WHERE IS THE U.S. HEADING IN IRAQ?

The U.S. assassination of Qassim Suleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis near Baghdad International Airport sparked a global crisis with dangerous implications on local, regional, and international security. The question begs itself as to how to interpret the move by the U.S. and what consequences it will have on the situation in Iraq?

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2020: IRAQ’S CHALLENGES AHEAD

Without doubt, Iraq today is worse off than a year ago when hope existed that some of the major challenges facing the country would be addressed. As it starts 2020, Iraq has a caretaker government with a resigned prime minister running a country drowning in mired crises: demonstrations everywhere with hundreds dead, many missing, and a trend of violence taking over the streets which distorts the peaceful nature of the protests; just recently a breach of Iraq’s sovereignty by its supposed ally, the United States, through bombings and killing dozens of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), part of the official Iraqi state apparatus; the response by the families of the victims and PMF supporters who surrounded the United States Embassy in the International Zone, started fires on its main gates, and left only yesterday.

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HOW IRAQ’S PARLIAMENTARIANS CONTRIBUTE TO CORRUPTION

In every country, there is a healthy system of checks and balances between the political outlook of officials and the administrative requirements of running the executive branch. The right balance allows the state to govern effectively, giving it the required stability and at the same time make it subject to necessary change. In Iraq however, the informal way of doing things is more pervasive, allowing many aspects of the administrative life in the state to be highly politicized, which causes instability inside institutions and makes professionalism non-existent.

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DOES BASRA NEED A CZAR?

There has been several news reports in the past few weeks about Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi assigning Hadi Al-Ameri the responsibility to address Basra’s extensive problems. While there has yet to be an official announcement, its seems that Ameri has been engaged with some day-to-day operations related to Basra province, which has now certain media outlets referring to him as the ‘Czar of Basra’.

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