The Pentagon reported on Tuesday, March 11 that while Iraq has made important gains in terms of politics, the nation’s economy, and diplomacy, the gains are still limited. However, the improvements in Iraq’s security could shatter and crumble at any time.
One political gain includes the approval of a new law that allows former Baath members to reintegrate into society. The latest report from the Department of Defense says that this new law is a big first step towards the reconciliation of the Iraqi people. There was the return of provincial power laws back to the Iraqi parliament.
Then there was the Awakening Councils made up of Sunnis that have turned on their former Al-Qaeda allies. A ceasefire between Sunnis and Shiites followed after as there was a reduced number of killings and bombings. These can be included in the significant improvements taking place in Iraq.
“New strides have been taken in reconciliation at the national, provincial and local levels, and the Iraqi economy is growing,” the report explains. It adds: “However, recent security gains remain fragile, and sustained progress over the long term will depend on Iraq’s ability to address a complex set of issues associated with key political and economic objectives.”
However, there are still threats in Iraq. One example would be Al-Qaeda operatives whom are hiding out in Kurdish occupied northern Iraq.
In northern Iraq, there is the situation with the Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK), that has been attacking Turkish soil. So far, there have been tensions between Iraq and Turkey; as there are fears that what is deemed the most stable part of Iraq could be destabilized. That is one concern in regards to Iraq’s security.
It has been revealed that Iraq also benefits from the rising price in oil. But, there was the lack of laws that regulate where the revenues get allocated to. This is one of the measures that are currently being stalled in Iraq’s government.
The report found that corruption has been cited as the problem that has hurt Iraq’s reconstruction.
Recently, two US Senators have requested a Congressional inquiry into Iraq’s oil revenues to see where they have gone and to see if it can be used to repair the country. So far, the US taxpayer money has gone forth towards rebuilding Iraq.
The issue of Iraq is one of the top issues in this coming presidential election. Iraq and national security are the top platforms of GOP nominee John McCain’s campaign. Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama has started to link Iraq with issues such as the current state of the US economy.