• Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Elections Are Over. Now What?

    Oct 21, 2021Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraq’s fifth parliamentary election since the 2003 US invasion is procedurally over. The polling stations have closed, but the fight over the results has just …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Erbil Conference: Iraq Rejects Normalizing with Israel

    On September 24th, some 300 Iraqi tribal and political leaders, mostly from Iraq’s six Sunni-majority governorates, met at a conference in Erbil, capital of th…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Elections in Iraq: Getting Closer to Democracy?

    Oct 6, 2021Rend Al-Rahim 

    Iraq’s parliamentary elections, set for October 10, 2021, represent the sixth national poll since 2003. Iraqi President Barham Salih described them1 as “critic…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Kadhimi Tries to Boost His Domestic Standing

    Sep 1, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As a basic principle, foreign policy serves as an extension of a country’s domestic politics and an instrument wielded by policy-makers to enhance their domest…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Is Washington Rethinking Its Partnerships in the Middle East?

    There appears to be a slow but noticeable shift in Democratically-controlled Washington as to the countries with which the United States seeks to work closer a…

  • Viewpoint
    Iraq

    Iran’s Presidential Election as Viewed in Iraq

    All political developments in Iran have serious repercussions in Iraq, and the election of Ibrahim Raisi as president of the Islamic Republic is no different. …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Time to Address Impunity in Iraq

    On May 26, Iraqi security forces arrested General Qasim Muslih, commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Anbar province, basing their action on…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    The United States Ends its Combat Role in Iraq

    At the recent meeting of the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, negotiators decided to end the combat mission of US troops engaged in the fight against remnants of th…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    A Struggle of Wills over Iraq’s Identity

    The last few days witnessed serious efforts by some Arab countries to influence developments in Iran-friendly Iraq. On March 24, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamm…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Complicated and Challenging Security Situation

    Many of Iraq’s pro-Iran militias were encouraged with Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States and the ensuing Democratic control of both houses …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqViolent Extremism

    The Terrorist Attacks in Baghdad: A New Chapter in Iraq’s Instability?

    Abdulwahab Al-Qassab writes that the latest suicide bombings in Baghdad portend a feared return of the Islamic State after it was supposedly vanquished in Dece…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqClimate and Environment

    Mitigating Conflict over Water in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin

    Dec 15, 2020Yoseph Hamid

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA)—the most water-scarce region in the world—has arguably borne the brunt of climate change in the planet. Nowhere is this…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Biden and Iraq: A Chance to Address Past Mistakes

    Nov 20, 2020Nabeel A. Khoury

    The Biden Administration is likely to change a few policies in the Middle East while keeping others essentially the same. Iran, long considered an adversary, i…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s Iraq: Challenges and Prospects

    Nov 2, 2020Abbas Kadhim

    The Iraqi Council of Representatives voted to confirm Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on May 7, 2020, after two aborted attempts to replace his predecessor, …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Egypt-Iraq-Jordan Alliance Tries to Change Middle East Dynamics

    Sep 16, 2020Curtis R. Ryan

    On August 25, 2020, the leaders of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan met in Amman for the third in a succession of meetings marking ever-closer relations between the thr…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Iraq’s Mustafa Al-Kadhimi Comes to Washington

    Abdulwahab Al-Qassab previews Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s upcoming visit to Washington and writes that the American capital may be too preoccupie…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue: Important Achievements, but Much Remains to Be Done

    Jul 14, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne reports that the first round of the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue in June made progress on security issues, but many challenges remain for the tw…

  • From our Affiliates
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Al-Kazemi Government: Real Change or a Temporary Settlement?

    May 20, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The formation of the new government in Iraq may represent a window of opportunity for gradual political change that is less costly than toppling the entire reg…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqViolent Extremism

    The US and Iraq Must Shore Up the Fight against the Islamic State

    May 8, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq faces numerous setbacks, including the coronavirus, and that the upcoming US-Iraq Stra…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Did the Saudi-Led Oil Deal Diminish Republicans’ 2020 Electoral Chances?

