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.

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Thu, Mar 26, 2020

US strategy in Iraq and the coronavirus plot twist

Tehran is betting that the world is too consumed with managing a pandemic to hold them accountable—and that the US administration is unwilling to stay the course in Iraq because it is too gun shy in an election year and too financially strapped by the coming burden of US unemployment. The implications of a global pandemic make that a risky bet.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Conflict Coronavirus

Thu, Mar 26, 2020

Ending the “Endless War” trope

The trope about ending endless wars is really a way of arguing that the US foreign policy establishment has failed, that the supposed doctrine of interventionism is ineffective and counterproductive, and that the United States should retrench, withdraw, and do less in the world. It is the latest talking point in a long-running debate between advocates of restraint and advocates of engagement. The debate is not whether we want wars to end or not, but about what strategy is best suited to end them on the best terms.

New Atlanticist by Paul D. Miller

Afghanistan Conflict

Sat, Mar 21, 2020

Kadhim quoted in Saudi Gazette on Iraq’s measures to restrict public gatherings amid coronavirus outbreak

In the News by Atlantic Council

Coronavirus Iraq

Fri, Mar 20, 2020

Kadhim quoted in Al-Monitor on US presence in Iraq

In the News by Atlantic Council

Iraq Politics & Diplomacy

Fri, Mar 20, 2020

Amid COVID-19, Iraq remains US-Iran battleground

Americans have been killed once again during attacks on Iraqi bases, and a series of strikes have been made by US forces and Iranian proxies within Iraq, with no immediate sign that the hostilities will abate anytime soon. Iran is trying to force a US withdrawal, and the United States is trying to protect its interests and reinforce its red lines. Caught in the middle once again, Iraq is simultaneously confronting a security crisis, a health emergency, and an economic free fall—all without the benefit of a functioning government in Baghdad.

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Conflict Coronavirus

Thu, Mar 19, 2020

Kadhim joins the Arab Center in Washington DC to discuss Iraq’s current and future politics

In the News by Atlantic Council

Iraq Politics & Diplomacy

Tue, Mar 17, 2020

Another prime minister nominee in Iraq: Will this one take?

Al-Zurfi's success will depend on the Kurds and the Sunnis, whose opposition destroyed the chances of the previous nominee. For the Kurdish and the Sunni blocs, it is not a matter of whether Al-Zurfi is able to meet the governance challenges, but rather a question of if he will undertake enough political bargaining and ethno-sectarian apportionment of political positions that come with perks. Al-Zurfi will have to calculate how much he can give them to keep a semblance of legitimacy for his government.

New Atlanticist by Abbas Kadhim

Corruption Democratic Transitions

Thu, Mar 12, 2020

Strike on Iraqi base kills US and Coalition soldiers: How will the US respond?

“The attack on Camp Taji is another sign that Iraq is returning slowly to the pre-2011 insurgency,” Abbas Kadhim says. “The Iraqi government is unfortunately incapable of controlling the various armed groups that have the ability to strike anywhere they want inside the country.”

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Conflict Iraq

Fri, Mar 6, 2020

Allawi withdraws PM nomination: Opportunities in Iraq despite the dysfunction

As dysfunctional as Iraq’s democracy can be, it is still a democracy and even the Iranian-backed political parties have to pay attention to the will of their various constituencies. This point means that an energized protest movement can help bring about conditions more favorable to Iraq’s recovery.

New Atlanticist by C. Anthony Pfaff

Democratic Transitions Iraq

Wed, Mar 4, 2020

Kadhim quoted in The Washington Post on Shiite Muslim cleric ­Moqtada al-Sadr’s influence in Iraq

In the News by Atlantic Council

Iraq Politics & Diplomacy