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Endgame or Endless Game? The Current Situation in Iraq and Possibilities for the Future.

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Presentation on theme: "Endgame or Endless Game? The Current Situation in Iraq and Possibilities for the Future."— Presentation transcript:

1 Endgame or Endless Game? The Current Situation in Iraq and Possibilities for the Future

2 Outline  Changing Levels of violence

3 Outline  Changing Levels of Violence  Infrastructure

4 Outline  Changing Levels of Violence  Infrastructure  Why the drop in violence?

5 Outline  Changing Levels of Violence  Infrastructure  Why the drop in violence?  Iraqis evaluate the present

6 Outline  Changing Levels of Violence  Infrastructure  Why the drop in violence?  Iraqis evaluate the present  Evolution of U.S. opinion

7 Outline  Changing Levels of Violence  Infrastructure  Why the drop in violence?  Iraqis evaluate the present  Evolution of U.S. opinion  How Iraqis see their future

8 Outline  Changing Levels of Violence  Infrastructure  Why the drop in violence?  Iraqis evaluate the present  Evolution of U.S. opinion  How Iraqis see their future  What outside powers can do

9 Sources of data, charts ► Unless indicated otherwise, charts originate from the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, which publishes the Iraq Index twice weekly: ► iles/Centers/Saban/Iraq%20Index/index.pdf

10 Changing Levels of Violence

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14 CUMULATIVE TOTALS OF DISPLACED IRAQIS YEARINTERNALLYDISPLACEDABROAD ,000366, ,000889, ,0001,800, ,375,0002,400,000

15 Infrastructure

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17 Crude Oil & Electricity Output Crude Oil Electricity M bbl/day MW hrs/day Pre-war peak / / / / /

18 A Canadian military assessment from early 2005: Disconnect Between Orientation and Actions “Unfortunately, the U.S. effort to rebuild Iraq is out of synch (a full 180 degrees) with what is really needed.” Elections and the establishment of a government/army get the majority share of the U.S. effort. The vast majority of the U.S. effort is focused on building a viable Iraqi government that can provide the country the ability to self-actualize. Hearts and minds. Rebuilding schools and hospitals. General clean- up activities. These activities take the second position. Basic services get the least effort. From the days of mass looting of Iraq just after the invasion, the U.S. has demonstrated that it is uninterested in street level security. Additionally, the vast majority of Iraq's infrastructure is guarded by local or outsourced forces (if at all). Source: legitimacy_101.htmlhttp://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2004/12/ legitimacy_101.html

19 Why the Improving Security Situation? Some hypotheses:  “The surge is working” (or has worked)  Ethnic cleansing has reduced the number of targets  U.S. forces are operating less aggressively  Insurgent groups have changed tactics  Negotiated deals between U.S. and some insurgents

20 How much did the surge help? Over the period from May 2003 to December 2007 ► Changes in troop levels explain only about 10% of the variation in the number of attacks. ► Changes in the number of attacks explain only 3- 5% of the variation in Coalition troop levels

21 The importance of changing strategy ► U.S. effectively reaches negotiated settlement in Anbar province, perhaps other areas ► Local elites are recognized as providing security and governance ► Local elites attempt to defeat al Qaeda and similar forces, wait for their day to deal with the Shi’ites ► Everyone knows the U.S. cannot sustain high rates of deployment

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24 The Importance of Al-Anbar and Baghdad ► Attacks in August-November, 2006 Total Nationwide: 153 Total Nationwide: 153 Al-Anbar & Baghdad: 81 Al-Anbar & Baghdad: 81 ► Attacks in July-November 2007 Total Nationwide: 91 Total Nationwide: 91 Al-Anbar & Baghdad: 33 Al-Anbar & Baghdad: 33

25 What do the Iraqi people want? Results of opinion polls,

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34 How do Iraqis View the Future?

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38 What does the U.S. public think about Iraq? Responses to opinion polls on Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and Vietnam

39 Support for the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan Time, in years, since the beginning of the war

40 What political solution do Iraqis want?

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42 Why is Political Progress So Difficult? ► Minimal experience with democratic institutions ► Very long cycles of tit-for-tat punishment ► A demographic minority has historically been politically dominant ► Time horizons are very short ► Cooperation often punished by own hard- liners

43 What can outside powers do? ► Technical assistance with the mechanics of government ► Provide the political equivalent of loan guarantees to the parties who agree to negotiated solutions ► Enlarge the pie by providing aid (conditional? unconditional?) ► Restrain each other from intervening


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