Over the last 20 years, efforts to stabilize Iraq have been plagued by two powerful terrorist groups: al-Qaida in Iraq and then its progeny, the Islamic State (ISIS). While the country has fortunately managed to hold together in that time, there is still a long way to go toward security and stability in Iraq. Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata, the former director of strategy at the National Counterterrorism Center, discusses his time fighting extremist threats in Iraq, why the battle against ISIS is far from over and what the country needs to achieve peace.
The Latest @ USIP: 20 Years of Counterterrorism in Iraq
Disengaging and Reintegrating Violent Extremists in Conflict Zones
Dealing with people who leave violent extremist groups has become one of the most pressing security issues of our time. Drawing on new primary research conducted by the author in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria, and existing research on disengagement and reintegration, this report underscores the challenges of administering rehabilitation programs in conditions of chronic insecurity—and of doing so at a scale sufficient to make a difference to hundreds or even thousands of people in short order.
The Latest @ USIP: A Veteran Reflects on the Evolution of the Iraq War
From battling insurgents to securing provincial elections, USIP military fellow Colonel Jim Modlin saw firsthand how the war in Iraq evolved over the course of his four deployments to the country. Twenty years later, Modlin discusses why he regrets not engaging more with the Iraqi people on a personal level during his first deployment, his experience helping guide a fledgling peace process to prevent sectarian violence in northwestern Iraq, and the lessons that the United States cannot afford to forget from the war.
Stephen J. Hadley on the Invasion of Iraq 20 Years Later
Twenty years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the country’s path toward stability and democracy remains perilous. In the last two decades, Iraq has been plagued by insurgencies, the Islamic State, political gridlock, Iran’s meddling and economic crises, among other things. Despite this, Iraq has managed to hold together, and the country’s story is still unfolding. Stephen J. Hadley, former national security advisor under President George W. Bush and former chair of USIP’s Board of Directors, reflects on the invasion of Iraq two decades later.
U.S., Iraq Emphasize Economic Cooperation as Core of Strategic Partnership
Sarhang Hamasaeed looks at the key priorities for the U.S.-Iraq partnership, the challenges and opportunities for Iraq’s new government, joint efforts to address the human legacy of ISIS and how Washington can help stabilize Iraq’s economy.