Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA): Origin, Characteristics, and Institutional Authorities [Updated June 6, 2005]   [open pdf - 190KB]

"Responsibility for overseeing reconstruction in post-conflict Iraq initially fell to the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA). Established in early 2003, ORHA was headed by Lieutenant General Jay M. Garner, U.S. Army (ret.). By June 2003, ORHA had been replaced, or subsumed, by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which was led by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III. On June 28, 2004, CPA ceased operations. Whether CPA was a federal agency is unclear. Competing, though not necessarily mutually exclusive, explanations for how it was established contribute to the uncertainty about its status. Some executive branch documents supported the notion that it was created by the President, possibly as the result of a National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD). (This document, if it exists, has not been made available to the public.) Another possibility is that the authority was created by, or pursuant to, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 (2003). Finally, two years after CPA was established, a Justice Department brief (see below) asserted that the then-Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) had created CPA. However, considering that the revelation of his role in CPA followed other, somewhat vague and sometimes contradictory explanations or comments about CPA's origin during its 13-month tenure, some might suggest that either of the other two alternatives possibly could still be a valid explanation for the origin of CPA."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32370
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