It is hard to over estimate what is at stake in Iraq today. The removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003 has proved to be the beginning, not the culmination, of a long and very uncertain process of state-building. This Adelphi Paper examines this process from a military, political and sociological perspective. Possible futures for Iraq are charted, first by studying the evolution of the criminal and politically-motivated violence that has come to dominate the everyday lives of ordinary Iraqis. The paper then details the strengths and weaknesses of the political structures built after the fall of Saddam's regime, from the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council in 2004 to the elections of January 2005, and traces the forces driving political mobilization in post-Saddam Iraq. It concludes by analyzing the ramifications of regime change for US
policy and the wider Middle East.