With all of the talk and controversy about the war in Afghanistan in the past months, it has been easy for many to forget that despite the reduction in violence brought about partly by the 2007 troop surge, Iraq remains troubled. Violence is on the rise again, and last month’s deadly bombings showed the continued threat that insurgent groups pose to the Iraq’s government and people.
Moreover, unresolved political questions continue to inhibit Iraq’s transition toward stability and government accountability. The passage of a long-awaited election law Sunday elicited relief from many in the region and the U.S., only to be swept away when Iraq’s Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi vetoed the law Wednesday.
The veto appears to be an attempt to gain more parliamentary seats for Iraq’s minorities and Iraqis living abroad, and will likely delay the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 18. This setback, coupled with lingering security fears, could potentially delay the withdrawal of the bulk of American troops from Iraq, scheduled to begin in 2010.
The Special Representative in Iraq for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Ad Melkert, will discuss his insights about the present situation and future of Iraq from 4:00 pm- 5:30 pm today at the New America Foundation.
The event will stream live here at The Washington Note.
— Andrew Lebovich