Iraq Shows Signs of Unravelling

In the last few days, a wave of horrifying violence has plagued Iraq. Over 70 people were killed between the 16th and 18th of December as a result of terrorist attacks, which were carried out by car bombs and militant shootings.  The attacks are being attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella organization that includes al Qaeda.  Additionally, some of the actors are allegedly members of the Iraqi government, and the public is coercing the government to rapidly augment its information services for the better.

This sectarian violence, which is being called the worst since 2008, is a huge source of friction for Iraq as it attempts to rival Saudi Arabia as the top oil producer. It even surpassed neighbouring Iran as the second largest oil producer within OPEC during 2012. However, with the rise in violence, this shows signs of reversing; the country is encountering immense difficulty in guarding its oil-producing facilities. Pipelines have been attacked, some fields missed production targets, and the cost of production has increased. With the country having just begun to truly exercise its self-sufficiency with success (following the extraction of the American military in 2011), it cannot afford to be economically hindered. Hopefully, the government will be resilient enough to exercise force in putting this debilitating violence to an end.

About Dahlia James

Dahlia James is a Research Analyst at the NATO Association of Canada, where she writes articles on current events, as well as women in security, Canada’s involvement in NATO, and NATO’s multilateral connections. She has completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Toronto, where she studied Political Science, History, and American Studies. For the entirety of the 2011-2012 academic year, she studied abroad at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where her studies were focused on Israeli foreign policy and Middle Eastern studies. Her recent experience includes acting as the Co-Editor in Chief of the Undergraduate Journal of American Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and interning in the research and editorial department at the Jerusalem Centre of Public Affairs. Her interests lie in American foreign policy, Canadian-American bilateral affairs, and both Israeli and Middle Eastern politics.