Daniel Senor

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Daniel Senor is Managing Director and a founding partner of Rosemont Solebury Capital Management. He is an adjunct senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations, an advisor to American Abroad Media and a commentator on the Fox News Channel.

His undergraduate degree is from the University of Western Ontario, and he studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He later attended Harvard Business School, where he completed his MBA. His first job was for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and he was then an aide to Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Michigan); Abraham was later U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Between 2001 and 2003, he worked for the Carlyle Group.

He was then Deputy Press Secretary for President George W. Bush.[1]. Subsequently, during the Iraq War, he was a White House and Defense Department advisor in Pentagon and White House advisor based in Doha, Qatar at United States Central Command Forward Headquarters in Doha, Qatar. He was part of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) and the Coalition Provisional Authority(CPA); he was the CPA spokesman.

Iraq policy

In July 2009, he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about Kurdish tensions in Iraq, in which he recommends that President Obama reduce tension by slowing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.[2] He points out that the relative autonomy of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was granted at a time when Sunni insurgency, al-Qaeda in Iraq and Moqtada al-Sadr militia were critical issues. Unless the Obama Administration averts two problems, Senor says that the Kurdish-Arab issue will become critical. The first is oil-related, and the second is political.

With respect to oil, Kurds and the central government interpret Article 111 of the Iraqi Constitution differently. It states “oil and gas are the property of all the Iraqi people in all the regions and governorates.” To the Kurds, he says "oil is part of a broader KRG strategy to draw international pressure on Baghdad to grant further Kurdish autonomy. "

Politically, Kurdish elections have, in the past, focused the KRG’s power struggle with the national government. A current concern with KRG corruption, according to Senor, Tmay be prompting KRG officials to foment tension with Baghdad in the hope that the perception of external threats will strengthen their position at the polls."

It is Senor's position that the Kurds depend on U. S. troops to enforce the agreements. If most are gone by the end summer 2010, with 35,000 to 50,000 remaining through the end of 2011, the Kurds will be less likely to negotiate if there are no U.S. forces In addition, the lack of U.S. forces might, in his opinion, give al-Qaeda in Iraq an opportunity to support Arab causes in the north.

Senor's suggestion run counter to both declared Obama Administration policy about troop withdrawal, and to the overall Iraqi desire to have foreign troops leave.

References

  1. E.J. Kessler (July 25, 2003), "Campaign Confidential", Jewish Daily Forward
  2. Dan Senor (21 July 2009), "The Kurdish Issue Flares Up in Iraq", Wall Street Journal