Latest Additions

  • Violence-Related Mortality in Iraq from 2002 to 2006(09 Jan 2008) in Info »Humanitarian Situation »Mortality Estimates (Added Jan 11)

    This report estimates that there were 151,000 violent deaths in Iraq between March 2003 and June 2006. This is based on a survey of 9345 households (substantially more than were surveyed in the Lancet studies), conducted by Iraqi government ministries and the WHO in 2006-7. The 95% uncertainty range is 104,000 to 223,000 deaths.

  • Resolution 1790(18 Dec 2007) in Info »United Nations Documents »A) UN resolutions (Added Dec 31)

    Extends the mandate for multinational forces to remain in Iraq until the end of 2008.

  • Baghdad poll for Iraqi government(Feb 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq (Added Dec 16)

    This poll was conducted in Baghdad for the Iraqi government, surveying 4000 people. The results were not officially made public, but some were provided to the Examiner by an anonymous source in the US army. The poll found that:

    • Only 3% believed security in their neighbourhood had improved in the past 3 months, and only 10% expected it to improve in the following 3 months
    • 34% had a favourable view of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
    • 32% said that their neighbourhoods were secure
  • Political views in Iraq (IRI)(Apr 2006) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq (Added Dec 16)

    This poll found, among other results, that:

    • 53% of Iraqis think economic conditions are poor. 76% think security conditions are poor
    • 62% say Iraq is heading in the wrong direction; 30% say it is heading in the right direction
    • 53% approve of prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari, compared to 42% who disapprove
    • Just 1% trust the multinational forces to protect their personal security, compared to 43% trusting the Iraqi police and 35% trusting the Iraqi army
    • Security and infrastructure development are rated as the most important political issues

    More detail is available in the form of a powerpoint presentation

  • Interview with Munqith Daghir (IIACSS)(Jan 2006) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq (Added Dec 16)

    Interview with Munqith Daghir, founder of the Iraqi polling group IIACSS.

  • Measuring opinion in a war zone: what Iraqis really think(Aug 2006) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq »Opinion Research Business (Added Dec 16)

    This paper was co-written by Johnny Heald and Dr. Munqith Daghir, respectively directors of British pollsters ORB and the Iraqi polling group IIACSS. These organizations have been working together to conduct several polls in Iraq. The paper covers the methodology of polling in Iraq, and presents an analysis of polling results since 2003.

    Powerpoint slides and a summary are also available.

  • Views of Nouri al-Maliki (ORB poll)(Sept 2006) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq »Opinion Research Business (Added Dec 16)

    Only 29% of Iraqis have a favourable view of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, compared to 58% in a June 2006 poll. Support for Maliki is uneven, being far higher in Shia regions than in Kurdish and Sunni areas. More details are available from the ORB website.

  • Violence in Iraq (ORB poll)(Apr 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq »Opinion Research Business (Added Dec 16)

    This poll finds skepticism about the 'surge' policy: only 16% believed it would improve security in Baghdad, while 69% believed it would make it worse. However, only 21% would describe conditions in Iraq as 'civil war'.

    Views of the government are divided, as regards effectiveness (43% call it very/somewhat ineffective, 46% very/somewhat effective) and corruption (35% believe it is effective in reducing corruption, 49% that it is ineffective or encouraging corruption).

    51% believe things are better than under the previous regime, against 23% who think they are now worse.

    More details are available from the ORB website

  • Economy of Iraq (ORB poll)(Aug 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq »Opinion Research Business (Added Dec 16)

    7,577 Iraqis, throughout the country, were asked about their economic situation, and their views of the Iraqi economy. The opinions were very divided: although more Iraqis believe the economy is deteriorating, a substantial minority believe it is improving, and many are unsure. The most pessimistic include Sunnis and residents of Baghdad.

