Author: Iraqi Thoughts

The U.S. Blunder in Iraq

On December 18, 2011 the world witnessed the last American soldier step on a plane and leave Iraq. After nine long years, the United States’ mission in Iraq was over, leaving behind a mammoth embassy in Baghdad and a couple of consulates in Basra and Erbil. Prior to this landmark, however, President Obama was hoping to keep up to 10,000 US soldiers stationed in Iraq, and the Iraqi government was agreeable to this. Failure of the Obama administration to reach a mutual agreement with the Iraqi government on keeping back any American troops resulted in every single soldier being...

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Iraqi Shia and Iran – a Complex Relationship and Challenging Future

When Nouri al-Maliki met Hamid Karzai in New York in 2007, most of the discussion was an exchange of niceties, but there was one thing the former Afghan President said which caught the attention of many in the Iraqi delegation. ‘When the relationship between Iran and the US is good, the security situation improves, and when the relationship worsens, security deteriorates’. At that time, Iranian backed Shia groups were fighting US troops in Iraq, heavily undermining America’s efforts against Sunni jihadists, and Iraq was on fire. Today, the US is still engaged in fighting Sunni Jihadists in Iraq, but...

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Why Reconciliation in Iraq is the Only Way Forward

Since 2003 Iraq has seen significant growth in its economy and steady progress with the development of democracy. However recent events have shown that these gains are reversible and that the underlying foundations are not yet strong enough. The fall of Mosul in June 2014 was a watershed moment and Iraq’s politicians must now make the decisions that will either build Iraq or break it up. Views differ on whether the Islamic State terrorist group has united the citizens of Iraq beyond the physical confrontation or not. The way to go forward is to conduct a nationwide survey of...

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Baghdad’s First Woman Mayor

Baghdad, the second largest capital in the Arab world, has appointed the first female mayor in its illustrious history, Dr. Thikra Muhammad Alwash. Not only is Dr. Alwash the first female mayor of Baghdad but when she assumes office on Friday (20th February 2015), she will be the only female mayor of a capital city out of the 22 Arab League nations. The appointment of a female mayor comes as a positive step in breaking the barrier of a male-dominated political scene in Iraq. Women were given a quota in parliament through the Iraqi constitution to hold at least...

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