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A nation must think before it acts.
Download Rebuilding Iraq’s Public Works Infrastructure Following the Defeat of ISIS
This report studies the challenges of rebuilding Iraq’s public works infrastructure following the “perfect storm” of the ISIS insurgency and low oil prices. The major challenge is that the Government of Iraq’s estimate of $88 billion severely understates total reconstruction costs. In addition, the country’s demand for infrastructure to replace that which was destroyed during almost four decades of conflict while expanding the oil industry is distorted by mismanagement, market failure, and corruption. At the same time, the supply of infrastructure investment is constrained not only by insufficient finance, but also by a severe shortage of skilled labor, the inefficiency of the state owned enterprises, and a hostile regulatory environment towards Iraq’s private sector. Even assuming that there will not be a successor insurgency to ISIS, the expectation of a decade or more of low oil prices will make rebuilding Iraq’s public works infrastructure extremely difficult without extensive institutional change.