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Dual problems in Iraq: Extremism and ‘dysfunctional politics’

June 17th, 2014
03:01 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The United States faces two main problems right now in Iraq, Douglas Ollivant, former director for Iraq at the U.S. National Security Council.

The first, he said, are the Sunni extremists ISIS, who have poured in across the border from Syria, embroiled in civil war.

“Even if Iraq didn’t exist, this is still a problem for us,” Ollivant told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour.

The second is Iraq’s government itself.

“Closely related to this is the dysfunction of Iraqi politics, which has made Iraq uniquely vulnerable to ISIS right now. We need to deal with the first problem right away, as ISIS is moving south towards Baghdad.”

“Once that problem is dealt with, then we can take a little more leisure to figure out how we do fix the admittedly dysfunctional politics in Baghdad.”

Click above to watch Gorani’s full interview with Ollivant.

Filed under:  Iraq • Latest Episode
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. hdq

    The "disfunctional politics" in Iraq are the result of the "disfunctional politics" of the US government which used the 9/11 to start wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with the aim of reshaping the Middle East to promote "freedom and democracy".
    The wars were lawless criminal acts of the US government and they have lead to more lawlessness and chaos which continues today.

    June 18, 2014 at 5:33 am | Reply
  2. raja

    Analysts warn that ISIS is primed to usurp Al Qaeda as the world’s most dangerous jihadist movement. Western states are particularly anxious that ISIS militants will return home radicalized, as was the case for French citizen Mehdi Nemmouche, who went on a deadly shooting spree in a Jewish museum in Belgium last month after fighting with the jihadist group in Syria.

    Look for ISIS to continue its efforts to consolidate control on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border via multi-pronged assaults. With no sign that the Iraqi government is capable of stemming the onslaught, foreign intervention may become more likely as ISIS sets its sights on Baghdad and beyond

    July 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply

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