such action is consistent with the status of occupation, so long as there exists the firm possession and the purpose to maintain paramount authority.

368. Nature of Government.  It is immaterial whether the government over an enemy’s territory consists in a military or civil or mixed administration. Its character is the same and the source of its authority the same. It is a government imposed by force, and the legality of its acts is determined by the law of war.

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375. Freedom of Movement.  The occupant may withdraw from individuals the right to change their residence, restrict freedom of internal movement, forbid visits to certain districts, prohibit emigration and immigration (but see GC, art. 48; par. 381 herein), and require that all individuals carry identification documents.

376. Commercial Restrictions.  The occupant has the right to regulate commercial intercourse in the occupied territory. It may subject such intercourse to such prohibitions and restrictions as are essential to the purposes of the occupation. The commander of the occupying forces will usually find it advisable to forbid intercourse between the occupied territory and the territory still in the possession of the enemy.

377. Censorship.  The belligerent occupant may establish censorship of the press, radio, theater, motion pictures, and television, of correspondence, and of all other means of communication. It may prohibit entirely the publication of newspapers or prescribe regulations for their publication and circulation. The occupant is not required to furnish facilities for postal service, but may take charge of them itself, especially if the officials of the occupied district fail to act or to obey its orders.

378. Means of Transportation.  The belligerent occupant exercises authority over all means of transportation, both public and private, within the occupied district, and may seize them and regulate their operation.

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396. Title to Captured or Seized Enemy Property.  Public property captured or seized from the enemy, as well as private property validly captured on the battlefield and abandoned property, is property of the United States (see U.S. Const., Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 11), and failure to turn over such property to the proper authorities or disposal thereof for personal profit is a violation of Article 103 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

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425. Taxes.

a. Treaty Provision.  If, in the territory occupied, the occupant collects the taxes, dues, and tolls imposed for the benefit of the State, he shall do so, as far as is possible, in accordance with the rules of assessment and incidence in force, and shall in consequence be bound to defray the expenses of the administration of the occupied territory to the same extent as the legitimate Government was so bound. (HR, art.48.)

b. Surplus.  The first charge upon such taxes is for the cost of the administration of the occupied territory. The balance may be used for the purposes of the occupant.”

Source: http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS49255 (U.S. Army), added: links, text {in braces}, highlighting.


Iraq attack: How to supplement the US budget (pre-war)

Ultimatum: The Bush/Blair lie: France’s veto (March 12-20 2003)

WarTalk-1 (March 20 – April 13 2003: Combat)

WarTalk-2 (April 15-18 2003: Occupation)

The pretexts for war: WMD + France’s veto

National Intelligence Estimate (Oct. 1 2002) (excerpts released July 18 2003) (this page)

Henry Waxman’s letter to Condoleezza Rice (July 29 2003)

David Kay transcript: Annotated, linked, and challenged (Jan. 28 2004, Senate Armed Services Committee)

“Hutton Report: Exemplifying Zealotry”


© 2003 Charles Judson Harwood Jr.

This document may be freely copied.


Posted Jan. 31 2003. Updated April 17 2003.


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