    More details: tables and charts

  • Security in Basra (ORB poll)(Dec 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq »Opinion Research Business (Added Dec 16)

    Poll of 922 adults in Basra in early December 2007, shortly before the planned transfer of security responsibility to Iraqis. This found that:

    • 78% will feel safer once the British have left
    • 53% feel there will be less violence after the departure, with 38% unsure
    • Iran is seen as a continuing influence, and threat to security
    • 68% have an unfavourable view of the people of the UK

    See also: More detailed data, and media coverage from AFP, and the Independent

  • Accepting realities in Iraq(18 May 2007) in Info »Iraqi Politics and Security »Security, insurgency, and military tactics (Added Dec 16)

    A pessimistic take on sectarian violence in Iraq from Gareth Stansfield of Chatham House. He argues that the survival of Iraq as a country is now in doubt. Iraqi society has fractured, and there are now multiple, overlapping civil wars in progress. Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia are influential in Iraq, more so than the US and UK. However, all three benefit from instability in Iraq.

  • Petraeus Report(10 Sept 2007) in Info »Iraqi Politics and Security »Security, insurgency, and military tactics (Added Nov 28)

    This assessment of the 'surge' was written by General David Petraeus, commander of the US forces in Iraq. In it, he claims that the surge is succeeding in military terms, and proposes a timetable for US withdrawal from Iraq.

  • Foundations of the state in theory and practice: reading Bremer and the counterinsurgency field manual(Nov 2007) in Info »Iraqi Politics and Security (Added Nov 22)

    Roger Myerson, 2007 Nobel laureate in economics, evaluates two approaches to state-building applied in Iraq. The first, exemplified by Paul Bremer, focuses on the constitution. The other is concerned with security and effective governance, and is demonstrated in the US Army`s Counterinsurgency Field Manual

    one focussed on the constitution, exemplified by Paul Bremer. as outlined in Paul Bremer's biography of his years in Iraq and by the US Army's Counterinsurgency Field Manual. Myerson highlights an area he believes these theories have overlooked: that civil servants should be able to expect rewards for loyally serving the state.

  • Is the 'surge' working? Some new facts(14 Sept 2007) in Info »Iraqi Politics and Security »Security, insurgency, and military tactics (Added Nov 22)

    Michael Greenstone analyses statistics from Iraq to assess the success of the 'surge' policy. He concludes that deaths of Iraqi civilians have declined, but other measures of success have not improved. He also considers the price of Iraqi government bonds on world markets. These fell sharply after the surge, compared to other bonds, suggesting higher market expectations that Iraq will default. The statistics considered concern oil production, electricity, Iraqi and coalition troop levels, fatalities among Iraqi civilians and foreign troops, and American troops wounded.

  • Resolution 1770(10 Aug 2007) in Info »United Nations Documents »A) UN resolutions (Added Sep 17)

    Renews and expands the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq. The original mandate, as laid out in 2003 (by resolutions 1483 and 1500), and so was suited to a country ruled entirely by the occupying army. This new resolution retargets the UNAMI mandate to one of helping the Government of Iraq. It also requires UNAMI to work on helping refugees, on economic reform, and various other tasks.

  • Opinion poll for BBC, ABC News and NHK(10 Sept 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq (Added Sep 10)

    About 70% of Iraqis believe security has deteriorated in the area covered by the US military "surge" of the past six months.

    Suggests that 'the overall mood in Iraq is as negative as it has been since the US-led invasion in 2003'. Only 29% think things will get better in the next year, compared to 64% two years ago. Nearly 60% see attacks on US-led forces as justified. This rises to 93% among Sunni Muslims compared to 50% for Shia. Growing disparity between Shia and Sunni satisfaction levels.

    USA Today provide further analysis, numerous graphs, and detailed poll data

  • GAO report on key 'benchmarks' for Iraqi government Sep 2007(04 Sept 2007) in Info »US and UK Governments »United States »Legislative Branch »Government Accountability Office (Added Sep 05)

    Public Law 110-28 contains 18 benchmarks for the Government of Iraq to meet by 1 September 2007. As of 30 August 2007, the GAO assessed that the Iraqi government met 3, partially met 4, and did not meet 11 of its 18 benchmarks.

