Not the Iraq You Know: But the Iraq That Could Be

By Barnard, Mason | Harvard International Review, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

Not the Iraq You Know: But the Iraq That Could Be


Barnard, Mason, Harvard International Review


Cranes pierce the blue sky, Western businessmen walk the streets, and capable militiamen and police officers patrol daily. It might be Dubai, if Dubai were landlocked, a few thousand kilometers northwest, and still possessed oil--but this is not the case. It is a snapshot of a new Iraq. Not the Iraq glimpsed in news reports, an Iraq of car bombings, government corruption, and a political shift towards Iran, but an Iraq of business, social, ana political opportunity. It's an Iraq of hope, the Iraq the United States hoped to leave behind.

The tranquil peace does not always go uninterrupted, however. Bombs still go off. US soldiers remain in a few isolated camps. Corrup-tion continues--albeit at a much-reduced level. It is not a perfect picture of a new Iraq, as deep scars still mar the pleasant exterior. But the economic development, relative peace, and the functioning, largely cohesive governing system behind Kurdistan's success hold the keys, and reveal many of the potential obstacles, to Iraq's success.

Oil continues to drive the push for business growth in Kurdistan, and business is booming. Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan's Oil Minister, has publicly announced that oil exports are expected to hit 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of October, and 1 million bpd by 2015. He has also announced the construction of a new oil pipeline across the Turkish border. Expected completion: 2014. Expected capacity: 1 million bpd. Two multinational Dutch trading companies recently brokered a deal with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to open up exports by trucking crude through Turkey, and major energy giants are hot on their heels. Chevron purchased 490 square miles north of Erbil this past July, a big move for the historically cautious company. ExxonMobil proposed a partnership with the KRG over a year ago, seeking larger profits than those found by doing business in mainland Iraq. With business friendly practices, openness to the West, and 45 billion barrels of oil hidden just beneath the desert sands, such deals are likely to continue--much to the chagrin of the federal Iraqi government.

Tired of receiving a smaller piece of the pie, the Iraqi government, led by Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani, attempted to stop a deal between ExxonMobil and the KRG earlier this year. After months of negotiations, ExxonMobil abandoned their previous oil development project in mainland Iraq, opting to sell it off and pursue greater profits in Kurdistan. The subsequent fallout from the deal places Western oil giants in a tough position. Oil exploration in Kurdistan began shortly after Saddam Hussein's fall in 2003, with the region's total reserves estimated at 40 billion barrels.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Although that is a modest number when compared to Baghdad's 143 billion barrels of reserves, short-term profit in Kurdistan greatly exceeds the offerings to be had with the Iraqi government. Wood Mackenzie, a Scottish consulting firm familiar with the Middle East, estimates that for every dollar earned through contracts with the Iraqi government, three to five dollars can be earned through more lenient contracts with the Kurdish Regional Government. The current outlook for many companies is thus: Kurdistan equals profit, Iraq equals risk. No matter the long-term consequences for Western business, one thing is assured: oil will continue to flow for the Kurds.

But oil prosperity is short-lived, and the KRG knows this - somewhat. Oil revenues continue to be pumped back into the country's educational systems and infrastructure, at least in theory. In 2011, the Kurdish Regional Government released a pamphlet entitled: "Invest in Democracy." While largely a propaganda and advertising ploy, "Invest in Democracy" contained a detailed plan on moving the autonomous region away from a hydrocarbon-dominated economy. "We are well aware of building an economy so dependent upon one source," states Prime Minister Barham SaEh in the pamphlet's opening interview, "and we need to do everything we can to embrace the benefits of this and nullify its problems. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Not the Iraq You Know: But the Iraq That Could Be
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.