• Policy Analysis
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Iraq’s Sudani Runs the Risks of Sustained Relations with the United States

    May 7, 2024Rend Al-Rahim

    On his recent visit to the United States, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia` al-Sudani proposed a bold new relationship with America, basing it on the joint S…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    US Troops to Stay in Syria and Iraq but Perhaps Not for Long

    In recent weeks, there have been meetings in Washington and in Baghdad about the presence in Iraq and Syria of US troops, whose official mandate is to aid loca…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Iraq’s Illusory Sovereignty: Domestic and Foreign Culprits

    Feb 7, 2024Rend Al-Rahim

    The abridgement of Iraqi state sovereignty began at least with the Gulf War of 1991, when Iraq’s Kurds received international protection, the United States and…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran Between Managing Allies and Modulating Its Deterrence

    Jan 25, 2024Daniel Brumberg

    This is a bad time for Iran to become embroiled in an expanding regional war that pits the Islamic Republic and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen against …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    A Year of Mixed Results for Iraq’s Sudani

    Nov 8, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shi`a al-Sudani completed his first year in office on October 27 with a mixed record of successes and failures owing to objective…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iraq, Sudani, and the War on Gaza

    Oct 25, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    In the space of just over two weeks, Israel’s war on Gaza has upended Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shai` al-Sudani’s year-long careful balancing of Iraq’s for…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyEnergy and Economics

    Turkey’s Ambitions in Iraq Play Out in Kirkuk

    Oct 3, 2023Mustafa Gurbuz

    In late August, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani stirred the pot of existing tensions when he ordered the evacuation of the Iraqi military’s Joint…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iran’s Hardliners on the March: The Quiet Before the Storm?

    Aug 3, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    The recent redeployment of Iran’s dreaded “morality police” signals much more than a victory for the country’s hardliners. Instead, it seems to be part and par…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Sudani’s Premiership Is Failing in the Iraqi Fight Against Corruption

    Jul 12, 2023Patricia Karam

    When Mohammed Shia` al-Sudani became prime minister of Iraq, he made it a priority to combat endemic corruption in the country and help restore citizen trust i…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Shock and Awe: Life in Iraq Twenty Years after the US-led Invasion

    Jun 16, 2023Yara M. Asi

    This year marks a significant milestone in the American-led “Global War on Terror,” especially in relation to Iraq. It has been 20 years since former Secretary…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantClimate and Environment

    Water Politics in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin

    May 30, 2023Achref Chibani

    While energy security and the control of oil have long been determining factors for geopolitical conflict in the Middle East, the region’s geopolitics have als…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Twenty Years after “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq: A Critical Assessment

    May 2, 2023Charles W. Dunne

    The crisis had been building for months when, on March 20, 2003, this author stood with a group of military officers deep inside the Pentagon, watching a telev…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Iraq 20 Years since the 2003 US Invasion

    On March 20, 2003, the United States led an invasion of Iraq supposedly meant to halt its development of weapons of mass destruction. Lacking the support of th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Unfinished Business: Nation-Building in Iraq Since 2003

    Mar 21, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    Nothing so perfectly expresses the failure of nation-building in Iraq as the cry of protesters in 2019, when they chanted, nureed watan, “we want a country.” T…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraqi Prime Minister al-Sudani Upstages His Benefactors in the Coordination Framework

    Jan 31, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, who was sworn in on October 27, 2022, has nearly completed the first 100 days of his tenure. In this short perio…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Depoliticizing Iraq-Gulf Relations Through Soccer

    Jan 11, 2023Zeidon Alkinani

    Iraq is defying its reputation and fighting against all odds in its attempt to depoliticize its regional image through the use of soccer. Between January 6 and…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iraq’s Foreign Policy Balancing Act Is Likely to Continue

    Despite the support that Iraq’s new prime minister, Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, has received from pro-Iran factions in the Iraqi Parliament, he is likely to purs…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Challenges and Prospects Facing the New Government in Iraq

