Talks on forming Iraq’s next government are underway, and once complete the new entity will face a host of issues that come with hefty price tags. Assuming prime minister designate Adil Abd al-Mahdi is able to form a cabinet, he will inherit a vastly improved situation than his predecessor Haidar al-Abadi did in 2014 when Islamic State (IS) was running rampant (MEES, 26 September 2014).

The next PM will, however, have to deal with the reconstruction following the devastating conflict...