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

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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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