    Benchmarks met:

    • the rights of minority political parties in Iraq's legislature are protected.
    • Iraq's government has established various committees in support of the Baghdad security plan
    • almost all of the planned Joint Security Stations in Baghdad have been established

    Benchmarks partially met:

    • Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions (law passed but not yet implemented)
    • Providing three trained and ready brigades to support Baghdad operations.
    • eliminating safe havens for "outlaws"
    • Equitable allocation and spending of $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects and essential services
  • Iraq Displacement Review Mid-Year 2007(July 2007) in Info »Humanitarian Situation »Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons »International Organization for Migration (Added Jul 18)

    This summary states that "Iraq is experiencing the worst human displacement of its history", with over 4 million Iraqis affected. Figures are provided on the background, intentions and needs of internally displaced Iraqis.

  • Resolution 1762(29 June 2007) in Info »United Nations Documents »A) UN resolutions (Added Jul 10)

    Abolishes the UN programmes searching for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq - namely UNMOVIC and the IAEA's operations in Iraq. Some $60m in Iraqi oil revenue from the Saddam era, currently held under the Oil for Food programme to fund WMD inspection work, will be transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq. The resolution was drafted by the US and UK, and supported by all Security Council members except Russia. Russia abstained, arguing that the supposed stocks of WMDs remain unaccounted for.

  • GAO report: Coalition Support and International Donor Commitments (May 2007)(09 May 2007) in Info »Economic Development »Reconstruction (Added May 10)

    US Government Accountability Office statement on foreign troop levels and international donor commitments to Iraq's reconstruction.

    On the latter, it found that:

    • As of April 2007, international donors had pledged about $14.9 billion for reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Some countries exceeded their pledges by an additional $744 million for a total of $15.6 billion.

    • About $11 billion, or 70 percent, of these pledges are loans (mainly from the IMF, World Bank, Japan and Iran), with the remaining $4.6 billion in the form of grants.

    • As of April 2007, Iraq had accessed only about $436 million in loans from the IMF, and had received $3 billion in grants, suggesting considerable wariness on the part of the Iraqi government to contract new debt: "according to the State Department, the Iraqis lack a system for approving projects supported by donor loans, which has impeded efforts by the World Bank and Japan to initiate loan-based projects."

    • According to IMF reporting as of February 2007, Iraq has received about $39 billion in debt reduction from commercial and bilateral creditors.

    • The UK has provided bilateral grants to Iraq totalling $775 million (i.e. outside the projects funded by UN and World Bank trust funds for Iraq)

  • Mental Health Survey of US soldiers & Marines serving in Iraq(05 May 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq (Added May 05)

    A team of US army mental health specialists surveyed (anonymously) 1320 soldiers and 447 Marines serving in Iraq, and conducted focus groups with US military personnel. The study, completed in November 2006 but released in redacted form in May 2007, found high levels of mental stress and ill-health, and high tolerance of ill-treatment and torture of Iraqis; and also fears about safety risks posed by Rules of Engagement perceived to be restrictive.

    • "Approximately 10% of Soldiers and Marines report mistreating non-combatants (damaged/destroyed Iraqi property when not necessary or hit/kicked a non-combatant when not necessary)

    • "More than one-third of all Soldiers and Marines continue to report being in threatening situations where they were unable to respond due to the Rules of Engagement"

    • "over 650 Soldiers/Marines (over 37% of the sample) described an event which occurred during the current deployment which caused them "intense fear, helplessness or horror"

    • 20% of soldiers and 15% of Marines were diagnosed as suffering from a mental health problem (depression, anxiety, acute stress or other)

    • 39% of Marines and 36% of soldiers believed "Torture should be allowed in order to gather important information about insurgents"

    • 17% of soldiers/Marines believed "All non-combatants should be treated as insurgents"

    • only 38% of Marines and 47% of soldiers believed "All non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect"

    • "just less than 10% of Soldiers and Marines reported that their unit modifies the ROE [Rules of Engagement] to accomplish their mission"

    • "12% of Soliders and 5% of Marines reported taking medication for a mental health, combat stress or sleep problem during the deployment

  • October 2006 SIGIR report to Congress(30 Oct 2006) in Info »US and UK Governments »United States »Executive Branch »The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction »Quarterly reports to Congress (Added May 01)

    The October 2006 report to congress is essentially a collation of the SIGIR reports published over the last sixth months. It gives an overview of current US reconstruction efforts in Iraq, and in particular problems with them including waste, corruption, bribery, and lack of security.

