restricted access A Preliminary Assessment of Saddam Hussein's Legacy

The toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in March 2003 opened a new chapter in Iraq's domestic policy and created new prospects for regional stability. This study seeks to provide a preliminary assessment of Hussein's legacy and examine the process of reconstructing the post-Saddam Iraq. It argues that the Iraqi leader exacerbated the contradictions and imbalances that plagued the Iraqi political system since the country's creation in 1921. A Sunni-Arab minority ruled Iraq and alienated the Shiites and the Kurds to varying degrees from 1921 to 2003. The successful emergence of a stable and prosperous post-Saddam Iraq will depend on addressing these ethnic and sectarian imbalances and the roots of regional insecurity.