Just last week more than 200 people were killed in suicide bombings across the country, while kidnapping and armed assault remain commonplace.
That said, more than 600 delegates still turned up to the Invest Iraq 2009 conference held in London this week, eager to find out what opportunities there might be in the oil, construction, petrochemicals, engineering, agriculture, transport and tourism industries, to name a few.
From City of London bankers to executives from Shell and Chevron, bosses from energy service companies and airport construction firms, management training specialists and security advisers, they were all there, milling around a west London hotel in their smartest suits, seeing what business they might be able to do.
There were plenty of Iraqis too. Mostly businessmen with operations outside the country -- in Lebanon, Jordan or Dubai -- and now looking to step up investment in their homeland.
Some of them, perhaps feeling more familiar with the lay of the land than Western investors, had already made sizeable moves into Iraq, but judging from the questions they were putting to the Iraqi officials speaking at the conference, they were concerned about a lack of legal direction from the government.