  • Report of the Secretary-General. December 2006-February 2007(07 March 2007) in Info »United Nations Documents »C) Secretary General Reports (Added Apr 29)

    "The standard of living of all Iraqis has fallen", according to this report. 1.9 million people are now internally displaced within Iraq, in addition to 2 million Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries. The report also covers recent political developments, the security situation, and UN activities.

  • UNAMI Human Rights Report January-March 2007(Apr 2007) in Info »Human Rights »General reports on human rights »UNAMI Human Rights reports (Added Apr 29)

    In this document, UNAMI report that:

    • 736,000 Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes since February 2006, in addition to the 1.2 million already displaced.
    • 4 million Iraqis are "acutely vulnerable due to food insecurity"
    • 54% of the Iraqi population are living on less than $1 per day, 8% on less than $0.50 per day
    • The Baghdad Security Plan has inadequate human rights safeguards
    • The Iraqi government has been withholding data on casualty figures from the UN.

    The report also discusses attacks on journalists and academics, mass killings in Baghdad, sectarian violence, suicide bombings, attacks on Yezidi and Turkomen minorities, poor conditions for Palestinian refugees, honor killings and other discrimination against women

    Media coverage: Guardian, IRIN, Reuters, Washington Post

  • Red Cross Report: 'Iraq: civilians without protection'(11 Apr 2007) in Info »Humanitarian Situation (Added Apr 12)

    Report released by International Committee of the Red Cross on 11 April 2007, reporting that the humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate: "The suffering that Iraqi men, women and children are enduring today is unbearable and unacceptable. Their lives and dignity are continuously under threat."

    The report covers (although with little detail):

    • worsening provision of electricity, sewage, healthcare
    • reports of growing malnutrition levels, and food shortages in some areas
    • a 'water crisis', with inadequate quality and quantity of drinking water, despite some imporvements in the south
    • family separation due to the high levels of detention by the Iraqi government, and large internal displacement.

    Also details emergency humanitarian assistance supplied by the Red Cross/Red Crescent in Iraq.

  • The Rising Cost of the Iraq War(21 March 2007) in Publications »The Rising Costs of the Iraq War (Added Mar 21)

    Please note that tables only appear in the pdf file, and not in the text below

    The Rising Costs of the Iraq War

    Iraq Analysis Group, March 2007


    In the 2003 Budget the government set aside £3 billion to cover “the full costs of the UK’s military obligations” in Iraq [1]. In the past four years the amount allocated to this ‘Special Reserve’ has steadily increased, and with an extra £400 million in this year’s Budget the total is now over £7.4 billion. This is in addition to recent increases in general military spending. This briefing investigates the financial costs of the Iraq conflict to the UK taxpayer. It notes a significant opaqueness in the budgeting process as well as the potential for costs to continue to escalate.

    The financial costs of a war may not be the first consideration. War brings many costs, foremost in lives lost and damaged. However, the decision to involve the UK in the invasion of Iraq had substantial implications for UK public spending. Money spent on the Iraq war and wider ‘war on terror’ represents significant diversions from other government budgets.

    The lack of transparency in the UK finances is in contrast to the US, where all budgetary proposals must be scrutinised by Congress. Comprehensive information about US military spending is available and has contributed to considerable public debate. The sums spent by the US government are many times those of the UK, and there are a number of projects aimed at publicising the scale of US war spending (e.g.

    The Special Reserve

    The 2002 Pre-Budget Report set aside £1 billion to enable the armed forces to prepare for the coming invasion of Iraq[2]. By the time of the Budget in March 2003, UK forces were in Iraq. The Chancellor increased the amount to £3 billion and it became known as ‘the Special Reserve’[3]. In the 2003 Pre-Budget Report another £500 million was added for financial year 2003-04 and a further £300 million for 2004-05; bringing the total up to £3.8 billion[4]. While there was no increase in the 2004 Budget Report, another £520 million for 2004-05 was announced in the Pre-Budget Report of December that year[5]. The 2005 Budget Report included a further £340 million added for 2004-05 and £400 million for 2005-06[6], whilst the 2005 Pre-Budget Report included another £580 million . The 2006 Budget report allocated £800 million for operations in 2006-07 and this was followed by £600 million in the 2006 Pre-Budget Report. Most recently, the 2007 Budget allocated a further 400million for 2007-08. Thus, to date, the total amount allocated to the Special Reserve is £7.44 billion.

