Iraqex (Iraqex LLC) was "formed with the backing" of Lincoln Asset Management Group (The Lincoln Group), "with the assistance of a cadre of investors, to pursue private sector opportunities in Iraq. Iraqex brings a unique combination of expertise in collecting and exploiting information; structuring transactions; and mitigating risks through due diligence, legal strategies and security. Iraqex has developed subsidiaries and private equity investments in Iraq spanning commercial real estate, manufacturing, metals, transportation, and communications," its website states.
"Iraqex recently  won a three-year contract to provide all Public Relations, outreach, and media monitoring & analysis for Coalition Forces across Iraq. This includes:
- Providing Strategic Counsel
- Creation of a Strategic Public Relations and Advertising Plan
- Outreach to Target Audiences
- Research, Polling and Media Monitoring
- Production Advice and Support
- Development of Products
- Recruiting, Training, and Preparing local Spokespersons
- Development of a Rapid Reaction Team
- Advanced Information Systems
"This is the PR challenge of the decade: how to alter Iraqis' perceptions of the Coalition Forces. We've been given wide latitude and urged to be creative in the approaches we take. We also have a good budget and use of the Coalition's assets across Iraq.
"Iraqex benefits from strong relationships in Iraq, the U.S. and internationally. In Iraq, it has cultivated relationships with the Iraqi national government, municipalities, tribal leaders, prominent families, and the business community. Iraqex has a thriving network of offices from Basra in the South to Zakho in the North and has worked with over 300 Iraqi journalists. In the U.S., Iraqex partners enjoy select relationships in Congress," the Bush administration, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the U.S. Department of State.
Scope of "Services"
In reference to a September 27, 2004, Agence France Presse article which stated that Iraqex was "a US firm involved in a range of activities from manufacturing construction materials to 'providing logistics' for US forces ...", the Pinto Beans Blog commented December 2, 2005:
- "Odd in this article, that included in the list of services Lincoln Group (Iraqex) that they are providing is 'logistics for US forces'. When was the last time that a simple PR firm provides logistical support? Further, what construction materials are they manufacturing, and are there even more hidden contracts, and or secret operations associated with them? The claim of providing US troops with Logistical support has a certain air of AUTHORITY, and makes one wonder if we are looking at something more along the lines of a company created as political pay back for a host of Bush Cronies, including perhaps various members of the World Intelligence Community when we look briefly at the resume of another [Lincoln Group] board member, Andrew Garfield."
In September 2004, the major public relations contract for the Multi-National Corps-Iraq was awarded to Iraqex, a "business clearinghouse company formed specifically to provide a swath of services in the war-torn country." The Washington DC-based Lincoln Alliance Corporation, a "business 'intelligence' company that handles services from 'political campaign intelligence' to commercial real estate in Iraq," set up Iraqex last year. Iraqex has four Iraq offices, including in Baghdad and Basra. Iraqex will develop video and print publications, purchase TV and radio time, and oversee public affairs and advertising for MNC-I, to ensure "that the Coalition gains widespread Iraqi acceptance of its core themes and messages."
Iraqex subsequently changed its name to Lincoln Group, after its holding company, Lincoln Alliance Corporation. Lincoln Group has a $6 million, 3-year PR contract for the U.S.-led Multi-National Corps-Iraq, for which it "develops video, audio and print products to support MNC-I initiatives." It also published [the] Iraq Business Journal, a "monthly publication on contract opportunities, life in Iraq and classifieds." The publication recently interviewed Grand Ayatolla Ali Al-Sistani, who said foreign investment is acceptable, as long as the investor is not with the "occupation forces" or taking "advantage of any instability." Lincoln Group is still looking for interns.
In the fall of 2004, Christian Bailey formed a Lincoln subsidiary, called Iraqex. The UK's Independent reported in December 2005 that Iraqex "seems to have formed a partnership with another American PR firm called Rendon, famous in Washington for having promoted Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress."
According to a December 11, 2005 New York Times article, Iraqex's "stated purpose was to provide support services for business development, trade and investment in Iraq. The company's earliest ventures there included providing security to the military and renovating buildings. Iraqex also started a short-lived online business publication." The Times also reported on the 2004 partnership between Iraqex and Rendon. Together they "won a $5 million Pentagon contract for an advertising and public relations campaign to 'accurately inform the Iraqi people of the Coalition's goals and gain their support.' Soon, the [Iraqex] changed its name to Lincoln Group. It is not clear how the partnership was formed; Rendon dropped out weeks after the contract was awarded," the Times wrote.
