Area Handbook for Iraq

By Harvey H. Smith; William Giloane et al. | Go to book overview

SUMMARY OF EVENTS: MAY 1968-NOVEMBER 1970

In late 1970 the Baath Party and its military leaders were seemingly in firm control of political and military affairs. The Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) was the supreme, indeed the only, legislative and decisionmaking body, and the most influential members of the RCC were senior military officers. Field Marshal Ahmad Hassan al Bakr, president, prime minister, and supreme commander of the armed forces, continued in 1970 to serve as chairman of the RCC, a post that he had held since the RCC was formed immediately after the coup d'etat of July 17, 1968.

In October 1970, however, Vice President (and Air Marshal) Hardan al Tikriti was dismissed from the RCC and the vice presidency and sent into exile. The removal of Tikriti presumably increased the power of the two remaining members of the triumvirate that had dominated Iraq since the coup--Bakr and Vice President (and General) Salih Mahdi Ammash. Until December 1969, Tikriti and Ammash had, in addition to their posts as vice presidents, served respectively as ministers of defense and interior. Their ministerial replacements were two more senior military officers. Most observers in 1970 interpreted the demotion of Tikriti and Ammash and the subsequent banishment of Tikriti as an indication of renewed internecine strife within the Baath Party high command that might in time result in yet another coup d'etat.

The period between May 1968 and late 1970 was marked by numerous public executions of "spies and enemies of the state," by serious quarrels with many foreign governments--including all of its neighbors with the exception of Turkey--and by a generally worsening economic situation. The Baath regime did terminate the nearly ten years of intermittent warfare with the Kurds in northern. Iraq, but in late 1970 various points of disagreement between the Kurds and the government had not been resolved.

The period was also marked by a significant increase in the size of the armed forces and the modernization of its weaponry. Between 1968 and 1970 the size of the military increased by over 10 percent to about 95,000 officers and men. In 1968 Iraq secured seventy medium-sized tanks from France, but since that time most of its major military acquisitions, particularly jet-fighter aircraft, have come from the Soviet Union.

-vii-

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Area Handbook for Iraq
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Preface to the Second Printing v
  • Summary of Events: May 1968-November 1970 vii
  • Bibliogrphy xlv
  • Country Summary xlix
  • Table of Contents liii
  • Contents lv
  • Contents lv
  • Section I. Social 1
  • Chapter 2 - Physical Environment 13
  • Chapter 3 - Historical Setting 27
  • Chapter 4 - Population 47
  • Chapter 5 - Ethnic Groups and Languages 55
  • Chapter 6 - Social Structure 71
  • Chapter 7 - Family 83
  • Chapter 8 - Living Conditions 95
  • Chapter 9 - Education 115
  • Chapter 10 - Artistic and Intellectual Expression 131
  • Chapter 11 - Religion 145
  • Chapter 12- Social Values 161
  • Section Ii. Political 175
  • Chaprer 14 - Political Dynamics 189
  • Chapter 15 - Foreign Relations 203
  • Chapter 16 - Public Information 221
  • Chapter 17 - Political Values and Attitudes 237
  • Section Iii. Economic 243
  • Chapter 19 - Agriculture 251
  • Chapter 20 - Industry 269
  • Chapter 21 - Labor 279
  • Chapter 22 - Domestic Trade 301
  • Chapter 23 - Foreign Economic Relations 309
  • Chapter 24 - Public Finance 321
  • Chapter 25 - Banking and Currency 331
  • Section Iv. National Security 339
  • Chapter 27 - Public Order and Safety 353
  • Bibliography 363
  • Glossary 383
  • Index 387
  • Published Area Handbooks 413
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