Fighting Ghosts and Chasing the Wind: The Hero of Tal Afar

Fighting Ghosts and Chasing the Wind: The Hero of Tal Afar
Fighting Ghosts and Chasing the Wind: The Hero of Tal Afar
Fighting Ghosts and Chasing the Wind: The Hero of Tal Afar
Fighting Ghosts and Chasing the Wind: The Hero of Tal Afar
Fighting Ghosts and Chasing the Wind: The Hero of Tal Afar
Fighting Ghosts and Chasing the Wind: The Hero of Tal Afar
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Najim al-Jabouri was a brigadier general when Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed in 2003. Shortly afterwards, Paul Bremer, President Bush's envoy to Iraq and the top civilian administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, banned the ruling Ba'ath party--Saddam’s party. His second decree dismantled the Iraqi Army.
In 2005, the police chief of Nineveh Province offered Najim the position of police chief in Tal Afar, a city of about 150,000 that was controlled by al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates.
Upon arrival, Najim encountered a corrupt ragtag police force and a city at war with itself, Sunni against Shi'a living in overt hostility with each other. Gunfire was the constant soundtrack, much of it directed at the ancient fort that housed the police force. Eventually he served simultaneously as police chief and mayor.
In close collaboration with American Forces, Najim grew his police force, intentionally including Muslims of both major sects, cleared the city of terrorists, and began a program of reform and renewal.
This story follows the experience of an Iraqi officer who went from facing certain defeat against American/Combined Forces to fighting alongside those same forces—in one notable case the same officer—to defeat al Qaeda in Northern Iraq.

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118 pages
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