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Iraq Defence and Security Report Q3 2012
Business Monitor International, May 2012, Pages: 71
While the instability that threatens Iraq both internally and externally has hardly abated, there were some positive signs in early 2012 that the country would not succumb to some of the worst-case scenarios that had been projected for it.
In February Baghdad took a much-needed step back from the political brink when the Sunni Iraqiya bloc decided to rejoin the Shi'a-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The reasons for the Sunnis' original boycott have not yet been addressed, but the Sunni leaders are hoping that by returning to the government they will be better placed to persuade Maliki to hold a national conference at which the Sunnis and the Kurds will have an opportunity to redress what they see as the growing Shi'a domination of the Iraqi state.
Yet despite the very real threats of sectarian violence and state break-up, Maliki has so far refused to commit to the national conference. Indeed, his continued political attacks on the Sunni leadership – which notably included his decision in December to arrest the Sunni Vice President, Tariq al-Hashemi – and his apparent determination to establish a strongman government mean that the reconciliation of Iraq's Sunni and Shi'a politicians remains a distant goal.
In March Baghdad played host to a highly significant Arab League conference, at which Iraq's neighbour Syria was at the top of the agenda. With tensions also still high over Iran's nuclear programme and the possibility of war with the US and Israel, the conference came at a highly sensitive time for Iraq's security. The Maliki government already stood accused by its critics of becoming an Iranian puppet, and so the question being asked across the Middle East was whether Baghdad would align itself more with the Iranian worldview – though Iran itself has no involvement in the Arab League – or with that of the mostly Sunni Arab states. Regardless of the policy actions that Baghdad takes, the situations in both Iran and Syria pose a grave threat to the Iraqi state, as they both have the potential to spill over into Iraq at a time when the country is already extremely fragile.
Internally, the security picture remained grave. On March 21 in the run-up to the Arab League summit al- Qaeda launched co-ordinated bomb attacks in 18 Iraqi cities, including the capital, killing around 50 people and injuring at least 200 more. There has thus been no let-up in the spike in violence that began with the complete withdrawal of US forces from the country in December 2011, since when several hundred civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks across the country. Rocket and bomb attacks also occurred in Baghdad at the end of March to coincide with the opening of the summit.
Iraq's security forces remain poorly equipped to deal with the violence, with the country's military chief, Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari, publicly admitting in late 2011 that the armed forces would not be able to guarantee the country's security until 2020-2024. Military procurement continues, with BAE Systems announcing in February that it is refurbishing 440 M113A2 armoured personnel carriers for use by the Iraqi army. This followed the decision to procure F-16s from the US, as announced in January. However, these capabilities will take some time to come on stream, and so the any near-term answer to the country's security crisis can only be political, not military.
Business Monitor International's Iraq Defence and Security Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, defence and security associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Iraq's defence and security industry.
Iraq Security SWOT
Iraq Defence Industry SWOT
Iraq Political SWOT
Iraq Economic SWOT
Iraq Business Environment SWOT
Global Political Outlook
Major Risks Looming In 2012-2013
Global Flashpoints: Eurozone, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Korean Peninsula
Table: Election Timetable, Q212-Q113
Wild Cards To Watch
Middle East Security Overview
The Middle East In A Global Context
Challenges And Threats To Stability And Security
Regional Power Dynamics
Scenarios For The Middle East
Security Risk Ratings
Table: Middle East And Africa Defence And Security Ratings
Table: Middle East And North Africa State Vulnerability To Terrorism Index
Iraq's Security Risk Rating
Long-Term Political Outlook
Domestic Security Overview
Internal Security Situation
Table: Iraq's Insurgent Groups
External Security Situation
Armed Forces And Government Spending
Industry Forecast Scenario
Table: Iraq's Armed Forces, 2000-2008 ('000 personnel, unless otherwise stated)
Table: Iraq's Available Manpower For Military Services, 2009-2016 (aged 16-49, unless otherwise stated)
Table: Iraq's Defence Expenditure, 2009-2016
Table: Iraq's Defence Expenditure Scenario – Changing % Of GDP, 2008-2016 (US$mn)
Key Risks To BMI's Forecast Scenario
Table: Iraq – GDP By Expenditure, Current Prices Breakdown, 2009-2016 (IQDbn, unless otherwise stated)
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