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.

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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Iraqi Unity Will Require Federalism, Cooperation, Kurdish Leaders Say

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 balance of power on the ground, two high-level Kurdish officials said. The leaders addressed an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace this week, appealing for the U.S. and others to urgently provide heavy weapons to confront the self-described “Islamic State” terror group and for humanitarian aid for 1.5 million refugees and displaced people who’ve taken refuge in Kurdistan.

Viola Gienger

Fuad M. Hussein, the chief of staff to Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's Kurdistan region, and Falah Mustafa Bakir, the regional government's minister for foreign relations, said a combination of federalism and cooperation would be needed to move Iraq forward under new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. He replaced Nuri al-Maliki, who failed to garner enough support to form a government after parliamentary elections in April.

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 14:21
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Risk, Recruitment and Retention: Engaging Foreign Publics in High Threat Environments

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 08:30
Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:45

Please join, 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 on October 24 to a non-partisan meeting with senior diplomatic, military, media and NGO leaders from government and the private sector on measuring civilian risk and public engagement in diplomacy. 

In an era where "zero-risk" environments abroad no longer exist, how does the United States address the question of risk for American civilians who want to pursue productive careers in diplomacy and development?  With non-state actors increasingly shaping the international system, how can American diplomats and development workers engage effectively in environments critical to the defense of U.S. national interests in the 21st century? And how do we recruit, retain and support a new generation of men and women to do so?  

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Iraq Turmoil: What is Next after Government Formation?

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 10:00
Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
Subtitle: 
A Conversation with Kurdish Leaders Dr. Fuad Hussein and Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir

Please join us at the U.S. Institute of Peace on September 18 at 10am for a timely discussion with two distinguished Kurdish leaders about the next steps in Iraq’s political process, how to confront the ISIL and what role the United States and other regional and international actors might play.

International attention on Iraq has heightened since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS, under an alternative acronym) terrorist group seized control of large parts of northern and western Iraq, establishing a caliphate, displacing some 1.7 million people and brutally killing hundreds more.

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Articles & Analysis

September 19, 2014

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 balance of power on the ground, two high-level Kurdish officials said. The leaders addressed an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace this week, appealing for the U.S. and others to urgently provide heavy weapons to confront the self-described “Islamic State” terror group and for humanitarian aid for 1.5 million refugees and displaced people who’ve taken refuge in Kurdistan.

Our Work in the Field

The heavy rains that flooded several Iraqi provinces in the past two weeks triggered widespread public criticism, including some demonstrations. It was a reminder that, especially as the country struggles with high levels of violence, frustration...

The Polish government makes use of USIP training to help key figures from Afghanistan and Tunisia lead their own countries’ transitions.

Susan Hayward, senior program officer for the Religion and Peacemaking Center of Innovation, discusses USIP’s 5-day workshop, which focused on religious violence, inter-communal pluralism, and processes of problem-solving, sought to elicit...

USIP staffer Sarhang Hamasaeed on March 27 provided the following update on the Arab Summit underway in Baghdad, Iraq.

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Publications

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 balance of power on the ground, two high-level Kurdish officials said. The leaders addressed an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace this week, appealing for the U.S. and others to urgently provide heavy weapons to confront the self-described “Islamic State” terror group and for humanitarian aid for 1.5 million refugees and displaced people who’ve taken refuge in Kurdistan.
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