    Apr 15, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Because the health of the US economy is critical for Donald Trump's reelection hopes, Marcus Montgomery asks if the recent Saudi-led OPEC+ cuts will contribute…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Confusion in Iraq: A Fractious Political Process and Free-Wheeling Militias

    Abdulwahab al-Qassab highlights Iraq's current political problems and calls upon Iraqi politicians to put aside their differences and concentrate on how to avo…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Seeks Way Forward in Iraq and Syria

    Mar 18, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery highlights the questions facing the United States in Syria and Iraq as well as Democratic House members' objections to Israel's use of Americ…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The United States and Iran Continue to Maneuver in Iraq

    Gregory Aftandilian contends that after the very tense period of December 2019-January 2020, the United States and Iran are seeking to restore their credibilit…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington’s Strategy in the Post-Soleimani Middle East

    Jan 15, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron writes that the post-Soleimani Middle East offers both challenges and opportunities but the Trump Administration does not seem to have a strategy t…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Braces for Fallout from Operation That Killed Qassem Soleimani

    After the United States assassinated Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, Washington has been bracing for retaliation by Iran while considering calls for de-escalati…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Soleimani’s Assassination Backfires Big Time

    Jan 7, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Washington’s killing of Qassem Soleimani violates the red lines that the United States and Iran had previously respected in order to avoid escalation, and make…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    The Coming American Defeat in Iraq

    Jan 6, 2020Marina Ottaway

    The vote by Iraq’s Parliament to force the withdrawal of American troops from the country marks the beginning of the end of the 2003 US intervention.

  • Viewpoint
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    A Middle East Calamity Is about to Unfold

    Jan 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Killing Soleimani has put the Middle East at the edge of a dangerous abyss and hastened an inevitable confrontation between the United States and Iran.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The United States and Iran Readjust to New Realities in Iraq and Lebanon

    Dec 18, 2019Joe Macaron

    After 15 years of rivalry in Iraq and Lebanon, the United States and Iran are adjusting their policies based on a new reality of popular uprisings that challen…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    With Iraq’s Mounting Chaos Spreading, Time for a US Policy Reboot

    Nov 27, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that in light of Iraq’s current crisis, the United States must take bold steps to help stabilize the country, enhance anti-corruption a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqProtests and Activism

    Will Iraq’s Protests Lead to Radical Change?

    The ongoing protests in Iraq indicate that the country’s youth, who are overwhelmingly Shia, have become disillusioned with status quo politics of control by I…

  • Policy Analysis
    AlgeriaProtests and Activism

    Protests in the Arab World: The Second Wave

    Nov 8, 2019Marina Ottaway

    Marina Ottaway argues that protesters in Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, and Iraq appear to be more sophisticated than those of the 2011 uprisings and understand that…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Putting al-Baghdadi’s Demise in Perspective

    Oct 30, 2019Khalil E. Jahshan

    Khalil E. Jahshan looks at the deeper meaning of the United States’ killing of IS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi and doubts if his demise will portend the end of …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Cruel Killings Will Not Stop Mass Protests

    Oct 8, 2019Imad K. Harb

    Protests have again rocked Iraq’s streets as thousands of young people voiced their opposition to rampant corruption and sectarian politics. While the demonstr…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congress Is Still Striving for “Justice for Jamal”

    Marcus Montgomery examines the actions of members of Congress as they demand justice for Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, one year after his murder …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Disturbing Developments in Iraq’s Security Establishments

    Interference by Iran and Iraqi political groups in the functioning of the Iraqi armed forces and security services has resulted in deteriorating discipline amo…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq’s Dilemma: The Uncertain Future of the Popular Mobilization Forces

    Sep 13, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    Although Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces were instrumental in defeating the Islamic State, their political influence has had a profound impact on the future…

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq Enters the Israel-Iran Proxy War

    Israeli strikes against the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq may have created another battleground in the proxy war between Israel and the Islamic Republic o…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Safe Zone Agreement in Northern Syria Improves Turkey’s Position

