Iraq and the United States

Creating a Strategic Partnership

If Iraq and the United States are to win the war in any meaningful and lasting sense, they must translate the Strategic Agreement they signed in November 2008 into a lasting and functional strategic partnership. In the process, the United States must put Iraq firmly in the lead, but sustain the kind of aid and advice that will help Iraq make further progress in political accommodation, the quality of governance, economic development, and security.

The CSIS Burke Chair in Strategy conducted a detailed analysis of the current situation in Iraq, the challenges Iraq faces, and the actions the United States needs to take to help Iraq meet those challenges. Its report provides a detailed risk assessment of current and potential levels of violence in Iraq. It addresses the levels of political accommodation and stability and the problems Iraq still faces in the aftermath of the national election. It also addresses the opportunities and problems in developing Iraq’s petroleum sector; investment and development issues in other sectors, the problems in the Iraqi budget forecasts, and progress in Iraqi reconstruction. It evaluates the need for continued economic aid and advice and describes U.S. options for extending such assistance.

The concluding section examines progress in creating Iraqi military and police forces. It examines the role the United States can play in helping Iraq further develop such forces and analyzes what a strategic partnership, based on the Strategic Agreement, should mean.

Anthony H. Cordesman

Anthony H. Cordesman

Former Emeritus Chair in Strategy

Elena Derby

Adam Mausner