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Part III Post-Authoritarian Reform: Ruptures, Conflict, and Managed Transitions, 8 Constitutional Reform Processes and Security Sector Reform: Principles for Practice: Iraq Case Study

Zaid al-Ali

From: Security Sector Reform in Constitutional Transitions

Edited By: Zoltan Barany, Sumit Bisarya, Sujit Choudhry, Richard Stacey

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 August 2020

This chapter describes the security sector reform (SSR) in Iraq. Following a troubled history through much of the twentieth century, Iraq’s security forces quickly and easily accepted the principle of civilian oversight following the 2003 war. That principle was codified in a number of legal documents, most importantly in the 2005 Constitution. However, despite that important advance, Iraq today suffers from a number of important difficulties. The 2005 Constitution establishes a parliamentary system that leaves no one in overall charge, and that provides little guidance on how the security services should be administered. The result is a deeply dysfunctional security framework that lacks a governing philosophy and in which individual institutions generally do not cooperate with each other or share information. Hence, although Iraq’s security institutions all function under civilian control and oversight, the civilians in question are not representative and are not transparent in their activities.

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