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Iraq: Post–Saddam Hussein
Country Study > Chapter 1 > Historical Setting > Post–Saddam Hussein


In mid-2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority established by the United States named an interim Coalition Governing Council of Iraqis, which was empowered only to facilitate the next stage of government formation. From 2003 through early 2005, insurgent and terrorist activities blocked the normalization of government and services, primarily in Sunni-dominated central Iraq. A provisional Iraqi government assumed nominal control in mid-2004, but U.S. and coalition forces remained in place without substantial reduction in 2006. In January 2005, a national election chose members of an interim parliament charged with electing an interim president and writing a constitution. Two months after a national referendum approved a new constitution in October 2005, a permanent parliament was elected. In June 2006, the approval of a full, permanent government under Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki followed months of harsh debate about power distribution among Iraq’s major sects. The effectiveness of the new coalition government remained in doubt, however, and reconstruction of the economy and civil society remained slow. Meanwhile, the death of insurgent leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi in May 2006 was followed by an escalation of militia activity and terrorist attacks, especially on civilian targets close to Baghdad. In the early months of his administration, Maliki made sectarian reconciliation a top priority.

Data as of August 2006

Last Updated: August 2006

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iraq was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 22 of 128


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