In September 2004, "Christian Bailey, an executive at Iraqex/Lincoln, told O'Dwyer's his company [had] established four offices in Baghdad and other outposts, including an additional operation in Basra. He said Iraqex began handling PR work for private entities in sectors like manufacturing and finance within the country last year and has established close ties with 300-400 members of the Iraqi media."
"The company, which submitted a proposal of $5.5 million for the first year of the sweeping PR and advertising contract, beat five other firms. A contracting officer for the military did not disclose the competitors" to O'Dwyer's "or an email address to this website or in an e-mail to the losing bidders." On Christian Bailey, O'Dwyer's, September 2004. Available by subscription only.</ref>
Iraq Base Camp
The "company's base at Camp Victory (within Baghdad International Airport) and Erbil in the Kurdish North." Job search includes background information on Iraqex, Arab Bankers Association of North America, December 3, 2004; accessed August 9, 2007.</ref>
1130 17th Street NW
Washington DC 20036
Contact: Christian Bailey, Vice President
Phone: +1 (202) 595-1330 x29 Office
Cell: +1 (866) 406-8469
Fax: +1 (202) 595-0208
Email: christian.bailey AT iraqex.com
Fullah Bldg, Third Floor
Harthya, Baghdad, Iraq
Telephone: +964 (790) 144-0207
Source: "Iraq Private Sector Growth and Employment Generation, ECON II," FBO Daily.com, July 25, 2004 [Notice Date July 23, 2004].
- URL http://www.iraqex.com home page captured on http://consummatewaiter.com/ website; additional links do not work.
- URL http://www.iraqex.com will bring up the Iraqex website, but immediately redirects to the Lincoln Group website.
Resources and articles
- Lincoln Group website.
- Marie-Thérèse Abou-Daoud, Job announcement: Vice President, Operations - Iraq, Arab Bankers Association of North America, December 3, 2004.
- "Iraq businesses upbeat despite security fears," Agence France Presse (The Daily Star), September 27, 2004.
- "White House claims it wants answers on Iraq propaganda scandal," Pinto Beans Blog, December 2, 2005.
- ]http://www.odwyerpr.com/members/washington_report/2004/1118iraqex.htm On Iraqex,] O'Dwyer's, September 2004. Available by subscription only.
- On Iraqex, O'Dwyer's. Available by subscription only.
- Andrew Buncombe, "So, just who is Christian Bailey? A 30-year-old Oxford graduate with no public relations experience has been handed a $100m contract by the Pentagon - to plant false stories in Iraqi papers," The Independent (UK), December 17, 2005.
- Jeff Gerth, "Military's Information War Is Vast and Often Secretive," New York Times, December 11, 2005.
- "Iraq businesses upbeat despite security fears," Agence France Presse, September 27, 2004: "Paige Craig, executive vice president of Iraqex, a US firm involved in a range of activities from manufacturing construction materials to 'providing logistics' for US forces, disagreed with the general view that the security situation was deteriorating. ... 'People think it's getting worse because they only pay attention to foreigners (who are being taken hostage and often executed). But it's definitely more secure now than it was' a year ago, he told AFP."
- "Iraq: Advertising the Best Intentions," PR Watch, September 30, 2004.
- John McCaslin, "Inside Track: Risky Affairs," Washington Times, October 6, 2004: " For his end of the bargain, Uncle Sam will provide office space, supplies and e-mail service, along with living space, health care and dining facilities for the firm's employees while in Iraq."
- Bilmon, "Blowback," Whiskey Bar, June 12, 2005.
- Garance Franke-Ruta, "The Lincoln Group's Partisan Staffers," TAPPED, November 30, 2005.
- "Lincoln Group Staffed by Conservative Political Operatives," The Progress Report (Center for American Progress), December 1, 2005. re Jonathan Blessing and Brian Swift
- Lawk Salih: "Latest news and updates on Iraq and the reconstruction efforts."
- WetFeet: "The Internship Search Engine," last updated November 8, 2004.
- Iraqex, ababo.com, undated: "Iraqex has developed a number of businesses in Iraq spanning commercial real estate, manufacturing, metals, transportation, and communications Tel +964 790 137 4965 Baghdad +964 780 101 9240 Basra."
- Advertisement: "IRAQEX: Iraq Business Exchange," Iraq Business Journal, undated. See box in upper righthand corner of page: Iraqex "is pursuing investments and developing joint ventures with local businesses in Iraq. Iraqex staff travel and operate freely throughout the country. We take a very aggressive approach and immerse ourselves in the social, political, and business environments of the varied provinces and cities across Iraq. Our participation in the social, political, and business events of the country provides us with unique insight and understanding of the situation. We rely on a vast group of locals who assist us in security, due diligence, negotiations, relationship building, and other tasks vital to the development of secure, sustainable business." URL: www.iraqex.com.