U.S. Council on Foreign Relations: difficult times ahead for Iraq

U.S. Council on Foreign Relations: difficult times ahead for Iraq

Published 15/01/2013 08:39 AM

Babinaoz – Agencies: held Council on Foreign Relations American dialogue important with two major researchers in the affairs of Iraq, two Miguén O’Sullivan, researcher oldest assistance, and Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs in Applied Kennedy School at Harvard University, has conducted dialogue Almshar Assistant Center Bernard Gurtsmon. This translated full:

Iraqi government is facing headed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki difficult times to come, as you say Miguén O’Sullivan is responsible previous large in the Bush administration, which was dealing on Iraq, she says: “I will not be next year years easy for Iraq, and he needs not to deal with a crowd from pressing internal threads, but also with the regional powers and competition – in itself – will be enough to challenge the progress of Iraq. ” It says Maliki is under intense pressure not only Sunni Arabs and Kurds, but from his fellow Shiites, who lead them Muqtada al-Sadr, who now opposes many of the policies pursued by al-Maliki. O’Sullivan says that although Iraq is rich now oil revenues, the average Iraqi did not benefit much. Says: “Most Iraqis Lairon this important revenue to translate into a better life for them and throw the responsibility on the government of incompetence and corruption.”

Q. It has been more than a year since the last U.S. troops left Iraq. How would you describe the situation in which he found there today? Are settled Iraqi political system?

C. The year that has passed since the U.S. troops left, did not materialize when fears the worst was approaching the high expectations of Iraqis and Americans. On the security side, while who Astmrat bombings, there was no serious escalation of violence resulting from the departure of American troops and the full assumption of taking over security responsibilities to Iraqi security forces. In contrast, on the political side, the trend seems bent track, it was the year 2012 is denoted by the continuing political crises, which began almost immediately with the completion of the departure of American troops. Today, the impasse between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government seems more powerful than before, with the possibility of a collision forces the parties two months ago. Political leaders claim the year that their community had been “absorbed” and strongly excluded from the political process; Thousands of Sunnis took to the streets driven by those feelings. Even there is a political crisis within the Shia, with Muqtada al-Sadr accused the prime minister of turning Iraq into a “farce” and sought to rally his supporters in street demonstrations. For the second time in less than a year, practiced observers of the Iraqi situation accounts and trying to report there have been a combined force of the opposition parties have the votes to exercise parliamentary vote of no confidence from the Prime Minister. In the overall picture, the small number of fundamental issues that have worked to disperse the Iraqis has been dealt with, in spite of improvements important in the security situation since 2007 and the departure of U.S. troops. While Iraq is more stable, and has earned its institutions strength and flourish economy in some way, it There was little of reconciliation between groups of the country and did not develop a common view on Iraq – and thus is not available only a thin basis for a reliable forward.

Q. Protests organized by Moqtada al-Sadr against al-Maliki, who was calling for a “spring of Iraq,” similar to what happened in many Arab countries, it looks like it aims to weaken the dominance of Maliki. There are local elections set in the spring in Iraq, but do you think that Maliki will try to dissolve parliament and hold new national elections?

C. Challenges Prime Minister Maliki is not great at the moment a lot with Parliament, but the largest of Iraqi political elite. Has managed the Prime Minister to keep the most elite, even while emphasizing popular among ordinary Iraqis. And early elections, in fact, is one of the demands of political groups opposition For owners that do not want anything except replace the Prime Minister. And this can be achieved either early elections or a vote to withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister. Some will satisfy Maliki’s pledge that he would not seek a third term as prime minister. And the conduct of the vote of no-confidence was tested last summer and failed, mainly because the Sadrist bloc reneged on its pledge to support the measure. Maliki, who angered Kurds, Sunnis, and the Sadrists (who are Shia) simultaneously, it might have push Bhza to the farthest limits at this time. Although the chances of these groups remain united in Parliament, be quite enough to vote no-confidence motion, it is still unlikely, and no less because of the inevitable counter pressure from the Iranians. In theory, the street more than the Parliament, it may be the source of political pressure on al-Maliki, but this will require that merges with Sunni Arabs Sadrists steel Alstreeta. Although there had been efforts in the past few days to achieve this mating, lurks history and a lot of suspicion between the two groups, and to achieve effective integration is a challenge. In addition, most Iraqis after decades of trauma, are not ready to take to the street to change their government (when in a different way, the rest of the Arab Spring) election provided that option.

Q. There was a very difficult time in the year that passed when Maliki sent troops to the border areas. Where the Kurds of all this now?

