Iraq: as the US Military Withdraws

Facebook
Twitter
Email
WhatsApp
Print

 

The future of Iraq is more complex and uncertain than the current U.S. narrative claims, according to a report just published by CPT in Iraq (find web address for full report below). “Iraq after the Occupation– Iraqis speak about the state of their country as the U.S. military withdraws,” is based on extensive interviews with Iraqi citizens in various parts of the country. It quotes Iraqis who express doubt on the effects of the U.S. military “surge,” the trustworthiness of the Iraqi military, and the reliability of Iraqi public figures and institutions.

The U.S., which invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, recently announced an “end of combat missions,” in preparation for a complete withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011. The report notes that no consensus exists among Iraqis on the future of their country, with some interviewees expecting the security situation to get much worse, while others are more optimistic. However, none expect Iraq to be independent after a complete U.S. withdrawal. “I do not think the American army came all this way, spent all this money to leave [Iraq] a prey to others,” one Baghdad resident said in an interview.

Although the report confirms an improved security situation over the last few years, it questions the contribution of the “surge,” i.e. the deployment of U.S. military reinforcements in 2007.  About half of those interviewed pointed instead to the U.S. withdrawal from Iraqi cities in 2009 as the major contributor to the improved security situation.  

Many respondents see the increased skill and capacity of the Iraqi security forces as a positive factor, although a majority maintains concerns about their trustworthiness and independence.  Another Baghdad resident spoke of the Iraqi security forces’ lack of “educational aspects in the field of human rights and loyalty to the homeland.” 

Respondents also express serious concerns about the credibility of Iraqi politicians, the “abominable state of public services” and the economy, and corruption.  “The obscene opulence of some–and especially those on the payroll of political interests–is excessive,” says one interviewee in the report, “while the rate of wretched poverty in Iraq continues to pose a humanitarian problem.” 

Tensions among ethnic and religious groups continue to threaten the country’s stability.  Many respondents also fear interference by neighboring states, particularly Iran.

In its conclusion, the report stipulates that in the waning days of U.S. military presence in Iraq, the U.S. should focus on the Iraqi economy, reconciliation efforts, and a culture of accountability in the Iraqi security forces.  CPT stresses that the U.S. must also respect Iraqi democratic sovereignty. “There’s a lot that needs to be done that only Iraqis can do,” notes CPTer Marius van Hoogstraten.().

Subscribe to the Friday Bulletin

Get Hannah’s thoughts and the entire bulletin every Friday in your inbox, and don’t miss out on news from the teams, a list of what we’re reading and information on ways to take action.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Read More Stories

a crowd of people aligned with the Campaign for Secure Dwellings is gathered as Israeli soldiers approach during a home demolition in Hebron

Defending our home with CPT

The Campaign for Secure Dwellings matched faith communities with families like mine in the West Bank to put pressure on Israeli and US authorities to stop home demolitions

A woman cups her mouth while shouting at a pro palestine protest

Justice will come through people

I have never seen a more hopeful future than I have in the way that Palestinians in Gaza have cared for one another and have shown us what humanity is.

Skip to content