On paper Iraq's justice system appears sound, but Michael Wahid Hanna of The Century Foundation says "major systemic and structural problems" plague Iraq's legal framework.
This is a draft version of a December 13, 2008 report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR); it was given to the New York Times and news service ProPublica.
Passage of security agreements between Washington and Baghdad suggest the United States has moved toward the exit in Iraq, though the path to departure remains unclear.
Kenneth M. Pollack of the Brookings Institution says that he is concerned that the U.S. and political establishment" increasingly feels that Iraq is heading toward victory" even though "Iraq still is a very troubled country."
Listen to Linda Robinson, author in residence at the Johns Hopkins University's Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies and Francis J. West, correspondent at the Atlantic Monthly Press, assess the political and strategic effects of the surge in Iraq.
Watch Linda Robinson, author in residence at the Johns Hopkins University's Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies and Francis J. West, correspondent at the Atlantic Monthly Press, assess the political and strategic effects of the surge in Iraq.
Noah Feldman writes that "the time for change is now, lest Afghanistan become the quagmire that Iraq was once said to be."
This agreement between the U.S. and Iraq was signed on November 27, 2008. A statement by President George W. Bush says the agreement "sets the foundation for a long-term bilateral relationship between our two countries".
Michael Gerson writes that "administration officials believe they have taken precautions that will encourage Iraqi nationalism over a destructive pan-Shiism."
Iraqi lawmakers approved new ground rules for the U.S. troop presence, including a U.S. withdrawal by 2011. But questions about the accords' legal longevity remain.
The October 2008 update of this Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) report states, "The theme of this Quarterly Report, "A Nascent Normalcy: The Evolution of U.S. Assistance to a Sovereign Iraq," reflects the recognition of a fundamental shift in the U.S. relief and reconstruction effort this year, which SIGIR dubbed in January "The Year of Transfer."
Barack Obama's wish to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq within sixteen months played well at the polls. But experts suggest his plans may prove hard to implement as Washington's influence in Iraq wanes.
CFR.org provides a collection of resources on Iraq.
An official at the U.S. Government Accountability Office says Iraq will retain a healthy budget surplus in spite of falling oil prices. He also notes that auditors' access to Iraq's finances could be curtailed sharply after the end of this year.
U.S. troops in Iraq may guarantee security, but they will not bring about political reconciliation, the key to stability.
F. Gregory Gause III, a leading expert on Iraq and Saudi Arabia, says a lack of leadership among Iraq's Shiite politicians is holding up approval of a U.S.-Iraqi security pact. He also talks about new Saudi efforts to engage the Taliban in a peace parley.
Michael Gerson discusses the tactics of Gen. David Petaeus.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Maximalist finds lessons in the past that anticipate and clarify our chaotic present, revealing the history of U.S. foreign policy in an unexpected new light. More
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Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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