C. President Massoud Barzani moved in last summer, his efforts to dislodge Prime Minister Maliki and Kurds suffered from the shock of the failed attempt of the time. Maliki was taken against Barzani taken seriously and since that time many of the steps to marginalize the Kurds. The form of a parliamentary committee to determine how the Kurdish regional government condemns Baghdad intended for exports to the penalty. And began to hold cabinet meetings in the disputed areas between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government in an attempt to establish the rule of Baghdad them. Even within the framework of greater concern was the form of al-Maliki “leadership Tigris” a structural field command united the army and police in the disputed territories under the leadership of General and one which is linked to directly Maliki, rather than through the Minister of Defense in the normal chain of command. Maliki also held a range of armament contracts to increase the ability of Iraqi security forces, according to his words is the same: “to fight the terrorists who lived at some time in the mountains.” (Has not gone unnoticed for Kurds, they are the ones who were living at the time in the mountains). In November, there were clashes between Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga forces along the border line is stable for the Kurdish region, and such clashes is not entirely new, but they occur in the increasingly tense climate. In short, always tense relations between Baghdad and Erbil was at all times at their lowest levels since 2003. But, while the bilateral relations may be at a standstill, the evolution of the Kurdish actively proceed. Fifty or nearly oil deals signed by the Kurdish regional government and international oil companies – and expected oil boom economy, which will be achieved with the fruit of those moves – continue to lead the development of a magician in the Iraqi Kurdish region. The estimated trade between Turkey and the Kurdish region of Iraq nearly eight billion dollars of the total nearly $ 11 billion trade volume Iraqi – Turkish, which is the province as well. Especially in light of the tensions continued with Baghdad, the future of the Kurds in large part depends on the pipeline not found currently Kurdish region directly to the north and his ability to convince Turkey that it must accept and must be paid to investigating export Kurdish oil even with objections Baghdad. While such an idea was fictional five years ago, the acclaimed rapprochement between Ankara and Erbil – and growing hostility between Ankara and Baghdad – working to make that vision a grandiose.

Q. Is the economy improves Iraq recently?

C. One can say that the Iraqi economy is booming, and mainly due to oil revenues, which had a remarkable year in 2012. After a few years of evolution frustrating, it has exceeded Iraqi production of three million barrels of oil per day by year-end and it seemed the country withdrawn to gain extra large in 2013; Some estimate that in 2013 that Iraq can break the level of production from any other time and more than three million and ثمنمائة one thousandth barrels of oil per day, a figure achieved in 1979, the year preceding the war waged by the former President Saddam Hussein, the war on Iran. These high levels of production, and float global oil prices because anxiety الجيوبولتيكي, raise returns Iraq to more than a hundred billion dollars a year. However, most Iraqis Iron in this important revenue being translated into a better life for them and blame the government of incompetence and corruption. The electric power is readily available in a more comprehensive way, but from private sellers who are assigned the highest cost, and not from the government. The proceeds of Iraqi oil revenues and developing Weak Almasslat are cause for serious concern. Iraq has all the characteristics of the state that suffer from the “curse of wealth”, a fixed orientation-rich countries grow more slowly compared to those poor countries of wealth.

There twinkle snippets of the signs displaying some light perception of that probability. First, to become Iraq’s largest country in oil production to become compatible with international mechanism to promote transparency in the oil sector. Secondly, the World Bank has just supplying Iraq $ 900 million during the next four years, and mainly to help improve its oil revenues.

Q. In regional conditions, how to treat al-Maliki and his government crisis with Syria? Militants cross the border to Syria on a regular basis? How Maliki line up closely with Iraq until now?

C. Difficult to talk about “foreign policy” of Iraq, because the Iraqi internal divisions mean that there are individuals and different groups defend Sasasat contradictory and build foreign alliances and believe that it can fit their interests. As a result, Iraq as a country is not able fact to impose weight as a regional player because of this issue. Syria is a good example of how different groups have different targets. Maliki has tried to shoot Iraq being neutral in the current conflict, but it is no secret that he and his supporters are afraid of the fall of Assad, not collaborators hundred percent in stopping the flow of Iranian support for Syria. Most observers believe that is that it is evidence that al-Maliki is “continued” to Iran, but the truth is more complicated. And away from any Iranian pressure on Maliki (and there are without doubt some of them) Maliki believes that there is likely to enormous pressure on Iraq will emerge from a post-Assad Syria.

And anticipates many Iraqi Shiites that, when what is success to drop the Alawite regime in Syria, the totals Sunni extremist will shift its focus to Iraq, renewed challenges violence to Baghdad. Maliki and others are right are worried that Syria, which rupture will create significant pressure from the Kurdish region. At While the Assad regime is not clear friend of Baghdad over the past decade, here’s the issue that will preferably Maliki devil you know than the devil for Arafat. In contrast, the Iraqi Kurds see potential rollover emerge from the fall of Assad, as Syria’s Kurds becomes more call on their autonomy. And contemplates some in the Kurdish community whether regional powers will tend to provide a historic opportunity for Kurdish independence.

The next year will not be easy, simple to Iraq. It will need not only to deal with a crowd of internal threads inevitable, but also compete with regional powers, and myrrh, which in itself would be enough to challenge the progress of Iraq.