Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2013

Contested Consolidation of Power in Iraq

Maria Fantappie

February 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


During his second term, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki emerged as a dominant player in Iraq’s political landscape. A weak legal framework and divisions among the prime minister’s opponents helped facilitate his rise to power. But above all, control of the Iraqi security apparatus and army was key. The struggle to consolidate power has created a climate of continuous political crisis that can only be overcome by the efforts of all political groups to establish effective political leadership and strengthen Iraq’s legal framework.