    Nov 8, 2022Rend Al-Rahim

    Twelve months of high drama in Iraqi politics finally ended on October 27, with the investiture of a new government headed by Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani. Two wee…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Turkey’s Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Iraq

    Sep 28, 2022Mustafa Gurbuz

    Head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan’s recent visit to Baghdad was an attempt to heal wounds that were opened during a diplomatic ro…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Iran’s Cautious Stance on Iraq’s Current Political Crisis

    Sep 27, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Iraqi politicians have repeatedly failed to form a government in the eleven months that have passed since the country’s October 2021 elections, in large part d…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    In Iraq’s Political Stalemate, Sadr May Be in Charge

    Aug 23, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Iraq’s political deadlock has grown more intense and complex in recent months. The stalemate that has reigned since the re-election of Speaker of Parliament Mo…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Political Crisis: A Country Adrift in Chaos

    Aug 10, 2022Rend Al-Rahim

    Rend Al-Rahim discusses the latest events in Iraqi politics, including the Sadrist Movement’s political maneuvering and its incitement of street protests that …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    Reflections on President Biden’s Predictably Disappointing Middle East Trip

    Jul 21, 2022Imad K. Harb Khalil E. Jahshan Laurie King Rend Al-Rahim

    US President Joe Biden visited Israel, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia from July 13 to 16 to meet with various regional leaders. This was Biden’s first visit as pr…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iraq-Jordan-Egypt Entente Moves Ahead Despite the GCC’s Shadow

    In recent years, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan have come together to form a sort of alliance based on shared security, political, and economic interests. Since 2019,…

  • Intern Corner
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Opposition Builds a Blueprint for Dismantling a Corrupt Sectarian System

    Jun 28, 2022Zahraa Alribeawi

    Iraqi politicians’ continued failure to form a functioning government calls for a reexamination of the country’s current political system, al-muhasasa al-ta'if…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqProtests and Activism

    The Political Transformation of Protest Movements in Iraq and Lebanon

    Jun 24, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Despite the limited achievements of Iraq and Lebanon's recently-established protest movements compared to their stated objectives, the movements’ small gains m…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Government Formation Hindered by Intra-Group Political Competitions

    May 2, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Zeidon Alkinani argues that the current political deadlock in Iraq in choosing a president and a prime minister is fueled by intra-group competitions in the Sh…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq Awaits the End of Its Political Deadlock

    Apr 18, 2022Rend Al-Rahim

    In Iraq’s parliamentary elections last October, the Sadrist Movement led by the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr emerged as the largest bloc with 73 seats. Its clos…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Current Iraq-Gulf Relations: Economics over Politics?

    Mar 23, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    The Gulf Arab states practiced an almost unified approach to post–2003 Iraq, which was generally derived from their established alliance following the 1990–199…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantViolent Extremism

    Is the Islamic State Rebounding in Syria and Iraq?

    The nearly two-week siege in January of the Ghuwayran prison and parts of the town of Hasaka by fighters of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in northeastern Sy…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Quiet Kurdish Rivalry over Iraq’s Presidency

    Feb 9, 2022Zeidon Alkinani

    Zeidon Alkinani discusses the rivalry between Iraq’s main Kurdish parties—the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)—and i…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Post-Election Government Formation: Political Deadlock

    Dec 28, 2021Zeidon Alkinani

    Major changes to the Iraqi political scene are awaiting the formation of a new government following the results of the early parliamentary election that took p…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Tishreen Protest Movement: The Exceptional Domestic Pressure Tool

    Nov 10, 2021Zeidon Alkinani

    In October 2019, Iraq witnessed its most significant anti-government protests since the US-led invasion and occupation in 2003. The demonstrations blasted the …

  • 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
    IraqRegional 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…

  • Viewpoint
    Iran

    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
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    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
    IraqUS 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…

  • Intern Corner
    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
    EgyptRegional 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    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…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    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…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    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
    IranSecurity and Defense

    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…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    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
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    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
    IranSecurity and Defense

    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
    IranProtests and Activism

    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
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    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
    AlgeriaJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    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…

  • 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…

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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…