“As a meeting of senior-level officials of the United Nations in 2008 to evaluate reclamation projects in Iraq approached its conclusion, an Iraqi said ‘Wait, we haven’t discussed whether any of this has had any impact.’ The man leading the session replied, ‘We don’t have the luxury to discuss impact.’

Alas, in the decade since the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein, virtually no one, it seems, has come to terms with the impact of the invasion, occupation and the subsequent withdrawal of American troops on the lives of Iraqi citizens.

In ‘The Struggle for Iraq’s Future,’ Zaid Al-Ali, who served as a legal advisor to the United Nations in Iraq from 2005-2010, tries to do just that. Al-Ali agrees with most critics that the decision of American policymakers to disestablish the Baath Party and disband the Army has had catastrophic consequences, leaving Iraq without a bureaucracy or any effective policing force. He focuses most of his attention, however, on Iraq’s domestic politics, providing disturbing and depressing details about corrupt and incompetent Iraqi politicians ‘who are devoid of any ideology other than personal gain.'” Read the full review