The True Meaning of the Iraqi Election: A "Trigger," Not a "Turning Point"
December 15, 2005
This downloadable analysis by Dr. Anthony Cordesman reflects comments from US embassy and military officers in Iraq, some updates, and an important correction of a previous version regarding the constitutional process, courtesy of Jonathan Morrow of USIP. It analyzes who the players are, and the issues involved, from the viewpoint of how they will determine Iraq's future. It discusses the problems in forming a new government and whether it can achieve unity and stability, and defeat the insurgency. It outlines the key problems the new government must solve during its first six months in office. It suggests that the election will not be a turning point, but rather the trigger to an extremely difficult political process that must both create a new government and political balance, and deal with issues like federalism that will either unite or divide the country.