    On August 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened a military operation against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. His declared objective was to…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congress Deliberates US-Iraq Relations

    Jul 17, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses Congress’s deliberations with the Trump Administration about US-Iraqi relations. One of the important considerations is whether Was…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Militias and the US-Iran Impasse

    The Iraqi government has a difficult time managing its mutual relations with Iran and the United States because of the influence of Iran-supported militias in …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    This Week in Washington: Trump’s “Deal of the Century”

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is tasked with achieving what has been an unobtainable peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinian…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq Torn between Iran, the United States, and the Islamic State

    Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Iran has implemented policies to ensure its regional influence and control of Iraqi affairs. Recent American isolationi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran Should Worry about New Iraq-Jordan Relations

    The recent economic agreement between Iraq and Jordan sends signals to Iran that Iraq may find Arab alternatives to its relations with the Islamic Republic.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    The United States and the Turkish-Kurdish Conundrum in Northern Syria

    Jan 11, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Future US-Turkey relations depend on Ankara’s demands in northern Syria regarding the Kurds and how its relationship with Moscow develops.

  • Viewpoint
    IraqInternational Law

    Trump’s Visit Violated Iraq’s Sovereignty

    While many in Iraq considered Trump’s visit a violation of sovereignty, there is no plan for changing the ongoing security relationship with the United States …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Washington Policy Weekly

    New Congress kicks off with a diverse House majority; senators look to get involved in US foreign policy early on; fallout continues from Trump’s decision to w…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    SyriaUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Dec 14, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Congress moves bills rebuking Saudi Arabia and addressing genocide, human rights violations, and the use of human shields; Pompeo, Mattis, and Haspel brief Hou…

  • Viewpoint
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    American Sanctions on Iran Will Seriously Impact Iraq

    While the new set of American sanctions on Iran will undoubtedly have a negative impact on its interactions with the world, the fear is that Iraq will be an un…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russian Gains Are American Losses in the Arab World

    Oct 30, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Putin’s assessment of a receding American international influence paves the way for an even larger Russian role in the Arab world.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Changing Political Landscape: The Beginning of a New Era?

    Electing a new president and choosing a new prime minister may provide some hope for positive changes in Iraq’s current political conditions.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 28, 2018

    Sep 28, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    While Trump and company take their anti-Iran campaign to the UN General Assembly, Congress entertains a slate of legislation regarding Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah,…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Time to Reboot American-Iraqi Relations

    Sep 13, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    As the conflict in Syria draws to its inevitable bloody close, the United States can't afford to ignore Iraq. In fact, it is time to reboot US-Iraqi relations.

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Complicated Formation of the Iraqi Government

    Iraq’s fourth parliament since the 2003 American invasion will convene in regular session on September 3, amid confusion and speculation about the formation of…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 27, 2018

    Jul 27, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Lawmakers talk human rights in Egypt, stabilizing Iraq after IS, and protecting Palestinian children; the Trump Administration again assails Palestinians while…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Southern Intifada: Mere Demands or a Popular Revolution?

    The latest protests in Iraq point to a public backlash against entrenched Shia parties involved in widespread corruption, sectarian politics, and loyalty to Ir…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    Controlling the Nasib Crossing Is a Game Changer for the Syrian Regime

    Jul 19, 2018Joe Macaron

    The imminent opening of the Nasib crossing on the Syrian-Jordanian border could revitalize commercial activities in the Levant; but challenges lie ahead, inclu…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Dangerous Dynamics of Iraq’s Constitutional Vacuum

    With parliamentary results unfinished and a caretaker government barely running the affairs of state, Iraq is facing a dangerous constitutional vacuum at a ver…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Future of Iraqi-Kuwaiti Relations: Overcoming a Troubled History

    Iraq and Kuwait are developing cordial relations after an acrimonious history. Kuwait wants a stable and non-threatening neighbor while Iraq seeks Kuwait’s fin…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq will Remain a US-Iran Point of Contention

    The United States’ more belligerent position toward Iran, in the wake of the Trump Administration’s recent withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, is likely to …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Elections and the Arduous Road Ahead

