The Iraq Initiative provides transatlantic and regional policy makers with unique perspectives and analysis on the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing Iraq as the country tries to build an inclusive political system, attract economic investment, and encourage a vibrant civil society.



Fri, Nov 8, 2019

The death of Baghdadi: How ISIS used al-Qaeda’s mistakes to grow a caliphate

Optimistic predictions about the end of the Islamic State (ISIS) surged in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s October 27 press conference announcing the death of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but prove misguided in the long term. The threat posed by ISIS remains high, particularly outside the para-state’s previously held territories in […]

SyriaSource by Amanda E. Rogers

Extremism Iraq

Thu, Nov 7, 2019

Why Iran wants the Lebanon and Iraq uprisings to fade

From Iran’s perspective, the possibility of either the Iraqi prime minister being ousted, or Hezbollah being pushed further up against the wall are extremely unsettling.

IranSource by Sina Azodi and Giorgio Cafiero

Iran Iraq

Thu, Nov 7, 2019

Kadhim quoted in The Globe Post on Iraq’s role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative

In the News by Atlantic Council

China International Markets

Tue, Nov 5, 2019

Iran’s revolutionary bluster masks its role as oppressor in the Middle East

At their core, the problems in Iraq and Lebanon are the same as those in Iran, as they are in Egypt, Syria, Algeria and elsewhere in the Middle East: castes of entrenched, corrupt and incompetent rulers lord over young populations yearning for better lives.

IranSource by Borzou Daragahi

Corruption Iran

Fri, Nov 1, 2019

Iraq’s government cannot reform itself

The Iraqi government, as it is constituted now and despite all past and present promises and claims to the contrary, does not have the political will or the capacity to deliver good governance. That is why the first demand of the protesters is for the government to step aside and be replaced—hopefully peacefully by constitutional steps—by an emergency administration.

New Atlanticist by Samir Sumaidaie

Democratic Transitions Iraq

Thu, Oct 31, 2019

Iraqi protestors unite behind demands, not sectarian identities

Protests in Iraq are not new. At several times during the past few years, the Iraqi people have taken to the streets against corruption, unemployment, and poor public services.

MENASource by Rana Abdulhadi

Corruption Iraq

Thu, Oct 31, 2019

Will protests herald a new era in Iraqi politics?

The defining feature of the protests in Baghdad which started on October 1 and spread to other cities in southern Iraq is that they were neither led nor called for by a religious authority (also known as the marja’iya) or another leader. When the first wave of protests began in multiple cities, the protesters’ message […]

MENASource by Dara Salam

Corruption Iraq

Thu, Oct 31, 2019

With Abdul-Mahdi offering to resign, what’s next for Iraq?

Atlantic Council experts react to the announcement of the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigning. Abbas Kadhim is the Director of the Iraq Initiative at the Atlantic Council. “In his address to the Iraqi people on October 31, President Barham Salih referred to Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s offer to resign if the two major parliamentary blocs […]

MENASource by Middle East programs

Corruption Iraq

Wed, Oct 30, 2019

Pfaff quoted in VOA on Iraq’s economic woes

In the News by Atlantic Council

Corruption Economy & Business

Wed, Oct 30, 2019

Iran’s not the only country all over Iraq

Iraq joins China's Belt and Road Initiative, though few notice.

MENASource by Daniel J. Samet

China Iraq