A Bitter Legacy: Lessons of De-Baathification in Iraq


Miranda Sissons and Abdulrazzaq Al-Saiedi

Based on significant field research and interviews with the Higher National de-Baathification Commission, this report focuses on Iraq’s purge of members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, which is the most well-known example of large-scale and politically based dismissals in the Middle East and North Africa. The report summarizes the structure and impact of de-Baathification from 2003 to 2011. It gives unique insight into de-Baathification’s goals, framework, impact, and problems. It includes a focused look at de-Baathification in Iraq’s Ministry of Finance from 2003 to 2006 and summarizes seven key lessons for policy makers in other countries.

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