Thursday, May 17, 2007

Iraq Decapitated

A new report out by a British think tank Chatham House, which is "regarded as one of world's leading think tanks on international affairs" suggests that the Iraqi Government is rendered nearly powerless is many regions of the country.

The British think tank "urges a radical change in American and British strategy to try to rescue the situation." the BBC reports.

The summary of the Chatham House report claims :
    Iraq has fractured into regional power bases. Political, security and economic power has devolved to local sectarian, ethnic or tribal political groupings. The Iraqi government is only one of several ‘state-like’ actors.

    There is not ‘a’ civil war in Iraq, but many civil wars and insurgencies involving a number of communities and organizations struggling for power.

    The conflicts have become internalized between Iraqis as the polarization of sectarian and ethnic identities reaches ever deeper into Iraqi society and causes the breakdown of social cohesion.

    Critical destabilizing issues will come to the fore in 2007–8. Federalism, the control of oil and control of disputed territories need to be resolved.

    Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have different reasons for seeing the instability in Iraq continue, and each uses different methods to influence developments.
The full report can be read at this link.

BBC reports that Dr Gareth Stansfield, an expert on the Middle East who wrote the paper also said the American troop surge is not overcoming violence but moving the violence to different areas.