    The Special Reserve is not only set aside for costs in Iraq, but also for “the UK’s other international obligations”[7]. However, nowhere in the public domain has the Treasury published how much of the Special Reserve has been spent, nor how much of it has been spent on Iraq. Table 2 (please see pdf file above)., which gives a breakdown of the spending of the Special Reserve, was obtained through a Freedom of Information request solicited by the Iraq Analysis Group.

    Of the £6.44bn set aside at various times to the Special reserve by March 2006, at least £6.3bn had been allocated to departments, almost the total amount possible. About £4.4bn of the Reserve had been spent by the Ministry of Defence in Iraq[8] between 2002 and 2006, with at least an additional £156 million allocated to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development. Furthermore, the forecasted outturn for the financial year 2005-06 is larger than that of 2004-05, suggesting that costs in Iraq are still far from settling down to something approaching the spending in Afghanistan.

    How Much is £4.4 Billion?

    The £4.4 billion already allocated to operations in Iraq has been raised through the pre-existing tax structure, borrowing and other government revenue and consequently there exists some trade-off between the additional defence spending and other public spending options. £3.2 billion spent on education, for example, would be sufficient to fund the recruitment and retention of over 10,300 new teachers for ten years. In health, it would allow the building of around 44 new hospitals. The £6.44 billion Special Reserve represents the entire annual budget of the Department of International Development and would allow a five-fold increase in bilateral aid to Africa[9]. According to UNICEF estimates, £5 billion would fund two years of full immunization for every child in the developing world[10].

    Rising Defence Spending

    UK military spending is increasing across the board, in addition to the Special Reserve. It is likely that some of this increase reflects the costs of the Iraq war and the wider ‘war on terror’, as discussed below. At the beginning of the war in 2003, the Ministry of Defence’s total annual Departmental Expenditure Limit was £24.196 billion[11]. However, the 2004 Spending Review instigated an annual increase of over £5 billion, to £29.969 billion by 2007-2008[12]. This represents a nominal increase of over 23%, and does not include the Special Reserve, nor other money specifically set aside for Afghanistan. The UK spends similar sums on its military as it does on education and skills[13].

    Lack of Transparency

    There is a marked lack of clarity about which costs the Special Reserve is intended to cover. Funds from the Special Reserve are ‘drawn down’ by the Ministry of Defence as and when they are required, by arrangement with the Treasury. With no standard reporting procedure in place, it is extremely difficult to trace where sums are going. While the Special Reserve has been fairly well publicised, information such as how much of the Reserve is being spent in Iraq, as opposed to the wider ‘war on terror’ has not been put into the public domain. It should not be the case that this information has to be discovered through Freedom of Information requests.

    The Special Reserve comes on top of the regular defence budget, which has also increased, as discussed above. Money drawn down from the Special Reserve does not cover costs such as wages or salaries[14]. Moreover, the Ministry of Defence itself notes that “it is likely that repair and refurbishment costs will need to be incurred in the future in order to bring the equipment back into full operational use“[15], suggesting there will either need to be further allocations to the Special Reserve, or that this is likely to come out of defence spending at the expense of other projects. It should therefore also be made clear how much of the MOD’s standard budget is likely to be spent on Iraq.

    This lack of transparency was also highlighted in the recent report from the House of Commons Defence Select Committee [16]. It complained that whilst “military operations are by their nature unpredictable”, nevertheless “the MoD will undoubtedly have made internal planning assumptions about the costs of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and we believe these should be shared with Parliament”. Only after asking for further information it received the information in Table 4, a breakdown of the Resource DEL, and a breakdown of the Capital DEL estimate. Overall, the report concluded that the MoD should do more to make public the cost of Iraq, and not just negotiate its needs with the treasury.


