Iraq's New Political MapeBook - 2007
This report concludes a two-year study on Iraq's new political leaders and their visions for the future, based on extensive background data and personal interviews with over seventy top leaders since 2003. This portion of the study focuses on leaders brought to power by the election of December 2005 and the formation of a permanent government in 2006. The study finds that rapid and continuous change in political leaders is making it difficult for them to acquire experience and achieve effective government. Also, tensions between outsiders (exiles) who were opponents of Saddam, and insiders, mainly those who served in the previous regime, are generating distrust and making compromise difficult. However, although ethnic and sectarian polarization persists, elections have produced a new political constellation of parties--and militias--with a greater variety of views and constituencies. This development may provide some opportunity for new alignments across the ethnic and sectarian divides. The report suggests that these new political groups need to focus more on issues and interests where they have some common ground, rather than on communal identity. Among these shared issues are economic development, oil legislation, management of water resources and the environment, and the role of religion in the state. Failure to achieve some compromise in these areas could lead to ethnic and sectarian fragmentation or a continued breakdown of government.
Publisher: Washington, DC : U.S. Institute of Peace, 
Characteristics: 23 p. (online resource) : digital, PDF file