Last Friday the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction issued his latest quarterly report on Iraq. The report takes a close look at what needs to be done as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw from the country it has occupied since March 2003.
In an overview of the report, the IG says the following:
In January 2010, Iraq will conduct its first parliamentary election in five years. The citizens of Iraq will seat a new Council of Representatives (CoR) and electorally judge Prime Minister al-Maliki’s performance for the first time since he took office in spring 2005. The new CoR will confront several key unresolved issues, including enhancing security, stabilizing relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and developing Iraq’s economy.
The security picture in Iraq remains mixed. Although the number of attacks in August 2009 was down 85% from August 2007 levels, 456 Iraqis were killed during the month -- the highest total in more than a year. On August 19, terrorists displayed their continuing capacity to strike at the heart of Iraq’s government when they detonated two massive car bombs that partially destroyed the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs.
In July, the Kurdistan Region conducted successful presidential and parliamentary elections that saw opposition parties make substantial inroads into the ruling coalition’s grip on KRG governance structures. The region’s new government is faced with the compelling need to reach an accord with the GOI on how to equitably share oil revenues and how to resolve the Kirkuk problem.