    It is clear that the total cost of operations in Iraq is quickly exceeding previous estimates, and is now well over the £3 billion originally set aside by the Chancellor to fund the conflict. Rough estimates suggest that as much as an extra £1 billion will be required for each further year UK forces remain in Iraq[17]. Perhaps as important as the rising costs themselves is the lack of transparency about where the money is going, and how much more will be needed in the future. The Iraq Analysis Group calls on the future government to clarify the costs of war in terms of size and expenditure type, and how they are being met. In the meantime, we will update this briefing as further information becomes available.

    This briefing for the Iraq Analysis Group was prepared by Jim Cust, Alison Klevnäs and Liam Wren-Lewis. The Iraq Analysis Group was set up in 2004 by former members of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. Based in the UK, it is an independent, volunteer-run organisation. For more information please contact us.


    [1] Budget Report 2003: Chapter 6

    [2] Referred to in Budget Report 2003: Chapter 6.

    [3] Budget Report 2003: Chapter 6.

    [4] Pre-Budget Report 2003: Chapter 6

    [5] Pre-Budget Report 2004: Chapter 6

    [6] Budget Report 2005: Chapter 6

    [7] Budget Report 2005: Chapter 6

    [8]This is based on the assumption that most of the MOD’s expenditures from the capital reserves were spent on Iraq. This is reasonable when the total figures are compared with those given in the MOD Annual Reports and Accounts 2003

    [9] ONS Annual Abstract 2005, Chapter 3: International Development

    [10] Immunize Every Child: GAVI Strategy for Sustainable Immunization Services

    [11] Figure quoted in terms of Near-Cash Spending. 2002 Spending Review: Chapter 12

    [12] Figure quoted in terms of Near-Cash Spending. 2004 Spending Review: Chapter 13

    [13] 2004 Spending Review: Chapter 1

    [13] E.g. Pre-Budget Report Statement to the House Of Commons delivered by Chancellor Gordon Brown, 10 December 2003 and Paul Boateng, 26 January 2005

    [14] MoD Consolidated Department Resource Accounts 2004-05

    [15] MoD Consolidated Department Resource Accounts 2004-05

    [16] Defence Select Committee, Third Report: Cost of Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan

    [17] Defence Select Committee, Sixth Report: Chapter 4, Challenges in Southern Iraq

  • Opinion Poll by Opinion Business Research(18 March 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq »Opinion Research Business (Added Mar 21)

    Opinion poll of 5019 adults in every governorate of Iraq conducted from 10-22 February 2007. Covered mainly political and security questions, as well as migration.

    • One in four (26%) Iraqi adults have had a family relative murdered in the last three years, while 23% of those living in Baghdad have had a family/relative kidnapped in the last three years.

    • Nationally a small majority (53%) felt that the security situation in Iraq will get better in the immediate weeks following a withdrawal of the MNF. A quarter (26%) believes the situation will deteriorate with the remainder predicting no change or answering "Don't know."

    • Opinion is divided regionally and along sectarian lines: by a ratio of nearly seven to one the (Shia dominated) South felt that the situation will get "a great deal/little better" (69%) rather than "worse" (10%). In the North opinion is more evenly divided – 46% felt it will get better and 37% feel it will get worse

    • Asked about what political system they preferred for the future Iraq, a majority (64%) preferred the current central political system, with majority support amongst all Muslim sectarian groupings (but weak - 15% - support amongst Kurdish respondents)

    • Evidence of some moderate optimism for future security plans: asked whether they believed al-Maliki's plan to disarm all militias would actually do so, 45% believed it would (26% of Sunni respondents, 61% of Shia respondents), 22% that it would not.

    • just under half (49%) believed that things were better under the current political system than under Saddam's rule, but divided strongly along sectarian, ethnic and regional lines (29% of Sunni respondents preferred the current political system, 66% of Shia, 75% of Kurds; 76% of respondents in southern governorates; only 23% in northern governorates; 61% in central governorates)

    Tables showing breakdowns of the results by age, gender, religion, ethnic group, region, education and rural/urban split:

  • Opinion poll by D3 Systems, Feb-Mar 2007(19 March 2007) in Info »Opinion Polls in Iraq (Added Mar 19)

    Poll of 2,212 people conducted from 25 February to 5 March 2007, in all 18 provinces. Covered political, security and economic questions. This is the 3rd such poll since 2003, allowing some comparison across time.

