Nation Building in Iraq
Nation Building in Iraq
After the events of the terrorist attacks in September 2001, the United States of America led an invasion into Afghanistan in combating terror and tackling national security. Subsequently, this also led to the invasion of Iraq with the aim of nation building and freeing the country into democratic renaissance. The efforts aimed at reconstruction and rebuilding of Iraq have come under major scrutiny and criticism, owing to the various setbacks and challenges realized in the period of the war in the country. This has always provided major talking points of the effectiveness of the whole process. Efforts by the government of the United States in nation building of Iraq have been successful despite the several challenges faced.
America has largely contributed to the building of the country’s economy. Brooks (21) states, “This year Iraq will have the 12th-fastest-growing economy in the world, and it is expected to grow at a 7 percent annual clip for the next several years.” This is further strengthened by the report by International Monetary Fund, which declares that the inflation rate in Iraq is reasonably stable. The country is expected to have a surplus budget, a remarkable feat that had not been achieved in the country during the reign of the regime. There is more cash flow among the citizens because of the improved status of the economy.
Due to the efforts of national building by the American government, Iraq has managed to establish its own new currency while creating a central bank that is Independent. Most Iraqi people can boldly state that they have witnessed improved personal finances. For example, the rise in the finances was recorded as positively upwards to more than 36% in the year 2007 (Rumsfeld 13). The markets of trade have also seen increase in vibrancy with additional materials like new electronics, clothing materials and cereal produce. This had largely taken a negative downturn before the invasion. Liquor stores around the country have reported booming businesses in the same vein of business form.
Security in Iraq has made considerable achievements especially after the entry of the US-led war. Majority of the funding of the war has been utilized in beefing up security forces. With the efforts of the nation building, the country has over 200,000 soldiers at its disposal while the security forces number over 400,000. The violence and crime levels have dropped drastically by more than 90% from the days prior to the war. There is also a significant improvement in the basic services of nation even though its not top notch. For example, Iraqis now have access to services aimed at removal of trash and wastes while the once inactive fire department is back to normalcy.
The country’s oil production is thriving at the prewar levels. Some analysts have even suggested that Iraq might soon rival Saudi Arabia on production levels in years to come under the stable growth of performance. Before the war, only 4,500 Iraqis could manage to access the internet. These figures have been dwarfed with more than 1.7 million who currently use it regularly while the figure keeps increasing from day to day. Use of landline phones was limited to a number of 833,000 citizens. This has tremendously increased to 1.3million people within a period of six to eight years while nearly 20 million Iraqis operate cellular phones on a regular basis.
Apart from the positive gains experienced in the country, there have been several challenges and negative outcomes of the war. According to Tristram (21), the country is almost in the brink of civil war while there is an upsurge of sectarian violence. There are numerous deaths and losses of civilian lives along with those of military contingent through friendly fire and drone attacks. There have been regime remnants and terrorist activities on the increase that leads to increased insecurity in the country. Divisions between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims have increased conflicts while the dictatorial authority of the leader continuous to polarize the country (Ehrlich 25).
There is still widespread fear in the country while skilled personnel like doctors, engineers escaped from Iraq. Human capital in the country is lagging behind. Social trust in the country is at the lowest level while the country tops among the mot corrupt nations in the world. Power failures are a common sight to see in the country while levels of basic services are still not to standard. This has led to worldwide spread of condemnation of the United States on the prime target of engaging war in the country and its efforts at rebuilding and reconstruction of the nation.
The US-led war in Iraq has witnessed several challenges in efforts of reconstruction and building of the nation. This has witnessed loss of lives, increase in sectarian violence and lagging of human capital while conflicts of between the Shiite and Sunni people are on the increase. Despite all the negative impacts, there are several transformations in lives of the Iraqi people because of the war and nation building. Decisive and alternative measures should be put in place to help the country become more independent, sustainable and stable for the lives of the people.
Brooks, David. Nation Building Works. The New York Times, Section A, Column 0 (2010): p.21
Ehrlich, Dan. Disintegrating Iraqi Democracy Demarks another US Nation Building Failure. The Huffington Post, huffingtonpost.co.uk, January 03, 2012. Web. June 30, 2014.
Rumsfeld, Donald H. “U.S. Nation-Building in Iraq Will Work.” Nation Building. Ed. Michael Logan. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Print.
Tristram, Pierre. “Nation-Building Fuels Civil Destruction.” Nation Building. Ed. Michael Logan. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Print.
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