    Iraq has just finished a fourth round of parliamentary elections. What Iraqis await now are the results of consultations between political parties and factions…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending May 25, 2018

    May 25, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) LegislationH.R. 5898. On May 21, Democratic Representative David Cicilline (Rhode Island) introduced a bill requiring Secretary of State Mike Pom…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Time for Deal-Making after Iraq’s Elections

    May 22, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Iraqis have rewarded Moqtada al-Sadr’s ability to move beyond sectarian divisions and project a strong anti-corruption message that is hoped to steer Iraq in a…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending May 4, 2018

    Vermont Senators take the lead on humanitarian issues in Palestine, Egypt; Pompeo takes combative posture towards Iran in first Middle East trip; White House f…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Many Challenges of Iraq’s Upcoming Elections

    Transcending ethnic and sectarian divisions could be one of the most significant outcomes of the upcoming Iraqi elections that can transform the currently divi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Mysterious Strike Renews Israel-US Coordination in Syria

    Apr 10, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Israeli strike on Iranian assets in Syria last Monday and the imminent US strike on Syria renew the US-Israeli coordination there for the first time since …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending April 6, 2018

    Congress remains quiet as Israel kills and wounds Palestinians; Trump sows confusion on Syria while top officials outline their visions for its future; courts …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Many Complications of Returning Islamic State Fighters

    Mar 19, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    As the Islamic State (IS) transforms into a flat organization with autonomous cells around the globe, the foreign fighters returning to their home countries po…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Is There a US Policy Toward the Kurds in Iraq and Syria?

    Recent tensions between the United States and Turkey over US support for the Syrian Kurds have brought to the forefront the issue of US policy toward the Kurdi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    Jordanian-Iraqi Relations on the Mend, but Problems Remain

    Economic necessities and opposition to the so-called Islamic State have brought Jordan and Iraq closer together, but Amman remains concerned about Baghdad’s li…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Abdulwahab al-Qassab: Iraq’s Sectarian Parties Will Win Elections

    Religious parties, both Shia and Sunni, are best positioned to win Iraq’s parliamentary elections in 2018. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi cannot escape his sec…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Unsettling Times for Iraqi Kurdistan

    Jan 10, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Sulaymaniyah protests last December have revealed a deep split in Iraqi Kurdistan. By pitting Sulaymaniyah against Irbil, Baghdad aims to capitalize on the…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Regime Unity Will Decide the Fate of Iran’s Protests

    Jan 4, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Iranian protesters’ slogans and demands indicate that there is much angst and frustration with the slow pace of political reform, the glacial movement of econo…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq’s Disputed Territories: A Worrisome Achilles’ Heel

    Nov 13, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Two major factors will help shape the future of Iraq’s disputed territories. One is the population dynamic, given the influx of internal refugees, and the othe…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Amid Regional Chaos, US Seeks Improved Saudi-Iraqi Ties

    Nov 6, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Despite many pitfalls, the Trump Administration is quite keen on helping to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in an effort to contain Iranian inf…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Kirkuk Battle Is a Watershed Event for Iraq

    The Iraqi central government harnessed domestic and international support to abort the Kurdish referendum for independence, in the process weakening the KRG’s …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Kurdish Referendum and Cross-Communal Dynamics in Iraq

    While Abadi’s popularity has risen because of his stewardship of the successful anti-Islamic State campaign, his standing could be jeopardized if the crisis ov…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 06, 2017

    Congress looks to stabilize Iraq and Syria after IS; countering Iran takes center stage as Trump vows not to certify the JCPOA; travel ban back in the court sy…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Does Turkey Really Want to Punish Iraqi Kurdistan?

    Oct 3, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey may feel that it has to impose punitive measures against Iraqi Kurdistan over the referendum but countervailing Turkish domestic political conditions ma…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Kurds Vote to Secede, but Problems Loom

    The widespread disapproval of the Kurdish referendum inside Iraq, the region, and internationally points to potential serious developments for the Kurds and a …