Successive Iraqi governments’ failure to invest in electricity generation has resulted in another bout of mass unrest. History will likely repeat itself in the coming years too.
Anger over inadequate electricity and water supplies, political incompetence and corruption has again boiled over into mass protests in southern Iraq, particularly in the oil heartlands of Basra province. Hellishly high summer temperatures coupled with blackouts have turned the area into a cauldron of discontent.
The failings of Iraq’s inadequate infrastructure have been exacerbated by problems in neighboring Iran, which cut crucial electricity exports earlier this month. But while Tehran’s move has laid bare these failings, the government has little in the way of viable options to resolve them.
To be clear, the task at hand is a mammoth one. When Kuwait hosted Iraq’s donor conference in February, the official document put the...