28-10-2018 06:54 PM
The researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Bilal Wahab that the United States to take advantage of the opportunity to form a new Iraqi government to modernize its policies in Iraq to be more realistic, which will contribute to reducing the Iranian influence in this country.
“After 15 years of US military involvement in Iraq, the feelings of idealism that characterized this American intervention have faded away,” the researcher said in an article in the Washington Post. “Instead of dreaming of a model democratic Iraq, Washington’s goals are more modest and realistic, the most important of which is to prevent the return of a terrorist organization and to balance Iran’s influence in Iraq.
The researcher finds it ironic that the United States has so far used a value-based approach to its policies in the Middle East and hopes to see a democratic breakthrough in Iraq.
He stressed that the choice of Adel Abdul-Mahdi to head the government and agree on the selection of Barham Saleh President of the Republic, and Mohammed Halbusi President of the Parliament. According to Wahab opinion ‘the three are more pragmatic than sectarian,’ pointing out that ‘this shift reflects the Iraqi policy of change and driven by pressure from the inside’ .
“Despite the military success of the previous government by defeating the terrorist organization that took over a third of the country in 2014-2017, Iraqi voters who went to the polls were angry at the poor services and corruption that hit the country,” Wahhab said.
In his article, the researcher lists the size of the large corruption in Iraq, noting that “there is 700 billion dollars is the total revenues of Iraqi oil since 2005, yet Iraq is ranked among the worst places in the world.” “The city of Basra, which is considered the biggest producer of Iraqi oil, lacks drinking water and electricity, making its summer an intolerable hell.”
“Can the new Adel Abdul Mahdi government succeed in implementing the reform agendas?” Asked Wahab.
The researcher goes on to say that ‘the problems are many and the challenges are arduous, they are rooted in the institutions and personalities that participate in the political process over the past 15 years,’ noting that ‘the previous government was based on the principle of ethnic and sectarian representation rather than good governance’.
“Experiences have proven that they are governments that have not done anything, since every party in the government is running the ministry as a fiefdom of its own and its community, not as a public service institution, while sectarian militias are still exerting considerable influence on the Iraqi arena,” he said.
According to Wahab, ‘Iraqis wish the success of the new government’, which he describes as ‘a success depends on the nature of what the government will undertake reforms’.
“But US support remains important as well, so the United States should make it clear that it is working to support the new government to achieve what the Iraqis are looking for,” he said.
Wahab also believes that “the presence of suitable people in power is not enough to achieve the desired reform. There are a number of arduous tasks to be done, including reforming the economy, improving services and providing security, although the organization is not yet finished and turned into a rebellion whose cells spread in many cities.”
So, says the researcher in his article, it is important that there be US assistance, stressing that ‘Washington must support Iraq in its war on corruption by providing the necessary technology and information; to enhance transparency, especially with regard to oil revenues’.
He continued: ‘Because the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil is still in a state of tension, there is an urgent need for US intervention because of its standing, it can play the role of honest broker’.
The author concludes that ‘America’s modernization of its policies in Iraq, and the provision of aid to the new government will be more effective to stop the Iranian intervention in Iraq’.
Tehran, he says, ‘exploits the absence of law and weak institutions. Unlike the United States, Iran has little to offer the Iraqis during this period, which is a great opportunity for Washington to seize.