• Hasan al-Qarawee Quoted in Chron on Oil Production in Iraq

    Read More
  • Scholl Quoted in Chron on Oil Production in Iraq

    Read More
  • Baghdad and KRG Locked in a Standoff

    Both Iran and the United States have been pushing Iraq and the KRG to normalize their relationship, but Baghdad’s maximalist approach means the KRG is likely to hold out until after the May 2018 elections to make a deal.

    Read More
  • Iraq’s Dawa Party and Electioneering: Division and Survival

    Following the 2005 election of Iraq’s National Assembly, the winning Shia Islamist coalition selected Ibrahim al-Jaafari, then a senior leader in the Dawa party, for the position of Prime Minister in the transitional government. Dawa is the oldest Shia Islamist party, but not the largest. Competing groups within the Shia alliance selected a member in the party for the position to sustain minimal unity, which was threatened by the fierce competition between the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) and the Sadrist movement.

    Read More
  • Shaffer in Fox News: Iran’s Ethnic Minorities are Playing a Vital Role in Protests. Don’t Overlook the Power in the Provinces

    Read More
  • Miscalculations, Machismo, and Military Misjudgment Could Create New Global Hot Spots

    Connecting 2017’s political and military missteps to 2018’s global economic outlook

    The shift toward nationalist populism, demonstrated by the sweeping political changes around the world in 2017, has throughout history been a harbinger of global instability and conflict, and could directly affect both the international security landscape and global economy in 2018.

    Looking back, it is hard to believe how quickly the geopolitical landscape has changed in just one year.  Through 2017, elections all over the world brought new forces to power, challenged the political establishment, introduced new tensions into global politics, and exacerbated old ones.

    Read More
  • ISIS, Syria, and Iraq: A Year-End Appraisal

    As 2017 closes, so does the physical “caliphate” of a pseudo-religious criminal enterprise known by the names ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and Islamic State. But killing the caliphate is only step one. Keeping it dead will be a generational struggle.

    Rooted in al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and supplemented by pro-Saddam Hussein Iraqi Baathists, ISIS seized the Syrian city of Raqqa from Syrian rebels in 2013 and, from there, invaded Iraq in 2014. For over three years an American-led military coalition has sought to degrade and destroy a ruthless collection of murderers, rapists, thieves, and terrorists; a band of criminals drawn from the dregs of the Sunni Arab world seeking to mask crude depredations by purporting to act in the name of Islam.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other brands of murderous extremism are the results of political illegitimacy. Legitimacy exists when there is societal consensus that a political system is right and just: consensus reflecting the consent of the governed. Legitimate systems can survive incompetent presidents, prime ministers, and kings. Illegitimacy reflects consensus that the system is rotten and merits destruction. Unless sustained by violent coercion, an illegitimate political system can open a governance vacuum. ISIS is a vacuum-filler.

    Read More
  • Tillerson's Takes on US Foreign Policy: A Year in Review

    Diplomatic negotiations with "no preconditions" will be the US approach to solving the problem of North Korea, while working in concert with friends and allies, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council on December 12.

    “We’re ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk,” said Tillerson, “and we’re ready to have the first meeting without preconditions.”

    “Let’s just meet and let’s – we can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face?” he added.

    Read More
  • Frederic C. Hof's Remarks at the NATO Parliamentary Forum

    Below are remarks by Ambassador Frederic C. Hof at the NATO Parliamentary Forum at the National Defense University on Dec. 11, 2017 that touched upon the evolving US approach to Syria and Iraq.

    I’ve been asked to discuss the evolving US approach to Iraq and Syria. I will try to do so as accurately and as briefly as possible. Brevity will not be a problem. Accuracy may be something else. I’ve been out of government for five years, and although I stay in touch with former colleagues and try to offer ideas on objectives and strategy, I do not purport to know what the commander-in-chief has decided on key issues affecting Syria and Iraq.

    Read More
  • Iraq: Managing Economic Reformation and Fighting Corruption, with an Eye on Election

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi recently announced his new war against corruption. In using the term “war,” he intended to convey the difficulty of implementing a productive policy to fight corruption. Abadi hopes to build on his successes in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the crisis with Kurdistan by turning his attention to a popular and persistent demand: fighting corruption. International financial institutions and nonprofit organizations—including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF)- identify rampant corruption as a main impediment to development in Iraq, and Transparency International consistently rank Iraq among the most corrupt countries.

    Read More