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US intervention and possible Iraqi futures

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Saddam Hussein ruled through the ‘shadow state’ a network of patronage and violence that transformed Iraqi society. For the United States to successfully break the shadow state and build a stable government, it has to change how it interacts with the Iraqi population. This would involve the move from despotic power, the deployment of military force to facilitate the state's survivalal, to infrastructural power, and the creation of legal rational and legitimate state institutions that rule by consent. The only way to do this administratively and politically is to adopt a ‘micro-management’ approach. This would mean building state capacity and democratic institutions locally, from the ground up. By doing this, resentment and nationalist anger among the population could be reduced.

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