Iraq’s competitive 2018 parliamentary elections were characterized by unexpected new coalitions, shifting alliances, and a politically charged government formation, the consequences of which will be critical in the development of regional dynamics. The continuing threat of ISIS, popular protests in Basra and Mosul, the monumental task of reconstruction, and unresolved tensions with the Kurdistan Regional Government are only a few items on the long list of vexing problems facing the country’s new leadership. On March 29, USIP hosted a conversation with Iraq’s new speaker of the Council of Representatives, Mohammed al-Halbousi, about the Iraqi government’s relationships with the United States, Iran, and its regional neighbors; the ongoing battle against violent extremism; and his vision for peace and stability.

The Arabic version of this event can be found here:

As Iraq’s new parliament and government come to power, fresh leadership presents Iraq with the opportunity to overcome these obstacles and make progress by developing its economy, increasing security, and strengthening governance and social services. Formerly governor of Al-Anbar province during the battle against ISIS, Speaker al-Halbousi met with senior Trump administration officials and congressional leaders during his visit to Washington. The speaker will lead the Council of Representatives as it grapples with these issues and navigates the many challenges of Iraq’s democratic process.

Speakers

Nancy Lindborg
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

His Excellency Mr. Mohammed Al-Halbousi
Speaker, Council of Representatives, Republic of Iraq

Related Publications

Nancy Lindborg on Iraq Rebuilding After ISIS

Nancy Lindborg on Iraq Rebuilding After ISIS

Thursday, April 11, 2019

By: Nancy Lindborg

Following her trip to Iraq, Nancy Lindborg discusses the country’s efforts to rebuild after ISIS. “They’ve [ISIS] been deprived of their territory … rebuilding is under way. But, there is very much a sense that the ISIS ideology is alive and well and there are a lot of concerns overall about security,” says Lindborg. “There has been important progress, but it’s very precarious and completely reversible.”

Reconciliation; Violent Extremism

Reaching a Durable Peace in Afghanistan and Iraq: Learning from Investments in Women’s Programming

Reaching a Durable Peace in Afghanistan and Iraq: Learning from Investments in Women’s Programming

Friday, March 29, 2019

By: Danielle Robertson; Steven E. Steiner

USIP recently partnered with New America to convene roundtable discussions with government, civil society, and humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organizations to learn from the past decade of women’s programming in fragile states such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Based on these discussions, this report provides guidance for improving future programming to not only integrate the needs of women but also recognize the role women play in transforming violent conflict and sustaining a durable peace.

Gender

The Current Situation in Iraq

The Current Situation in Iraq

Friday, March 29, 2019

Iraq has been ravaged in recent years by cycles of warfare, an internally displaced persons (IDPs) crisis, crippling sectarianism and, most destructively, a three-year campaign to drive ISIS from the third of the country it controlled. Even after the military defeat of ISIS, Iraq continues to face severe challenges including resolving the political, sectarian, and tribal conflicts that fueled the spread of extremism and its entanglement in regional rivalries.

View All Publications