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.



Tue, Nov 19, 2019

Leaked Iranian intelligence about Iraq only tells part of the story

The recent story in the New York Times on leaked Iranian intelligence reports about Iranian influence operations in Iraq elicits a couple of possible reactions. If one works for the United States government, particularly in any department or bureau that deals with Iraq, one would be reasonable to feel some gratitude not only that the […]

MENASource by C. Anthony Pfaff

Intelligence Iran

Mon, Nov 18, 2019

Explainer: Iraq’s autumn of discontent

Waves of protests have hit Iraq this past October, calling for the resignation of the post-war government and sweeping changes. Last month alone, there have been reports of hundreds of protesters killed and thousands wounded by security forces in clashes across the country, from Tahrir Square in Baghdad to cities like Diwaniyah, Najaf, and Nasiriya […]

MENASource by Christiana Haynes

Corruption Iraq

Sat, Nov 9, 2019

Kadhim quoted in New York Times on Iraqi protestors

In the News by Atlantic Council

Corruption Iraq

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