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Few observations during my recent 10 days trip to Iraq

The clock is ticking

 

1- People have no expectations that government will improve basic services such as electricity , hence permanent work around is taking places with increasing resentments.

 

2- Defeat of Daesh is immanent,  but what comes after it, any bodies guess, scary scenario I know but real.

 

3- Urgent comprehensive dialogue is needed between  stakeholders to align political roadmap to military liberation roadmap.

 

4- Government reforms are on a very slow pace, no clear roadmap for structural or cabinet reshuffles, all stakeholders are on a pause mode, not good enough.

 

5- Summer's heat is so immense (50c, 120+f) it is hard to think outside, harder during daytime.

 

6- People anticipate that the worse of the economical challenges (low oil prices) are behind them, dangerous assumptions which need to be verified.

 

7- Forign diplomats no longer show intense interest in internal Iraqi political fights, not interesting as before and its ramifications are not that dynamic.

 

8- politicians now recognize they have to provide a significant C change in their leadership approach in order for them to sustain their political career, democracy is somewhat working.

 

9- People, more so politicians, focus on individual leaders (eg who is the next X) to lead reform and development of the country while in reality they need to focus on leadership teamwork.

 

10- The depth and width of Iraq's challenges can't be fixed by an individual but by a team's collaboration, this has not sank in yet in Iraqi political DNA. An urgent wake up call is needed.

 

11- The Iraqi State is not gaining enough strength to repeal the threat from local power seekers at the cost of the whole country. New momentum needs to be created by the State.

 

12- Institutional State building is the only way we can develop the country, zero tolerance needs to be shown to those who act to the contrary.

 

13- Every national political initiatives needs to have a an action plan that includes strengthening State building, otherwise lost opportunities. 

 

14- In every trip to Iraq, I try to look for an answer as to who and how should lead change and reform? No clear answers comes up yet, worrying development.

 

15- Current political structure and culture will not be able to significantly secure the country on the right track, something has to give way, otherwise more of the same while the clock is ticking.

 

16- politicians still work on a zero sum formula while they are trying to explore ways toward a win-win approach, good development.

 

17- Nationalism is gaining momentum, at last, however clear funnels are not being provided for the people to work on strengthening the bond within the Nation.

 

18- The Iraqi people urgently needs national founding fathers, otherwise time alone will not do the trick.

 

19- political vacuums are being filled by local powers seekers at the cost of national unity.

 

20- a window for reconciliation and political harmony is now open until next provisional government elections mid next year, otherwise thereafter infighting will suck any oxygen in the air.

 

21- interdependency with Syeria on the Daesh fighting needs to be clear to all stakeholders, Iraq is not in isolation.

 

22- Daesh invasion of Mosul should have been enough of a wake up call for all to get their act together, let us not wait and wake up again by another mutation of Daesh.

 

23- Iraq desperately needs to implement a master economical plan to diversify its revenues, otherwise we will keep being reacting to powers and factors outside our control, stand to the challenge.

 

24- stakeholders now recognize they need the other, however they still expect the other to change and compromise, get real.

 

25 - party political leaders need to think of succession plans for their positions, new blood is urgently needed, otherwise more of the same.

 

26- political and government leadership need to comprehend the importance of managing complexity and its interdependencies, otherwise chaos in management.

 

27- The economical framework of the country is now being controlled by few crude dynamics which is unable to drive development, this needs to be reviewed urgently.

 

28- The latest demographic increase reemphases the narrative that social engineering needs to gain momentum to drive development.

 

29 - the national social contract between state and citizens and within communities is evolving without clear characteristics to its end game.

 

30 - Looking at Iraq only via the Kurds/Shia/Sunna binoculars is neither accurate nor helping, this is a narrow view and the bond within the Iraqi nation is strong and wide.

 

31 - Tragic to hear unfavorable comparison to pre-2003 in areas of security, focus of state, corruption, service provision, politicians should not be proud in hearing this.

 

32 - Iraqi people basically want a decent way of life, they are patient and content but look for signs of development, let us not fail them.

 

33 - Iraqi politicians need to embrace a new culture of dialogue and compromise to project to its constituency its ability to adapt to the needs of its people's welfare. 

 

34 - ballot box outcome should be the only result we should embrace and hence we should not be hostage to the barrel of the gun.

 

35- as a society we need to create a right balance between nationalism on one side and ethno-sectarianism/partisanship etc on the pother side, nationalism needs a nurturing process.

 

The clock is still ticking