To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

To Stabilize Iraq After ISIS, Help Iraqis Reconcile

Sunday, February 11, 2018

By: USIP Staff; Nancy Lindborg; Sarhang Hamasaeed

An international conference opens in Kuwait Monday to plan ways to rebuild Iraq and secure it against renewed extremist violence following the three-year war against ISIS. A USIP team just spent nine days in Iraq for talks with government and civil society leaders, part of the Institute’s years-long effort to help the country stabilize. The Kuwait conference will gather government, business and civil society leaders to consider a reconstruction that Iraq has said could cost $100 billion. USIP’s president, Nancy Lindborg, and Middle East program director, Sarhang Hamasaeed, say any realistic rebuilding plan must focus also on the divisions and grievances in Iraq that led to ISIS’ violence and that still exist.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Violent Extremism

Kurdistan and Baghdad: A Tangled Web Over Oil and Budgets

Kurdistan and Baghdad: A Tangled Web Over Oil and Budgets

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

By: Andrew Snow

The economy of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region is on the brink of collapse; only the central government in Baghdad can stop an economic free fall that’s already damaging the broader Iraqi economy. While a rapid, negotiated solution to this crisis is essential to stabilize and unify Iraq—and reassure investors needed for post-ISIS reconstruction—a host of complex issues over oil and the national budget stand in the way.

Economics & Environment

Iraq’s Impasse with Kurds Puts Post-ISIS Stabilization at Risk

Iraq’s Impasse with Kurds Puts Post-ISIS Stabilization at Risk

Thursday, January 11, 2018

By: Andrew Snow

The impasse between Iraq’s central government and its Kurdistan Region is building into an economic problem, and both sides need to quickly find a way to negotiate a solution. While political conflict between the authorities in Baghdad and the regional capital of Erbil has been quieter since Iraqi troops ousted Kurdish forces from disputed territories in October, the Kurdish region’s economy is unraveling, with risks for both sides.

Economics & Environment; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Democracy & Governance

The Middle East: Divided, Dysfunctional

The Middle East: Divided, Dysfunctional

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

By: Garrett Nada

Even before President Donald Trump upended a core U.S. policy recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, late 2017 has been tumultuous in the Middle East. The Islamic State (ISIS) “caliphate” collapsed. Syria’s Assad regime all but won the six-year civil war, consolidating Iranian and Russian influence. Saudi Arabia purged...

Violent Extremism; Global Policy; Democracy & Governance; Fragility and Resilience

Iraq After ISIS: Sunni Leader Says It’s Time to Heal

Iraq After ISIS: Sunni Leader Says It’s Time to Heal

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

By: USIP Staff

With ISIS on the ropes in Iraq, now is the time to put in place political solutions that will reduce sectarian strife and prevent the resurgence of ISIS or similar groups, according to the speaker of Iraq’s parliament. “Military victory alone is not sufficient to confront terrorism,” said Saleem al-Jubouri, one of the highest-ranking...

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance; Reconciliation

The Current Situation in Iraq

The Current Situation in Iraq

Friday, September 1, 2017

Iraq has been ravaged in recent years by cycles of warfare, a growing refugee crisis, crippling sectarianism, and the violent spread of the self-styled Islamic State extremist movement (also known as ISIS, ISIL or by its Arabic acronym, Daesh). In the past decade, Iraqis have made some progress in building their government—approving a constitution to replace that of the Saddam Hussein era, and holding successive elections for parliament and provincial governments. Still, governing institution...

'U.S.-Light' in Iraq May Open Way for Russia, Iran

'U.S.-Light' in Iraq May Open Way for Russia, Iran

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

By: Fred Strasser

A failure by the international community to help rebuild Iraq will leave a vacuum that Russia, Iran or some new extremist group will seek to fill, warned the co-chairman of a working group in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. In a recent discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Ekkehard Brose agreed with the top U.S. State Department official on Iraq, Joseph Pennington, that Iraq must ultimately solve its own problems. But at this point, it can’t, Brose said.

Democracy & Governance; Violent Extremism; Global Policy