Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Iraqi Executive Branch

There's a good summary of the challenges facing the Iraqi executive branch from Bill Ardolino:
Interviews with American and Iraqi officials depict an Iraqi executive branch grappling with challenges that include but are more varied than the popular narrative of sectarianism. Rapidly growing government institutions are often run by inexperienced administrators in a complex, paper-based system; poor oversight in the post-invasion chaos has fueled outrageous corruption; and a government design that has divided executive authority among the country's various ethno-sectarian political parties delays action, even as it fosters compromise and successfully curbs the dictatorial abuses of the past. Despite the daunting list of challenges, however, some US officials see opportunity in the diversity of these problems. For example, while it is impossible to quickly push Iraqis towards sectarian accord, continued time and advisership can develop the experience of Iraqi administrators and build institutional "capacity" to govern effectively. And to the extent these issues influence the pace of political progress and improve self-sufficiency, both can and should improve. If security gains are maintained, time will tell whether such improvements are made fast enough to achieve stability and eventual reconciliation.

Given the clear self-destruction of the GOP on Super-Duper Tuesday, we need to start worrying about this. I'd guess we have just about a year left before the Democrats are going to stand our forces down and start evacuating them. That's not much time.

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