Important Direction for Iraq Security

  • 16 April 2008

The recent Damascus Conference on the Iraq situation—that was attended by six neighbouring countries along with the US, Russia, and the European Union—deliberated on formulating the best approach for confronting growing security challenges in Iraq, with greater regional collaboration. In this regard, two significant developments merit attention.

The first noteworthy feature has been the direct and transparent language used by the Iraqi delegation during the conference. It has been quite specific on the role certain regional parties should play, in cooperation with the Iraqi government, in tackling sources of threat to Iraqi security on the ground. This new language is welcome and necessary and would help all sides to clarify their position on certain controversial issues, which would be in the best interest of all sides despite the contentions and disagreements that might ensue.

The second important feature is that all sides at the conference agreed on greater cooperation for improving Iraqi security, especially over the exchange of security-related information, with respect to terrorist groups and anti-social elements operating within Iraq. The approach underscores the fact that Iraqi security crisis is not just an internal domestic affair, but has a regional dimension that cannot be ignored in establishing any comprehensive and integrated strategy on tackling the troubled Iraqi security situation. Stability in Iraq is not vital for Iraq, but it is in the interest of all countries in the region. The menace of terrorism that threatens Iraq is spreading to the entire region, and the impact and consequences of any untoward development within Iraq would definitely affect its entire neighborhood.

With respect to these two points, it would be important to practically implement these resolutions and decrees, and establish real cooperation between Iraq and its neighbors under a common and coordinated vision to help the Iraqi government in its war against security threats for the establishment of stability inside Iraq.

As Iraq desperately seeks genuine cooperation with its neighbours to deal with the issue of internal unrest, there is an urgent need for greater cooperation between Iraqi parties and political forces to overcome their disputes. Any regional or international resolution or intent, or any related development, would not be fruitful without domestic and national accord. As a matter of fact, domestic unrest that has taken serious dimension in recent period and forms the greatest security threat to Iraq. It represents the most difficult obstacle toward achievement of national or regional security strategy aimed at stabilizing Iraq.