    • perception of overall decline in quality of life since 2007

    • shows much less optimism about the future than 2004 or 2005 (32% expected that in a year's time things would be somewhat worse or much worse, compared to 12% in 2005 and 6% in 2004; only 35% thought they would be much or somewhat better, compared to 64% in 2005 and 71% in 2004)

    • shows polarising opinion about the US-led invasion, with more believing it to have been either absolutely right or absolutely wrong than in 2005 or 2004

    • reports declining quality/availability of electricity supply, water, fuel, education, local government and medical care

    • still majority (58%) support for "One unified Iraq with a central government in Baghdad", although declining since 2005 (70%) and 2004 (79%)

    • a majority believe that the surge of US troops in Anbar and Baghdad will worsen security (49%) or have no effect (22%)

    • 17% said an immediate family member had been harmed by the violence

    • only 14% reported that Shiites and Sunnis living in their neighbourhood had separated to separate neighbourhoods (37% said their neighbourhood remained mixed; 47% that their neighbourhood had never been mixed)

    Graphic presentation of some results, including some sectarian breakdowns of political views, is at

  • Coming to Terms with the Humanitarian Imperative in Iraq(01 Jan 2007) in Info »Non-Governmental Organisations »International (Added Mar 15)

    Summary of forthcoming study on perceptions of humanitarian needs and activities in Iraq.

    Based on interviews with Iraqis, and with NGO workers in Iraq, carried out Oct-Dec 2006 by Iraqi researchers for the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University (USA).

    Findings include:

    • Blurred distinctions between military, political, commercial and humanitarian actors: "Our fieldwork in different regions of Iraq confirms that it is now often virtually impossible for Iraqis (and sometimes for humanitarian professionals) to distinguish between the roles and activities of local and international actors, including military forces, political actors and other authorities, for-profit contractors, international NGOs, local NGOs and UN agencies."

    • the only exceptions to this (and to the relative lack of aid providers' openness and transparency) were local religious charities and mosques, although these were also subject to some pressure from parties and militias.

    • importance of perceived neutrality of aid providers. "Neutrality is not an abstract notion in Iraq. Our research indicates an acute readiness among Iraqis to distinguish between aid providers that have taken sides, and those that have not; however, readiness does not necessarily equate to ability."

    • Decline of 'neutral' aid funding: "important sources of “neutral” funding fell off sharply in mid-2005....Our interviews with a range of humanitarian organizations still operational inside Iraq indicate that since the escalation of inter-communal violence sparked by the Samarah Mosque bombing in February 2006, bilateral donors and ECHO have generally been unresponsive and resistant to operational innovations on the ground."

    • Declining security situation in centre/south in recent months, accompanied by increasing secrecy and uncertainty amongst aid providers, which hampers their operational effectiveness and their transparency

  • GAO Testimony: Factors Impeding the Development of Capable Iraqi Security Forces(13 March 2007) in Info »Iraqi Politics and Security »Security, insurgency, and military tactics »Iraqi Military and Security Forces (Added Mar 15)

    GAO congressional testimony:

    • Reports that "as of February 2007, DOD reported that it had trained and equipped 327,000 Iraqi security forces—a substantial increase from the 142,000 reported in March 2005...[and] double that of the 153,000-strong U.S.-led coalition currently in Iraq.

    • Notes that it is currently impossible for Congress to gauge the readiness of Iraq's security forces since the DOD refuses to release its Transition Readiness Assessments. In addition, "[t]he [Iraqi] Ministry of the Interior does not maintain standardized reports on personnel strength. As a result, DOD does not know how many coalition-trained police the ministry still employs or what percentage of the 180,000 police thought to be on the payroll are coalition trained and equipped.

    • Also notes that Iraqi units remain dependent upon US-led international forces for their logistical, command and control, including fuel and ammunition, as well as intelligence capabilities.

Back to front page