The prime minister is set to depart against a backdrop of US airstrikes and urgent international shipments of arms and aid to the north, the frontline in the fight against ISIL. The prime minister’s achievements, such as they were, will be overshadowed by the turmoil now engulfing his country.
Economic growth under al-Maliki accelerated early on, but has stumbled recently. Still, per capita incomes have roughly tripled since 2006:
But the wealth is not shared equally—almost one in five Iraqis still lives below the poverty line:
This doesn’t bode well for the government’s ability to fund its many pressing priorities, not least its security forces. Despite higher oil revenues, Iraq is running a budget deficit, limiting its capacity to spend:
Al-Maliki’s premiership began during a bloody wave of suicide attacks and a “surge” of US soldiers in support of Iraq’s overwhelmed troops. The recent rise in violence against civilians—including the threat of full-scale genocide of some minority groups—makes for a similarly grim end to the prime minister’s time in charge: