As Iraqi forces gradually regain their territory from the jihadists of the ISIS, the question remains open of the future of the Iraqi nation. The danger is still important to fall back into violence between the different religious or ethnic factions of the country.
In 2009, Iraq came out of the civil war, with the Americans as referees. This time, Americans no longer have the hand. The Kurds seek to cover their territory, the Shiite militias have ambitions over the country, former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, maneuvers against the current Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi.
Iraq actually lacks a national institution above the factions, capable of disarming militias; What had been achieved, precisely, by Saddam Hussein...
The key to disarmament is economic, to be demobilized men need to find work. In the context of present-day Iraq, it will probably be necessary to wait a long time, until a minimum economic development convinces the militias to abandon their weapons to return to work in a stabilized civil society. Meanwhile, there are no jobs, militias remain the only outlet for men.
Iraq must integrate all these militias, in a state strong enough and legitimate for all the factions, for the good of the country. Prime Minister Al-Abadi is trying to create a multi-ethnic cohesion. Perhaps, national conscription could replace fidelity to a militia by patriotism. Unfortunately, there is no longer in Iraq a respected leader capable of overcoming divisions between Shiites and Sunnis.
There was the Baath Party, they dissolved it. There was Saddam Hussein, they killed him without even a fair trial. United States are seeking to disengage from the Iraqi trap, the country is going to pay the American wizard-apprentice mistakes for a long time.
A track developed by the analysts of the Brookings Institute seems interesting: by decentralizing power in Iraq, we put a brake on sectarianism. The idea would be to offer a decentralized state, offering local solutions, rather than letting local potentates exploit decentralization to authoritatively assume all powers.
Iraqi parliamentarians are currently relegated to the parties that set them up, as in many other countries. This system of political representation prevents reforms of general interest and punishes those who have done a good job but anger their own party, such as former Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
A solution could be to replace the election of parliamentarians with proportional representation by a vote by locality.
The United States is not inclined to repair their mistakes by continuing to pay to help Iraq recover. The European Union will, of course, be called upon by Washington to assist social reforms, such as unemployment in which it has itself been stuck for decades...
Arab countries, especially the rich Gulf states, are outrageously absent in Iraq. It is true that they were not the direct instigators of American engagement in the Gulf War, apart from their own troubles with Saddam.
Finally, Iran, despite and because of the American opposition, clearly has a major role to play in Iraq. Teheran, an old political empire, knows, unlike the governments of Washington, how to wait its time...
See also William Kergroach conference on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHT-86W21XTGUkl231AMj3A
Source: Brookings Institute conference with Tamara Cofman Wittes, Center for Middle East Policy (CMEP), Florence Gaub, European Union Institute for Security Studies; Kenneth Pollack, CMEP, Emma Sky, Yale University.