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.

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of displaced Iraqis to participate in the polls; the controversial disqualification of certain candidates; and the now-rescinded resignation of the commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission, the body charged with organizing the polls.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

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: 
Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 

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.

Type of Event or Course: 
Countries: 

Q&A: Iraq’s Spreading Turmoil

With fighting in Iraq spreading since the shocking onslaught of a militant group once aligned with al-Qaida, the country's Parliament convened this week to start forming a new government based on the April elections, only to adjourn again within hours. Sarhang Hamasaeed, a senior program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace, explains the latest developments, the forces tearing at the country's fabric and the effects on the broader region.

Sarhang Hamasaeed

What is this militant group ISIS (ISIL or IS) and what do they want?

The militant group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS or ISIL because some translate "al-Sham" or "Syria" as "Levant") once was known as Al-Qaida in Iraq and fought U.S. forces before they withdrew in December 2011. Its former leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was known for his brutal acts and was killed in a 2006 air strike.

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 11:06
Type of Article: 
Countries: 

USIP Experts Closely Following Situation in Iraq, Available for Comment

(Washington) – As the situation in Iraq continues to evolve, experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) are closely following developments. In addition to the observations below, they are available analysis and comment as the crisis continues.

Tue, 06/24/2014 - 10:23
Type of Article: 
Countries: 

Acclaimed Iraqi Women’s Rights Lawyer Pleads, 'Please Don’t Forget Iraq'

A poignant plea from a prominent Iraqi lawyer who was lauded this week for her community leadership illustrated the determination it takes to achieve change in the most daunting circumstances. “Please, don’t forget Iraq,” Suaad Allami told an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace, just hours before President Barack Obama announced plans to send 300 military advisers to support her country’s security forces amid the current crisis.

Viola Gienger

Allami is one of five recipients of the Global Leadership Awards from Vital Voices Global Partnership, a U.S. nonprofit organization that identifies, trains and helps strengthen emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe. The awards ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recognized the women for their work to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity and protect human rights. The other recipients hailed from Syria, Guatemala, Tanzania and India.

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 11:56
Type of Article: 

Iraq Crisis: Will Politics Deliver More After Military Response This Time?

Our conversation quickly turned to the escalating security and political turmoil in Iraq. “The conflict in Syria is our major concern,” he told me. “The groups are moving freely between Syria and Iraq and are building up forces in some areas in Iraq where we expect more troubles. We think of this as an existential threat, and all our energy is focused now on curbing the expansion of these movements.”

Articles & Analysis

July 2, 2014

With fighting in Iraq spreading since the shocking onslaught of a militant group once aligned with al-Qaida, the country's Parliament convened this week to start forming a new government based on the April elections, only to adjourn again within hours. Sarhang Hamasaeed, a senior program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace, explains the latest developments, the forces tearing at the country's fabric and the effects on the broader region.

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.

Learn More

Classroom Courses

Instructor:
Robert M. Perito

This course will be offered again in the Fall of 2014

A comprehensive strategy is critical for reforming the security sector in post-conflict, transitioning and fragile states. Participants will explore field-tested methods for building military and police forces, and the capacity of oversight ministries. They will develop comprehensive assessments and plans through exercises and simulations guided by experts and through interaction with classmates who "own" other critical pieces of the capacity-building effort.

Drawing from lessons learned in Liberia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the course will cover the basic principles and steps in security sector reform.

Online Courses

This course is designed for international professionals who wish to improve their communication skills when working with an interpreter in a cross-cultural context.

The success of a project or mission in a cross-cultural, multilingual environment often depends upon effective communication with an audience or local counterpart.

Publications

With fighting in Iraq spreading since the shocking onslaught of a militant group once aligned with al-Qaida, the country's Parliament convened this week to start forming a new government based on the April elections, only to adjourn again within hours. Sarhang Hamasaeed, a senior program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace, explains the latest developments, the forces tearing at the country's fabric and the effects on the broader region.
(Washington) – As the situation in Iraq continues to evolve, experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) are closely following developments. In addition to the observations below, they are available analysis and comment as the crisis continues.