state building from systematic approach
Following my recent two trips to Washington DC and participation elsewhere separation in a security and a Middle East conference below are key holistic observations I would like to share:
The need for a systematic approach:-
1- For a system to work all key components, not necessarily peripheral components, needs to function and preform, therefore people need to know what are the key components and what are peripheral and hence to know the prerequisite for system functionality and its effectiveness.
2- A system is a set of interacting, interconnecting, and interdependent component parts forming a complex/intricate whole, hence nothing should be seen in isolation.
3- Usually system architecture/model include concept, analysis, design, implementation and maintenance, it is important to identify the level of fracture/fault within each system, otherwise inefficiencies continue and further opportunity lost.
4- Iraqi system deadlock and gridlock/standstill/stalemates is multidimensional, it is economical, political, legislative, culture, social and security. And hence managing interdependency complexity is the biggest challenge to Iraqi leadership. Intended and unintended consequences are important to comprehend and react too.
5- Not to identify, or understand, or address key root causes to our challenges and drivers will lead to inefficient solutions and reoccurrence of problems.
6- Not enough NGO infrastructure exist within our Iraqi systems to let none key political entities lead or manage change, this is a major missing component for social development in democratic societies.
7- The current political and social Iraqi system lacks some key characteristic to make it effective, this includes tolerance, long termism and rule of law.
8- In Iraq, who needs and should lead change? An outstanding urgent and an important question, we all need to look into this, outsourcing of our problems are not good enough.
9- Da'esh should have kick started the deadlock political system but it has not led to an overhaul reflection of the political and societal systems of ours, unfortunately some internal and external players still want to gain to their maximum return on investment from this tragedy.
10- Current political system is not designed to be managed by dictatorship/authoritarian or monarch regime, however is it democratic and hence team orientation
is a must pre-requisite to success, more so since it is a coalition government and no opposition parties exist within parliament either.
11- Current democratic political system isn't and cannot deliver people's security and development expectations, it has some fundamental systematic flaws, it needs to embrace an incremental systematic change to be able to adapt to its constitutes expectations. Otherwise revolute of some type might take place without clarity to its success, this should be prevented to minimize chaos.
12- Too much partisan politics has a) not allowed for general public to be educated with democracy, b) alienated average voters, c) polarized societies among ethnic-sectarian lines, d) encourages opportunist to climb the political ladders, e) significantly discourages nationalism and finally f) promoted tribal orientations with society.
1- Understanding the drivers for other countries involvement in Iraq is a prerequisite to be able to influence and rebuff their adverse involvement.
2- In post 2003 Iraq, other countries may already have got their return on investment (politically or economically) or are resigned with status quo; and hence the question is whether it is worthy for them to invest further or only to consolidate their existing investments?
3- International partners are tired and less focused of intra-Iraqi political gridlocks. Iraqi political class needs to know they are more or less alone and should best utilize this opportunity to learn to work together. Iraq is no longer the main geopolitical case in the region, it is one among many competing cases.
4- There is an inverse proportional formula between internal stability of Iraq and external intervention and utilization of Iraq in regional geopolitical fighting/skirmishes.
1- Each community/political entity now recognize the other but have expectations of the other, and not themselves, to give up and reconcile.
2- There are intra and inter community challenge, hence managing expectations and complexity is not easy but necessarily to reduce tension and look commonly for a way forward.
1- An important question, what are the actions, steps and component which can help Iraqi government to demobilize its myriad of official/non-official Iraqi security entities?
2- some people seek revolution while they want to cloak it as reform. Revolution is fundamental(overhaul)/illegal/fast/bloody/unpredictable, while reform is partial/slow/legal/peaceful/predictable hence a contradicting requirements of a type exist. One should not wish for something they can not comprehend its consequences.
3- Currently Iraq is more or less moving toward a non-governable status state, it's projection is toward a failed-state and will move fast thereafter toward a local-leaders status state since each local-leader is already establishing his legal/financial/media/political/social infrastructure. External boarders demarcation is unlikely to change, internal might. Unfortunately this is projection and not a prediction, I hope I am wrong.
E- Way forward:
1- Nationalism is gaining more strength within Iraqi society while it still lacks political infrastructure and leadership.
2- An urgent need to change election law (and other laws such as party law) to be district based with single representative per party needs to take place before next election. This should be able to kick-start some of the political gridlock in the system. Here each citizens will know exactly who his/her parliamentary representative is. Let us all work on this urgently.
3- People are not focused on economical challenge, they think they can buy their time, I.e. increase oil prices in the near future, and hence this will haunt them ongoing. Diversity of revenue is a pre-requisite for development.
4- Da'esh defeat is imminent due to people's sociological willingness while some irreversible inter and intra community damage have already taken place, let us not wait for another mutation of Da'esh.
5- Iraqi state is bleeding fast in sovereignty due to its lack of focus of political class and government leadership, let us not forget that this is the primary responsibility of government.
6- Democratic practices and culture needs to be truly embraced and nurtured. This should focus on a)power sharing, b)rule of law is paramount, c)human rights abuses needs to have a zero tolerance approach, and finally d)transparency and accountability are the corner stone for political development and prosperity.
Managing complex systems are a pre-requisite for security and development, yes that simple.