War in Iraq: Political Challenges After the Conflict

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The International Crisis Group (ICG), an independent nonprofit organization that works to prevent and resolve deadly conflict, has released War in Iraq: Political Challenges After the Conflict (44 pages, PDF), the latest in its series of reports on the strife-torn Gulf region. Proceeding from the assumption that regime change in Baghdad is inevitable, the report argues that the success or failure of Iraq's post-war transition will depend on whether domestic realities are understood and translated into a form of governance seen as legitimate by core Iraqi constituencies. To that end, Brussels-based ICG offers six recommendations, including the establishment of a transitional UN civil authority with complete legislative and executive power over Iraq; preservation of the Iraqi civil service to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that the Iraqi people are responsible for the day-to-day administration of their country; the involvement of regional players in decisions concerning the country; and the removal from positions of authority senior echelons of the Baath Party, senior members of clans and/or tribal factions tied to the regime, and senior members of the security and intelligence agencies.