Iraqi Defense, Intelligence Chiefs Named

With less than three months remaining before the United States hands political power over to Iraqis, the U.S.-led coalition announced on Sunday the appointment of an Iraqi defense minister and chief of national intelligence.

Ali Allawi (search), the interim trade minister, will become defense minister. It was not immediately clear whether Allawi would continue to hold the trade ministry portfolio.

L. Paul Bremer (search), the coalition's administrator, said Allawi was one of those who "rejected" Saddam Hussein's Baath Party (search).

The coalition also announced the appointment of Mohammed al-Shehwani (search) as head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service.

"These organizations will give Iraqis the means to defend their country against terrorists and insurgents," Bremer said at a press conference.

Al-Shehwani, a former Iraqi air force officer and regional pole-vaulting champion, fled Iraq in 1990. Attempts by Saddam Hussein to force him to return, including executing three of his sons, failed.

Bremer said both the ministry and the intelligence body will be open to public scrutiny and that under the interim constitution, civilian control of the military is guaranteed.

"Iraq has too much sad experience in unbridled power," he said.

Bremer said the intelligence service would not have the power to arrest people and would not be allowed to intervene in politics.

Last month, the coalition announced the formation of the Defense Ministry, nearly 10 months after it dissolved Saddam's entire security and defense apparatus.