Iraq

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has played a key role in promoting peaceful governance through collaborative civic engagement in Iraq since 2003. USIP’s core mission is to strengthen local capacities to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts peacefully by assisting Iraqis to develop the tools and institutions necessary to peacefully resolve disputes. We work across the community, provincial and national levels, and above all seek to provide Iraqis with the tools to act as citizens and peace builders. Our Iraqi partners in government and civil society have facilitated dialogue with multiple stakeholders across the country that address the roots of the conflict and propose concrete solutions.

Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan: Local and Regional Dimensions

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:00
Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:30

The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion analyzing factors that have contributed to sectarian tension in Pakistan and the surrounding region.

Sectarian divisions are growing in Pakistan. Contemporary public opinion surveys suggest these religious communal identities are hardening and violent militant organizations – drawn primarily but not exclusively from the Sunni Deobandi tradition – are increasingly targeting rival religious minorities, killing thousands across the country in attacks over the past decade.

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Ending Wars to Build Peace

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 08:30
Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:45
Subtitle: 
Conflict Termination Workshop

Designing a conflict termination strategy is an essential but often overlooked component of warfighting. Improperly planned or incorrectly implemented, a failure to effectively terminate a conflict will leave open the original issues that brought on the war and likely create the conditions for future conflict.

Experts: 

The famous British military theorist, B.H. Liddell-Hart, observed after World War I that the logical conclusion of any war is peace.  In his 1976 commentary to Clausewitz's On War Bernard Brodie wrote "… war in all its phases must be rationally guided by meaningful political purposes."  In the last century the United States has fought many wars and not one has resulted in its intended outcome or the establishment of a peaceful world order, but in reality has left us to deal with many unintended consequences.

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Consolidating Democratic Gains or Cementing Sectarian Divides?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:30
Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:30
Subtitle: 
Prospects for Iraq’s April 30 Elections

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) are pleased to present a panel of experts to share their perspectives on Iraq’s rapidly approaching April 30 national elections, which will take place against a backdrop of sharpening sectarian divisions and an increasingly precarious security environment.

Experts: 

Later this month, Iraqis will go to the polls to elect new members of the Council of Representatives, the country’s legislative body, as well as members of provincial assemblies in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Preparations for the April 30 elections have been turbulent to date, with looming questions regarding the ability of displaced Iraqis to participate in the polls; the controversial disqualification of certain candidates; and the now-rescinded resignation of the commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission, the body charged with organizing the polls.

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Governance and Stability in Iraq

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 14:00
Tue, 01/14/2014 - 17:00
Subtitle: 
Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Saleh al-Mutlaq and Discussions with Members of the Council of Representatives

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the National Defense University (NDU), and the Iraqi American Community Center (IAC) hosted H.E. Mr. Saleh al-Mutlaq, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, and members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives for public remarks and a discussion on governance, services, transition, and peace and stability in Iraq.

Despite regional geopolitical tensions from Syria, high levels of violence, and political differences, Iraq has braved its external and internal obstacles to remain on course to hold its national elections scheduled for April 2014. Regardless of the outcome of the elections, the relationship between the federal, regional, and provincial levels and devolution of powers will remain at the core of Iraq’s politics, and with significant implications for governance, services, security, and overall peace and stability in the country.

The schedule of events was as follows:

2:00pm to 3:15pm | Remarks by H.E. Mr. Saleh al-Mutlaq, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq

  • William B. Taylor, Opening Remarks
    Vice President for Middle East and Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • H.E. Mr. Saleh al-Mutlaq, Keynote Remarks
    Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq
  • Q&A Discussion

3:15pm to 3:30pm | Intermission

3:30pm to 5:00pm |Town Hall Discussion with Iraqi Members of Council of Representatives

  • Sarhang Hamasaeed, Moderator
    Senior Program Officer for the Middle East and Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Ezzat al-Shebander
    Member of Council of Representatives
  • Nada al-Juburi
    Member of Council of Representatives

This event was hosted jointly by the U.S. Institute of Peace, the National Defense University, and the Iraqi American Community Center.

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Iraq’s Transition: Remarks by Iraqi Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Noori al-Maliki

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 10:00
Thu, 10/31/2013 - 11:15

The United States Institute of Peace will host Iraqi Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Noori al-Maliki for public remarks and a discussion on U.S.-Iraq relations, and the current challenges facing Iraq and the region.

Jim Marshall, Opening Remarks and Moderator
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Amb. Beth Jones, Introductory Remarks
Acting Assistant Secretary of State – Near Eastern Affairs

H.E. Noori al-Maliki, Keynote Remarks
Prime Minister of Republic of Iraq

Moderated discussion

Iraq has made significant progress since the last of U.S. troops left the country in December 2011, but continues to face serious challenges. Iraq’s economy became stronger, provincial and regional elections were organized, and the country has made steady steps toward regaining its regional and international stature. At the same time, the country is struggling with high levels of violence and other spillover effects from Syria, as it tries to hold national elections in 2014 and find a workable common vision of governance.

Experts: 
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Amidst Iraq’s Turmoil: What Can We Do?

Mon, 05/06/2013 - 14:00
Mon, 05/06/2013 - 15:30

How are Iraqis coping with the current crisis, and how can they be better engaged by the international community?  What policy levers do the U.S. or other international actors have to help promote stability?  What lessons can be applied across the increasingly porous and insecure boundaries of the Middle East?

