On Thursday, July 26, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joined the U.S. Institute of Peace to give remarks on U.S. policy options in Iraq in the post-ISIS era. She discussed the protection of religious minority groups and offered her perspective on Iranian influence in the country and region.
Senator Ernst is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, having retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.
Iraq’s trajectory as a young democracy has been riven by extremism, regional competition and sectarian violence. With the routing of ISIS by Iraqi forces and allies in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, many see an opportunity for the country to escape this cycle of bloodshed and deepen much needed reforms. However, this May’s contested parliamentary elections, recent widespread protests and lingering elements of ISIS extremists demonstrate that security threats persist, and the country remains fragile. As a key ally, the U.S. has an indispensable role to play in working with its Iraqi partners to strengthen government and civil society institutions, continue progress in defeating ISIS, and move forward towards stability in a volatile region. Join the conversation at #ErnstIraqUSIP.