Torn between two allies: How Europeans can reduce Iraqi dependence on Iran and the US
After the long fight against the Islamic State group (ISIS), Iraq is now struggling to win the peace and faces acute challenges in achieving stability.
Caught in escalating tension between the United States and Iran, and confronted with a resurgent ISIS, the Iraqi leadership is paralysed by political deadlock and impending economic collapse.
The potential for the deterioration of conditions in Iraq should cause real concern among European governments that have already invested significant resources to defeat ISIS and stabilise the country.
Moreover, a recovery in the fortunes of ISIS, and greater tension between Iran and the US in Iraq, would undoubtedly have implications for European security – while a collapse of the Iraqi state would reverberate across the region in dangerous ways.
By Ali Al-Saffar, Middle East and North Africa Programme Manager at the International Energy Agency (IEA), for 1001 Iraqi Thoughts. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Powering Iraq: Why Electricity is key to Peace, Stability and Prosperity
It does not have to be this way. Iraq’s chronic electricity shortages should not be this bad. The country has allocated around $20 billion to capital investments in the sector since 2012, increasing generating capacity by 13 gigawatts (GW) in the process.
And yet the gap between the electricity supplied and what is needed continues to grow, resulting in poorer service provision and a rising cacophony of legitimate public anger.
Why is Iraq’s electricity sector underperforming? What can be done to remedy the most immediate shortages? And what can be done to give Iraq the electricity sector the country needs and its people deserve?
Pathway to peace: New recommendations to enhance local policing programmes in Iraq
Designing adaptable programmes, promoting the role of women in policing, and streamlining international interventions and are some of the key recommendations made by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a recent conflict assessment on local policing in Iraq.
Conflict Assessment in Support of Efforts to Improve Local Policing in Iraq outlines key recommendations to mitigate the drivers of conflict and promote forces for peace, focusing on two key governorates in Iraq, Anbar and Ninewa.
It highlights different approaches to address drivers of conflict and instability, and makes recommendations to shape robust, sustainable local policing programmes in Iraq.
“Local police play an integral role in establishing and forging peace in Iraq, especially in the years since the ISIL conflict,” says Resident Representative of UNDP in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.
“We hope this assessment is a useful tool for international partners and local decision makers to shape robust and sustainable local policing programmes that reflect community concerns, and promote a more peaceful and just Iraq. In doing so, it is important to increase and promote the role of women in policing, and improve women and girls’ access to local police services,” she adds.
The conflict assessment was developed under UNDP Iraq’s Security Sector Reform/Rule of Law programme with generous funding from the Government of The Netherlands.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has announced an early general election for 6th June, 2021, roughly a year ahead of when it would normally be held.
According to Reuters, the Iraqi parliament must ratify the election date.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) welcomed the announcement. The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said:
“Properly conducted credible, free, fair and inclusive elections can re-energize the political system and build public confidence, giving the people a voice and realizing their aspirations for better representation.”