For well over a year, Iraq’s political, security, economic, and social well-being continues to be shaken by internal and external events that have implications for stability in the country and the region. Despite gains, recent events on the ground have taken a swift turn. Internal displacement, the rise of armed groups, and recourse to violence present serious challenges in maintaining peace and sustained development within the country.

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Lessons Learned from Iraq and How They Apply to North Africa

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 10:00
Tue, 04/09/2013 - 12:00

The event highlighted the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) experience in Iraq and examined the major problems it discovered, such as America’s “ad hoc” approach, the effectiveness of oversight, funding challenges, and the larger issue of nation-building. Experts explored how lessons learned from Iraq could be applied to other American-led efforts, such as those associated with emerging democracies.

Experts: 

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen on March 6 released SIGIR’s final report for Congress, “Learning From Iraq,” which details the accomplishments of the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The report provides an “instructive picture of what was the largest stabilization and reconstruction operation ever undertaken by the United States (until recently overtaken by Afghanistan)."  Additionally, the report outlines seven lessons that the U.S. should implement to improve its approach to future stabilization and reconstruction operations.

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The Future of USG Advising Missions

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 08:30
Thu, 01/15/2015 - 23:30

From Afghanistan to Iraq, Ukraine to Honduras, advising is a key U.S. strategy to address weak government capacity in sectors including finance, policing, education, agriculture, transportation, justice, and many others. Yet advising missions too often are hindered by challenges common across all U.S. government agencies. Please join us for a policy-level discussion about mission mandates for long-term, locally-owned solutions, the first in a series of conversations on advising as a means to provide foreign assistance and capacity building to partner countries

9:00 | Welcome
Ambassador William B. Taylor
Acting President, United States Institute of Peace

9:10 | Keynote Address
What is the strategic value of advising programs and what is the role of policy in ensuring their effectiveness?  
James Schear
Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations 

9:25 | Panel Discussion (I): How can USG advising missions best contribute to host nation capacity?
Discussant: Nadia Gerspacher, Director, Security Sector Education, United States Institute of Peace
Respondents: representatives of:

  • Office of Technical Assistance, US Department of the Treasury
  • International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), US Department of Justice
  • Bureau of Counterterrorism, US Department of State
  • Center for Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG Center), US Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA) Program, OSD Policy

10:15 | BREAK

10:30 | Panel Discussion (II): What changes are needed to maximize the sustainability of USG advising missions?
Discussant: Nadia Gerspacher, Director, Security Sector Education, United States Institute of Peace
Respondents: representatives of:

  • International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), US Department of Justice
  • Center for Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG Center), US Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA) Program, Defense Security Cooperation Agency

11:15 | Summary, conclusions, and next steps

Advising is increasingly understood to be the prevalent instrument for building long-term peace and stability. As U.S. government agencies deploy advisors to help build institutions and solve problems, mission plans become the foundation for effective capacity building.

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Diplomacy in Conflict: Improving on Special Envoys

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 09:30
Fri, 12/19/2014 - 11:00

Nearly every modern U.S. administration has named special envoys or special representatives to address high-stakes conflicts by applying the kind of concentrated attention that exceeds the day-to-day capacity of the State Department and other regular bureaucratic structures. But how well does this approach really work? And what should be done to bolster the effectiveness of these envoys?

The U.S. Institute of Peace and the American Academy of Diplomacy recently published a Special Report, Using Special Envoys in High-Stakes Conflict Diplomacy, to explore these issues. Authors and former envoys Ambassador Princeton Lyman (USIP) and Ambassador Robert M. Beecroft (AAD) drew their findings from interviews with former U.S. envoys and other officials, as well as memoirs and published reflections. On Dec.

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Why the U.S. Foreign Aid and Disaster Relief Process is Broken

Changing how peacebuilding organizations measure success could save aid projects that are stuck trying to meet rigid, dated, and increasingly arbitrary goals in conflict zones.

Andrew Blum

Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan -- a depressing list, which seems to grow each day. It can be read as shorthand for human suffering and international tragedy. For the multitude of conflict prevention and humanitarian organizations that are committed to preventing the calamities that have struck these countries, the list is a sobering reminder of how much work needs to be done.

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 08:49
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Articles & Analysis

Following his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa last week, USIP’s Steven Heydemann reflected on the reactions of the subcommittee...

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As the militant group calling itself the “Islamic State” killed and rampaged across northern Iraq in recent months, a former street artist from the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City began to...

By:
Viola Gienger

Restoring unity in Iraq in the wake of the devastating sweep of militant terror across the country’s north will depend on achieving enough separation among Kurds, Shia and Sunnis to re-establish a...

By:
Viola Gienger

Videos & Webcasts

The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion analyzing factors that have contributed to sectarian tension in Pakistan and the surrounding region.

On October 24, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the McCain Institute and the Truman National Security Project-Center for National Policy convened a...

On September 18, 2014, the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted two distinguished Kurdish leaders for a discussion about the next steps in Iraq’s political process, how to confront the ISIL and what...

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Publications

By:
Fanar Haddad
The Peace Brief, “Sunni-Shia Relations After the Iraq War,” looks at the Iraq war’s impact on sectarian identities and the structure of Sunni-Shia relations. It is one of a five-part series about...
By:
Steven E. Steiner
An expert dialogue on women in transition countries brought together 14 women leaders from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Tunisia to work together and identify issues specific to each country and...