Sunday, July 17, 2011
The Iraqi Model
Iraq Weathers the Political Storm -Sterling Jensen
The Middle East political storm of early 2011 has had an interesting impact on Iraq. Though the government was confronted with demonstrations, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki felt sufficiently confident to boast that "Iraq has become the most stable country in the region."
While this may seem a bold claim given the recent past, Maliki is not alone in showing confidence in Iraq's prospects. The Sadrists, Kurds, and leaders of the primarily Sunni Iraqiya bloc have been equally upbeat about the country's prospects while many Iraqi insiders believe that their battle-torn country will not only weather the instability but will also serve as a model for democracy.
Indeed, the democratic system established in Iraq through its second elected government in six years is becoming more representative and responsive to the people. While the country still has many sectarian and political differences to resolve in order to ensure its long-term stability, this system is likely to last due to four main elements: a representative government, an independent and transparent media, a professional security force, and a close relationship with the United States.
If Baghdad is able to resolve its internal disputes peacefully and improve government efficiency through modest reforms, its future will be bright.
[Middle East Quarterly]