A World View from a Contractor

Another Day in Iraq

There has been major conflict between the Shia, Sunni, Kurds, along with the Iraqi government that is causing a rift in passing the Iraq national budget. There are many other hurdles in the process of getting a national budget passed in Iraq. For starters, there is a parade of non-stop protests in Iraqi cities calling for the ouster of PM Maliki.

In the meantime, PM Maliki will hold onto power and look forward to the next national elections in 2014. There are Iraq politicians carefully taking sides and others who are just watching the current situation unfold.

Most politicians are refraining from participating in anything related to government affairs, such as passing a bill. They are fearful of alienating themselves should a new power government powers step up. The typical Iraqi politician is very cautious in who he aligns himself with as it could result in a loss of employment or demotion from a high level position from within the central government.

The Kurds are disgruntled with the Iraq central government. The Kurds had previously maintained the national budget at 17% and now PM Maliki wants to cut it to a mere 12%.
The cut is estimated to be costing hundreds of millions of dollars. The intention is to fund services and projects. The reason behind the cuts is to compensate for the deficit when the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) decided to stop paying the central government in oil sales.

Within the past year, the Peshmerga Militia has been positioning themselves at all major crossings into northern Iraq. The Iraq professional Army would destroy the Peshmerga Militia in an all out battle once command by PM Maliki.

The Baghdad central government has accused the KRG of selling oil to Turkey and not contributing to the national budget. In addition, the Turkish government official has admitted purchasing oil from the KRG as well as from some southern Iraq companies. The Turkish official has said that the intention was to spread the wealth around.

ExxonMobile has made a corporate decision to drill in northern section of Iraq and is contemplating on giving up the oil fields in the southern part.

Regarding the Iraqi dinar currency situation, there has not been any signs of uplifting the suspension of the printing of the new Iraq dinar currency. A finance committee meeting will commence in Late March or early April to determine the status of the printing of the new currency. Be aware that, this is not to be mistaken as a sign that something is going to happen in March or April.

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