Anton Veselov

Independent analyst and researcher

all articles

August 30, 2016
Iraq Is Not out of the Woods Yet

The military, political, and economic situation in Iraq continues to be extremely tense. Despite all the efforts by the country’s leaders, tangible changes for the better remain unattainable. The formation of the new government is still not complete, as a result of which many departments – some of key importance – are not able to fully carry out their functions. In particular, the position of minister of internal affairs remains vacant, and the mergers that occurred as part of the stated administrative reforms in many departments has paralyzed work in some crucial areas…

August 16, 2015
Iraq: Those on Top Can’t, Those on Bottom don’t Want to

Exactly one year ago Iraq got a new government. Many pinned their hopes on the advent of this new administration, because the country had been lost inside a maze of dead ends. But today we can say that the hopes of finding a way out have been dashed…

March 25, 2015
General David Petraeus: Back into the National Spotlight

Another scandal is on the rise in the United States and David Petraeus, former CIA Director and four-star Army four General, is in focus again… It looked like his career was over, the reputation in the puritan America was damaged and he no longer had a chance to work for the government. Not that easy. General Petraeus can fight his final battle during the 2016 presidential race. Hillary Clinton is going to be the leading candidate to run on the Democratic ticket. As a Republican, David Petraeus has something to say about it…

March 13, 2015
Tragedy of Iraq (II)

…The Islamic State does its best to expand the battle area to other parts of the Middle East. They have attacked a Saudi border guard force, they threaten Jordan and try to get to US military facilities in Iraq. They have attacked air bases in Tikrit and Balad (2014), Ain al-Asad and Habbanii (2015) – the facilities with US military presence. The mission is to cause casualties among Americans and make them have boots on the ground. Shiites have let their stance known – in case of US ground forces intervention they will turn their weapons against Americans to change the correlation of forces…

March 12, 2015
Tragedy of Iraq (I)

Iraq has gone through real hardships in recent years. There were times when the country claimed to be the regional leader but the foreign intervention set it many years back. The events of 2014 put into question the very existence of Iraq as a state… Actually the country has become divided. It’s extremely hard to piece it together again. There are influential forces that go to any length to prevent the unification process…

July 28, 2014
Inside Iraq: Situation Report

On July 24, the Iraqi parliament elected a new president… According to the rules imposed by US interim administration led by Paul Bremer in 2003 in the days of US occupation, the office of Iraqi President should belong to a Kurd… The Sunnis are under heavy pressing. They want an Arab, not a Kurd, to hold the presidential office… The electoral process is taking place in the heat of crisis which may end up in the partition of the country. The Iraqi Kurdistan is on the way to holding a referendum on independence. Actually Bagdad has lost control over vast lands in the Sunni-populated Iraqi provinces where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has established its rule. The number of migrants has exceeded 1, 5 million. The Islamists made seek refuge all the Christians living in Mosul and are destroying Shiite and Christian shrines. The battle is raging at the distance of 20-40 kilometers from Bagdad…

February 26, 2014
The Partitioning of Iraq: Will the Country Remain on the Map?

…Today practically all the conditions have been created for the transformation of Iraq into a federative state with dozens of provinces grouped into 3-4 autonomous territories (tentatively Shiite, Kurdish and Sunnite ones) on the basis of tribal connections, religious affinity and economic interests, with severe restriction of the powers of the Center… The West, headed by the United States, as well as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and obviously Israel, have an interest in keeping Iraq from ever again rising to the position of a powerful regional state; they need it to remain a manageable supplier of high-quality petroleum with minimal costs for extraction and export, and also to serve as a bargaining chip in resolving problems of another order. Most likely the future state structure of Iraq and the country's fate are being decided now not in Baghdad, but in back room negotiations between «very interested parties»…

September 2, 2013
Iraq: A Seething Boiler About to Explode

The pressure in the boiler which Western officials affectedly call «the new democratic Iraq» is building steadily and, figuratively speaking, the needle has entered the red zone. The deepening crisis is systemic in nature, encompasses the most important areas of life and undermines the foundations of statehood… While in 2011 4,147 people in Iraq were killed as a result of terrorist attacks, since the beginning of 2013 over 5,600 people have already been killed, more than in all of 2012 (4574); this is the highest figure since 2008. Since April – May 2013, every week there have been no less than 200 acts of terrorism and armed attacks, with numerous victims…

January 30, 2013
Iraq: Crisis After Crisis, or Stable Instability

A new round of escalating tension amid political stand-off marked the new year in Iraq… The situation exploded on January 25, when millions of Muslims gathered for Friday prayer. It’s hard to say what exactly the mullahs in the Fallujah mosques were saying but the people clashed with army servicemen. It went on for a few hours, after lunchtime the city saw mobile groups of armed men who opened fire against the military. The daily death toll was three servicemen and five civilians, over 80 people were wounded… The Iraqi parliament is actually paralyzed, the government is plunged in scandals, armed violence is one of the highest in the world, the desire for changes is rapidly spreading around in the Iraqi society…

November 28, 2012
Russia-Iraq: Agreements Concluded on Sand

In 2003 Iraq was occupied by the USA engaged in “global fight against terrorism”. The Iraqi Armed Forces didn’t exist anymore. Since then all key decisions were taken by United States itself, then a formal power transition followed under US control. Naturally it influences the arms supplies policy. As a victor the USA exercises full control over the decisions in this sphere and decides who and to what extent is “to have access to the pie”…Today the USA has over 40 arms contracts with Iraq totaling over $13 billion…