Top Analyst: Iraqi Political Outlook Grim

Belief that Iraq Mission has Succeeded is "Misplaced," Scholar Warns

There is growing concern in the Iraqi political community that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is consolidating power and positioning himself as a future dictator, a leading Iraq analyst has told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Kenneth Pollack, an analyst at the Brookings Institute, warns that the political outlook in Iraq is “grim” and that the growing belief that with the passage of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) the American mission in Iraq has succeeded is “misplaced.”

It has been regularly reported that Prime Minister Maliki is putting himself in a position of increased power, but he has clashed regularly with Kurdish political blocs and has made himself the public face of the contentious SOFA, which may imperil his party in next month’s provincial elections and beyond.

Pollack believes that “the next year or 18 months is going to be absolutely critical for the development of Iraqi politics.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of