Bargaining over the resources of the government is set to remain just one expression of the struggle for authority in Iraq. Actual sovereignty is likely to continue to be a coercive negotiation backed by various substate militias’ force of arms and financial interests.
Neil Partrick is a freelance analyst of the Arabian Peninsula and wider Middle East. He has worked in Jerusalem as an editor, headed the Middle East program at the Royal United Services Institute, analyzed Saudi Arabia and Iraq for the Economist Group, and was a lecturer at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Partrick was the lead contributor and editor of Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict & Cooperation published by I.B. Tauris in 2016/2018. Since 2009, Partrick has been a freelance consultant at www.neilpartrick.com, where he also publishes free-to-view papers and analysis on his blog. His detailed analysis of the political, security, and external factors militating against Iraqi state functionality is available on the website and will form one of six Arab-majority country case studies for a book on “State Functionality or Failure in the Middle East and North Africa.”