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Al-Qaeda Iraq is back

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The weak and ineffective government in Iraq is vulnerable to al-Qaeda insurgency there. Since the US essentially leveled the nation, it has struggled to regain footing, albeit with much investment by the US in rebuilding. Many believe that Iraq was an unnecessary invasion, and one that the US could not afford.

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When you start something in foreign policy, it is imperative to have the resources to complete it. That assessment and reconciliation was never clear with Iraq. The same is true with Afghanistan. These are half baked foreign policy disasters that have resulted in continuing vulnerability for populations seeking peaceful existence.

The news from USA Today is that al-Qaeda gunmen are engaged in a purposeful exploitation of populations that are more inclined to support them.

“On Friday, al-Qaeda gunmen sought to win over the population in Fallujah, one of the cities they swept into on Wednesday. A militant commander appeared among worshippers holding Friday prayers in the main city street, proclaiming that his fighters were there to defend Sunnis from the government, one resident said.

"We are your brothers from the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant," militants circulating through the city in a stolen police car proclaimed through a loudspeaker, using the name of the al-Qaeda branch. "We are here to protect you from the government. We call on you to cooperate with us."”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2014/01/04/al-qaeda-iraq-fallujah-ramadi/4317125/

The fact that the insurgents had to steal a police car with a loudspeaker points to the thug-like and opportunistic character of the undeveloped al-Qaeda. But, the world knows how easy it is for terrorists to create havoc in villages and cities.

One of the biggest problems in Iraq is the large number of political parties. It is highly factionalized. In addition, the two brands of Muslims fight against one another with militias.

“Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital:

name: Baghdad
geographic coordinates: 33 20 N, 44 24 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah (Arabic); parezgakan, singular - parezga (Kurdish)) and 1 region*; Al Anbar; Al Basrah; Al Muthanna; Al Qadisiyah (Ad Diwaniyah); An Najaf; Arbil (Erbil) (Arabic), Hewler (Kurdish); As Sulaymaniyah (Arabic), Slemani (Kurdish); Babil; Baghdad; Dahuk (Arabic), Dihok (Kurdish); Dhi Qar; Diyala; Karbala'; Kirkuk; Kurdistan Regional Government*; Maysan; Ninawa; Salah ad Din; Wasit
Independence:

3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration); note - on 28 June 2004 the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government

National holiday:

Republic Day, July 14 (1958); note - the Government of Iraq has yet to declare an official national holiday but still observes Republic Day
Legal system:

mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Jalal TALABANI (since 6 April 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI (since 20 May 2006)
cabinet: The Council of Ministers consists of the prime minister and cabinet ministers the prime minister proposes; approved by an absolute majority vote by the Council of

Representatives
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by Council of Representatives (parliament) to serve a four-year term (eligible for a second term); presidential election in parliament last held on 11 November 2010 (next to be held in 2014)

election results: President Jalal TALABANI reelected on 11 November 2010; Council of Representatives vote count on second ballot - 195 votes; Nuri al-MALIKI reelected prime minister

Legislative branch:

unicameral Council of Representatives (325 seats consisting of 317 members elected by an optional open-list and representing a specific governorate, proportional representation system and 8 seats reserved for minorities; members serve four-year terms); note - Iraq's Constitution calls for the establishment of an upper house, the Federation Council
elections: last held on 7 March 2010 for an enlarged 325-seat parliament (next to be held in 2014)

election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition - Iraqi National Movement 25.9%, State of Law coalition 25.8%, Iraqi National Alliance 19.4%, Kurdistan Alliance 15.3%, Goran (Change) List 4.4%, Tawafuq Front 2.7%, Iraqi Unity Alliance 2.9%, Kurdistan Islamic Union 2.3%, Kurdistan Islamic Group 1.4%; seats by coalition - NA
Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court or FSC (consists of 9 judges); note - court jurisdiction limited to constitutional issues); Court of Cassation (consists of a court president, 5 vice-presidents, and at least 24 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Federal Supreme Court and Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Higher Juridical Council, a 26-member independent committee of judicial officials; FSC members appointed for life ; Court of Cassation judges appointed for 1-year probationary period and upon satisfactory performance may be confirmed for permanent tenure until retirement at age 63

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (governorate level); courts of first instance; personal status, labor, criminal, juvenile, and religious courts

Political parties and leaders:

Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]
Da'wa Party (Islamic) [Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI]
Da'wa Tanzim [Hashim al-MUSAWI branch]
Da-wa Tanzim [Abd al-Karim al-ANZI branch]
Fadilah Party [Hasan al-SHAMMARI and Ammar TUAMA]
Goran (Change) List (also known as the Movement for Change) [Nushirwan MUSTAFA]
Iraqi Covenant Gathering [Ahmad Abd al-Ghafur al-SAMARRAI]
Iraqi Constitutional Party [Jawad al-BULANI]
Iraqi Front for National Dialogue [Deputy Prime Minister Salih al-MUTLAQ]
Iraqi Islamic Party or IIP [Usama al-TIKRITI]
Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement [Shaykh Abdallah al-YAWR]
Iraqi National Accord or INA [Ayad ALLAWI]
Iraqi National Alliance [Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
Iraqi National Congress or INC [Ahmad CHALABI]
Iraqi National Movement (see Iraqi National Accord)
Iraqi Unity Alliance [Nauaf Saud ZAID]
Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI [Ammar al-HAKIM]
Kurdistan Alliance
Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Kurdistan Regional Government President Masud BARZANI]
Kurdistan Islamic Group (also called Islamic Group of Kurdistan) [Ali BAPIR]
Kurdistan Islamic Union [ Mohammed FARAI]
Future National Gathering [Finance Minister Rafi al-ISSAWI]
National Iraqiyun Gathering [Usama al-NUJAYFI]
National Movement for Reform and Development [Jamal al-KARBULI]
National Reform Trend (part of the National Iraqi Alliance) [former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [President Jalal TALABANI]
Renewal List [Vice President Tariq al-HASHIMI]
Sadrist Trend [Muqtada al-SADR]
Sahawa al-Iraq [Ahmad al-RISHAWI]
State of Law Coalition [Nouri al-MALIKI]
Tawafuq Front (also known as the Iraqi Accord Front)
note:
numerous smaller local, tribal, and minority parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Sunni militias
Shia militias, some associated with political parties”

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/iz.html

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