By Michael Knights, for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
U.S. Interests and the Unsustainable Status Quo in Iraq
The unprecedented protests in Iraq underline the reality that Iraq is slowly failing as a state.
Though life inside the country has improved in some ways, there are still nearly a million new job-seekers each year left unemployed, militias continue to openly humiliate the government, and little is being done to prepare for the day when oil rents can no longer cover the huge bill for the bloated government payroll and social benefits.
Meanwhile, the political parties and bloc leaders that rule Iraq are content to let the country collapse as long as it serves their near-term parochial interests.
Fundamental change is needed: to the nature of party politics, endemic corruption, undue influence by foreign-backed militias, and elections that are at best rigged but are increasingly outright stolen.
In private, almost none of my senior Iraqi political contacts bothers to refute any of the above facts.
(Source: Washington Institute for Near East Policy)