Seventeen years after Saddam Hussein, Iraq has reached a critical juncture. A privileged, corrupt elite controls the government and parliament, while heavily armed and well-paid militias answer to Tehran. The infrastructure is in a state of deep neglect, the economy is in shambles, and the judiciary has lost its independence. In addition to Sunni-Shi’i tensions, internal Shi’i tensions are at an unprecedented high. Where is Iraq heading and can Washington help?
BIO: Dr. Amatzia Baram is Professor Emeritus at the Department of the History of the Middle East and Director of the Centre for Iraq Studies at the University of Haifa. He has advised the Israeli government and the U.S. government on Iraq and the Persian Gulf.