Commentary Magazine


Can Iraq’s Government Keep Control?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video—depicting the brazenness of Iraqi oil smuggling—should be worth far more.  This is not simply the result of tampering with metering at the oil facility, or government-sponsored smuggling such as the oil which the Kurdistan Regional Government sends to Iran. That Iraqis can turn a pipeline into a gusher—well-coordinated to fill a line of waiting oil tankers—is proof positive that the government is far from prepared to handle security and the functioning of state.  (If you don’t want to watch the full video, watch a bit at the beginning and then skip around to the last quarter or so).