A proposal to make Sunni Arabs happy

Two Princeton professors Shivaji Sondhi and Michael Cook, have a guest column at Econbrowser on a suggestion to improve the stake of the Sunnis in Iraq;

“The problem from the start has been the stake of the Sunni Arabs. This was entirely predictable, as no minority used to a disproportionate share of power gives up this privilege easily-- the relative deprivation simply excites too many fears. One only has to look at nearby Lebanon for an example…

To this end we propose that the United States make a financial commitment to Iraq which takes the form of ensuring that its Sunni provinces get oil revenues proportional to their share of the population over the next decade or possibly more. Initially, it should take the form of simply funneling an amount equal to the Sunni share directly to these provinces. This would at the same time increase the size of the national pie, which would help to appease the Shia and the Kurds, and might also reduce the tension over Kirkuk. In later years the commitment would transition into an insurance policy.

What would be a rough upper bound on such a commitment? To date Iraq has produced a maximum of 3.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil. This was back in 1979, and the country hasn't actually produced more than 3.5 million bpd since 1990. It is quite unlikely that either figure will be exceeded anytime soon. Taking the 1979 figure and a profit of $50 per barrel, we are talking about revenues of approximately $67 billion a year. Of this we may estimate the share of the Sunni majority provinces at about 20 per cent, or $14 billion. Today their share of the 2 million bpd production is closer to $7 billion."

Related;
Iraq's white-collar crime by Juan Cole
Iraq Force Shift Studied
Don't Punt on The Troops Issue by Fareed Zakaria
Iraq: over 3,700 civilians killed in October
Iraq snapshot
Violence in Iraq: A Data-Driven Approach
Iraq Kurdistan Book Drive

Iraq: Dujail Trial Fundamentally Flawed
“The proceedings in the Dujail trial were fundamentally unfair. The tribunal squandered an important opportunity to deliver credible justice to the people of Iraq. And its imposition of the death penalty after an unfair trial is indefensible”
(Human Rights Watch Report)

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on November 22, 2006 1:50 PM.

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