Much has been said recently about the reconstruction of Iraq once the war has been won. Though it may be several months before any rebuilding can take place, aside from humanitarian aid shipments and supplying the nations basic needs, certain countries and organisations seem set to benefit from the rebuilding of the Middle Eastern oil giant.
The United Nations
The few past months have seenthe UN lose nearly all international credibility. That is not to say that nations do not support the concept, but without the worlds only superpower being on board and nations such as France seemingly "punching above their weight" the current organisation has a lot to prove.
With the reconstruction of Iraq the UN has a real chance to prove its worth. The UN has vast expereince in humanitarian relief operations and will doubtlessly play a major role in the establishing of a new regime in Iraq, though this role is yet to be fully clarified.
Nations such as France will be keen to throw their weight into the UN in an attempt to retain an international image of sticking to moral principles (right or wrong). The US and Britain, as well as their other key allies, will also be keen to show that they still value the UN as this will help dissuade anti-Americanism and ease the international anger over the use of force.
The reconstruction will allow all nations to see the UN's positive side, instead of them remembering its failings.
The United States of America
The US will be seeking to improve its image in the Middle East significantly. By rebuilding a model state the critics of the war will be somewhat appeased and Islamic extremists may struggle to find the populist support that has been amassing since the first Gulf War.
The US will also benefit from an extremely greatful regime in an oil producing country. Though oil may not be sold cheaply, and even if it were it would take years to repay the costs of war, a friendly regime may help to prevent moves by OPEC
which would seek to increase the price of oil worldwide.
US companies also appear to benefit from the reconstruction. Many rebuilding contracts are only open to tender by American companies. The 5 exclusive bids so far are worth $900m and this is only for the emergency reconstruction of power plants and water facilites. Any companies which work in the reconstruction will have a massive advantage over competitors in the future as they will have local contacts and facilities. This is likely to aid the US economy for years to come.
It most be noted however that the US will not come close to recouping the cost of war for many years to come.
Britain will gain some benefits from the reconstruction, mainly in a similar manner to the US, but without the bonuses of reconstruction companies as even UK companies, such as Balfour Beaty who have been operating in Iraq since 1937, have been excluding from at least the preliminary reconstruction work.
Britian may also recieve more business from US companies as the public show their appreciation of UK support for their campaign. However, their image in the EU has been severly tainted and polititions wishing to join the Euro, including PM Tony Blair, will struggle to find any public support for agreements on this scale with France.
The Kurdish peoples of Northern Iraq are likely to see a relaxing of rules and an end to the persecution they have suffered under Saddam Hussein. Though a separate state is unlikely many Kurds simply want an end to the misery inflicted by Mr Hussein.
Though the ethnic majority, the Shiites have also been persecuted by the Sunni regime. Under a new regime the Shiites are extremely likely to take a more prominent and equal role in the governing of their country.
The people of Iraq
Under the Hussein led regime, the majority of people in Iraq have suffered immeasurably. The money from oil sales has mainly gone into facilities and property for the ruling echelon of Iraqi society. Under any new regime this echelon will be removed and the money is likely to be more evenly distributed.
The lifting of UN, US and UK sanctions will also allow the people to access medical supplies and humanitarian food imports that they have been lacking for over 12 years. The materials the can import will be increased, with reduced fear about the creation of WMD. This will allow modern facilities to be built and much needed infrastructure to be repaired.
Above all, their freedom will be restored and the undeniably repressive culture will be dissapated over a period of years.
The future looks bright for the people of Iraq.
The benefits gained by all will be dependent of the success of the recontruction of Iraq, and may not be felt for many years to come. Few could deny however that the world will be a better place when Saddam Hussein is removed from power.
Thanks must go to Noung for opinions and editing help