Things are quiet

And I like that.

Northern Iraq, if you’ve not been following the news, is an interesting place to live these days. 3 of the 7 provinces up here — Ninewa, Salah ad Din, and Diyala — have new provincial governments. New Governors, new Provincial Councils, etc. They also have some new capabilities, thanks to the implementation of the Provincial Powers Law that went into effect with these new governments, maybe most important of which is that the Iraqi Police units in these provinces now answer to the province and the provincial leadership, not the Iraqi Security Forces (i.e. Army, national police, etc).

Why only three? Well, the three provinces that comprise the bulk of the Kurdish Regional Government are set to hold their elections sometime this summer, July I suspect. Why later, and now when the rest of the country held the provincial elections? Ask me over a beer sometime — it’s not such a simple question.

And the seventh? Well, that’d be Al Tamim, aka Kirkuk Province. To be honest, I’m not even willing to make a guess as to when they’ll have provincial elections — Iraq needs to get past the UNAMI and Article 23 issues before Kirkuk will hold elections. If Kurdish elections need a back porch and a cold beer to explain, Kirkuk and Article 23 and all that jazz needs dinner — probably fajitas.

The last thing adding spice to all this, is the upcoming “out of the cities” date. The security agreement between Iraq and the US states that combat forces will be out of the cities and towns by the end of June. And that’s coming up here, pretty quick; that’s coming up, whether the conditions call for it or not. Should be interesting.

Quiet, but interesting.

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