Post-War Iraq


Iraqis tear down a picture of Saddam Hussein in Saddam city, a Shia slum in Baghdad, as US troops enter the area. Picture Credit: Reuters

This section considers a wide range of developments in post-war Iraq, including Iraq's reconstruction, Washington's military occupation, and the emergence of an Iraqi government. Will the elected government succeed in drafting a constitution acceptable to all three of Iraq's main factions? What role will the UN play in the constitutional process and thereafter? Will the US begin withdrawing its forces, or will it continue to occupy the country for years to come? Will US oil companies take control of Iraq's oil industry? This section also looks at the Iraqi resistance to the occupation, and considers the possibilities of stability as Iraqi police and army units take over security responsibilities.


Occupation and Rule | UN Role | Toward Iraq's Government | Humanitarian Situation
Corporate Contracts | Reconstruction | Development Fund for Iraq | Resistance to the Occupation
Leaders and Occupiers
| Justifications for War | Oil in Iraq | Consequences of the War
Iraq Tribunal | War and International Law | Statements
Links and Resources | Documents | Media Coverage

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Occupation and Rule in Iraq
Having defeated and overthrown the government of Saddam Hussein in March 2003, the US assumed control over Iraq as the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). While the CPA maintained a near-monopoly of politically authority for the first year, unrest and resistance pressed the occupiers to cede more power, at least symbolically, to the Iraqis. In June 2004, the US announced that it had “transferred sovereignty” to a newly-formed Interim Government. This was followed by elections in January 2005, in which some 8 million Iraqis voted. Though nominally a “sovereign” state, the presence of 150,000 US troops leaves little question as to who controls the country. The occupation has proven extremely violent, with thousands of US casualties and as many as 100,000 or more Iraqis dead and wounded. It has been stained by torture, massive use of force against civilian neighborhoods and other cruel and despotic methods that recall some of the worst moments of Western colonialism in the region.

UN Role in Post-War Iraq
After failing to obtain a Security Council resolution authorizing the 2003 war on Iraq, Washington turned away from the United Nations, insisting on full control of the occupied country. But a hostile Iraqi population and mounting resistance forced the occupiers to seek international assistance and legitimization from the UN. This section looks at the UN's changing role and its future involvement in the complex political ground of post-war Iraq.

Corporate Contracts
US occupation authorities have assumed control of the reconstruction process and awarded lucrative contracts to US firms with direct links to the White House. Washington has also retaliated against countries opposing the war by excluding their firms from major reconstruction contracts. The occupiers have taken control of Iraq's oil revenues, including over $6 billion in the UN's oil-for-food account, placing the monies in a "Development Fund for Iraq." Critics have charged that billions have disappeared from this fund and governments have called it a "black hole." Though the UN Security Council mandated an International Advisory Monitoring Board to oversee these funds, transparency is limited, while corruption is apparently widespread. Scandals and investigations in Washington have revealed some of the sordid details.

Reconstruction of Iraq
War-torn Iraq faces many obstacles to reconstruction. Crushing debts burden the country, its economy has collapsed and some of the world's richest countries and corporations are demanding war reparations from ordinary Iraqis for crimes committed by their former dictator Saddam Hussein. Reconstruction has essentially become an extension of the occupation, serving US corporate interest rather than meeting Iraqi needs. With the insurgency growing stronger by the day and the security situation worsening, reconstruction of Iraq is slow and highly problematic.

Oil in Iraq
Iraq has the world's second largest proven oil reserves. Oil industry observers predict a gold-rush of profits for the Anglo-American oil giants in the post Saddam setting. This section considers how oil has driven the US-UK plan for war, how it shapes the occupation, and how it has affected the modern history of Iraq.

Humanitarian Situation
The US-UK war has created a humanitarian crisis for many of Iraq's 23 million people. More than twelve years of sanctions, following on the destruction of the first Gulf War (1991), have left Iraqis especially vulnerable - with inadequate supplies of food, clean water and medicines. The US-UK war, with its heavy bombing and warfare against major cities, has left death and destruction and deprived millions of Iraqis of the basic necessities of life.

Links and Resources
Links and Resources to websites following Iraq.

More Information on Iraq
More Information on Oil in Iraq
More Information on Sanctions Against Iraq

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