On one hand, Maliki government pushed out his rivals, especially the Sunnis, out of a power-sharing arrangement that could have rallied support for the government among all the Iraqis at this hour of need. One the other hand, the central government has failed to start meaningful development projects to address the root causes of discontent in the society, and instead has become one of the most corrupt governments in the region, which is quite a feat considering the widespread corruption in many of the countries in the neighborhood.
Using data from the World Bank, the UN, and Transparency International, CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman has developed a summary report on governance and economics challenges facing Iraq today. below are several key points that emerge from Cordesman’s report (Anthony Cordesman, Hitting Bottom: The Maliki Scoreboard in Iraq; CSIS, 10 June 2014):
- In spite of its oil wealth, Iraq has failed and remains a poor nation with the lowest per capita income of any state in the Persian Gulf except Yemen.
- The World Bank ranks Iraq as the most corrupt nation in the region except Yemen and Libya.
- Transparency International ranks Iraq as the least transparent government in the region, and as the 171st worst country in the world out of 177 countries surveyed.
- The World Bank puts Iraq near bottom of nations in terms of rule of law, and rates its performance under Maliki as worst off than under Saddam.
- The UN ranks Iraq as 131st in the world in human development indicators, and as the worst country in the region except for Yemen in spite of Iraq’s oil income.
UPDATE: Aside from Mosul, several other cities have fallen to the ISIL. They include Hawija, Zab, Riyadh, Rashad and Yankaja. Also there are reports of militants in control of Qayara, Suleiman Bek, Albu Ajeel and Shirqat. ISIL has taken over a checkpoint on the outskirt of Tikrit, and have taken control of several nearby villages.
UPDATE II: ISIL is now in control of Takrit. CNN is reporting that ISF is repositioning its forces around Fallujah, bringing them back to Baghdad area to boost defense of the capital.
Photo credit: ISIL in Mosul. 10 June 2014 (rudaw.net)