World Bank May Return to Iraq

The World Bank may be headed back to Iraq, reports the Financial Times.

Paul Wolfowitz, the president of the World Bank and one of the main advocates within the Bush administration for the invasion of Iraq, is considering sending bank staff back to the troubled state to help with rebuilding. “One of the things we are looking at is whether we would be more effective if we had a presence in Iraq,” Mr Wolfowitz has said. “It’s a difficult environment to operate (in) so the disbursement rate is pretty low.”

The World Bank withdrew its personnel from Iraq in August 2003 following a bombing near its headquarters. Since then the international lender has run its operations from Amman, the Jordanian capital. Returning staff to Iraq would be seen as a vote of confidence in the ability of the US to stabilise the country, which some fear is descending into civil war between Shia and Sunni communities.

It would certainly be a welcome move.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, United Nations, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bhoe says:

    Joyner:

    It would certainly be a welcome move.

    Financial Times:

    Despite the symbolism, experts are unsure how much practical difference the return of World Bank staff to Iraq would make.

    I guess they forgot to call you James!

  2. James Joyner says:

    Bhoe: Not sure who the “experts” are. Symbolism is incredibly important in counterinsurgency and nation-building efforts. The World Bank going in, especially if it is not attacked, might give other IOs, including the UN, confidence to do the same.

  3. Bhoe says:

    The World Bank going in, especially if it is not attacked, might give other IOs, including the UN, confidence to do the same.

    The UN is the one who got us in to the whole Iraq mess in the first place! As Bush has said numerous times, the reason we went into Iraq was because of UN resolution 1441. We only went to war recluctantly.

    Given the fact that we have had to save the UN’s behind already in Iraq, I don’t think getting Hans Blix and Koffi Anan’s cabal in there can do anything other than harm.