An Uncertain Future for Iraq's Intelligence Services | "Asian Spring" |



The institutionalization of a new Iraqi intelligence apparatus after the fall of Saddam Hussein has been a tumultuous process. The country's underlying geopolitical imperatives have changed little since it was first created after World War I, so the roots of these services can be found in those of previous regimes. However, the fall of Hussein's regime in 2003 and the subsequent complete rebuilding of the Iraqi state have led to a period of uncertainty in the country's intelligence community as several ethno-sectarian factions vie for control over it. Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears to be consolidating his power, but his position is by no means stable. As political battles continue, so too will fighting within these services.


Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, Iraq has been setting the foundations for its new state, including the institutionalization of a new set of security and intelligence services. Over the past eight years, Iraq has been following the mold of most nascent intelligence communities, slowly taking into account its geopolitical situation -- as well as bureaucratic, institutional and personal battles -- to create operational, analytical and decision-making protocols that will remain relatively constant even as the country's political leadership changes.

Since the beginnings of modern-day Iraq after World War I, its geopolitical imperatives have changed little, and the roots of these modern intelligence services can thus be found in those of previous governments.