A window of opportunity has just opened in Iraq. Will the U.S. act? By Bilal Wahab *

Major Economic Issues


After more than 15 years of American military entanglement in Iraq, the sense of idealism that characterized the original U.S. intervention has long since dissipated. Rather than dreaming of midwifing a model democracy in Baghdad, Washington’s aims there have become more modest and realist: preventing a resurgence of the Islamic State and balancing Iranian power.

So it is ironic that — even as the American foreign policy establishment has grown averse to a values-based approach to the Middle East — Iraqi democracy is on the verge of a breakthrough.

This week, the Iraqi parliament approved a new technocrat-dominated cabinet led by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Sorbonne-trained economist. His ministers boast an impressive set of graduate degrees and professional expertise. Together with the selection of Barham Salih as Iraq’s president and Mohammed al-Halbousi as speaker of parliament, this means that the triumvirate of leaders to emerge from the elections this year are strongly associated with non-sectarian, pragmatic government.

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A window of opportunity has just opened in Iraq. Will the U.S. act- By Bilal Wahab

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