The inefficiencies and corruption rife in Iraq’s ethno-sectarian quota system are substantial, but the country’s highly fragmented society has deeply entrenched the system in ways that make it difficult to reform.
Massaab Al-Aloosy is a researcher focusing on Iraq, Iran, and Shia nonstate armed groups. He holds a PhD from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and is the author of The Changing Ideology of Hezbollah, Palgrave 2020.
Neutral journalism in Iraq is stifled by political parties that own media outlets and by armed elements using violence to silence scrutiny and criticism.
Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces will obstruct any reforms in Iraq that jeopardize the status quo and the militias’ political influence and hold over the state’s coffers.
Iran’s supporters appear to be using a carrot-and-stick approach to co-opt Sunni politicians, aiming to fragment the Sunni camp in any future elections and to make it easier to pressure its leaders.
Moves to ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran are already creating ripple effects across the region.
Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq has become a transit country for drug cartels. And as social conditions in Iraq have deteriorated, drug addiction among Iraqis has increased.
The Iraqi government’s failure to invest in human capital and reconstruction has left the country unprepared for the current rate of population growth.
Iraq’s new government will have its work cut out for it in addressing the water crisis. But time will not be on its side.