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The Next Steps in Iraqi Economic Reform

Strategy Page, February 27, 2007 – Austin Bay wrote,

Call it an economic and political victory for "New Iraq" -- and an indication that we may see more in the future. This past Monday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's cabinet finally agreed to a reformed "oil law." The cabinet will forward the legislative package to the Iraqi parliament for action later this spring. The "oil reform" program in Iraq is long overdue, but the Iraqi government also deserves kudos for the effort. Democracy is often a slow, muddled and tedious operation (look at the U.S. Congress). Until Iraq's democratically elected parliament was seated and the government selected, Iraq lacked "full sovereignty." Any "permanent oil reform" implemented by the Coalition Provisional Authority or an interim Iraqi government would have been portrayed as inherently illegitimate. The new bargain has its flaws (what legislation doesn't?), but illegitimacy isn't among them. The Iraqis have worked through the snarl on their own. Implementing the new program will strengthen the national government while giving all regions an economic stake in its political success. Continued...

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