Iraq: how to stabilize a vortex?
On Wednesday May 6th the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law organized a one-day expert discussion in The Hague on the deeper causes of the current Iraqi conflict and to assess what policies and practical measures by the international community could help bring the conflict in Iraq to a peaceful resolution.
Several broader considerations crystalized from discussions held by the participants, who were asked to brainstorm responses to questions including confidence-building measures that would make a difference in Iraq. Responses included:
1. Strengthen the ability of the Iraqi government to deliver services that matter to its citizens. Ensure such a process is rapid, transparent and focuses on capacity building;
2. Consider and support the National Guard 'solution' as a "best worst" interim option for a security force in Sunni areas;
3. Leverage Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani's support for Prime Minister Abadi to include Iranian-backed non-state actors in the reconstructions of the Iraqi state in a manner that respects cross-sectarian interests.
Besides this report, a blog post was written, drawing on much of the discussion of May 6th: ‘Not all is what it seems: Five inconvenient ‘truths’ of the Iraqi crisis’.