While senior Iraqi politicians are knocking on the doors of the Bush administration seeking pledges of support for whatever government might emerge from next month's parliamentary elections, others have been to Washington, with a longerterm view.
Bayan Rahman, who chairs the Kurdistan Development Corporation, has launched an initiative to draw foreign investment to Iraqi Kurdistan, where the main attractions are relative stability, resources of oil, water and agriculture and potential for tourism. Under the slogan of "the other Iraq", Kurdistan is marketing itself as the gateway to Iraq. Land prices are shooting up and a construction boom has led to shortages of concrete and labour.
A key clause negotiated by the Kurds in the constitution provides for "new" oil-fields to be run by the regional governments. Even without the contested region of Kirkuk, whose future political status is undetermined, Iraqi Kurdistan claims to have 45bn barrels of oil reserves.
Asked about the danger that Iraq will fragment under a constitution that creates a very weak central government, Ms Rahman replied: "If the constitution is implemented in the spirit it is written, the [minority] Sunni should have nothing to worry about."
The Kurds -- about a fifth of the Iraqi population -- are wary of becoming reliant on investment from their big neighbours, Turkey and Iran.
"We want to diversify, not to put all our eggs in one basket," Ms Rahman said.
Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the combined impact of the insurgency and the rampant corruption inherent in the Iraqi system has won few friends among US companies or the US officials spending over $20bn in taxpayers' reconstruction funds.
Stuart Bowen, the special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, told Congress in his latest quarterly report: "Creating an effective anti-corruption structure within Iraq's government is essential to the long-term success of Iraq's fledgling democracy." "The corruption in Iraq is killing us. People will not invest without proper auditing," says Ali Aldabbagh, a member of parliament who has broken from the ruling Shia Islamic alliance, because of its injection of religion into politics, and has joined a slate of secular technocrats. Construction contracts and imports should be kept out of the hands of the government, he says. His party's platform rests on expanding the private sector and attracting investors at the local level.
However, he credits Ibrahim Jaafari, the prime minister, for tackling corruption at the highest levels. Iraq's Board of Supreme Audit recently concluded that $500m-$1.27bn of Iraqi funds were lost in the defence ministry through corruption.