Why stability in the country is critical for all of the Middle East
As it is beginning, the Biden administration has an opportunity to refocus US attention in the Middle East, and in one key country in particular—Iraq. But this region is not the only critical policy focus for the United States. Given the critical role that Iraq’s stability plays in the security of the wider Middle East, it is essential that Europe proactively takes a lead in maintaining long-term political, economic, and security involvement in Iraq.
In a new Atlantic Council issue brief, “Europe Needs to Take a Lead on Iraq,” Dr. Christian Koch argues that Europe has already invested in Iraq’s stability and, going forward, should lead in policy areas demanding immediate and continued attention. Deliberate policy coordination and a European willingness to significantly increase its burden-sharing would be a tangible contribution to the Biden administration’s stated goal of rebuilding alliances and partnerships.
There should be no doubt that the EU faces numerous obstacles to pursuing a realistic and achievable plan for Iraq. However, these concerns should not overshadow the fact that the EU has a real opportunity to advance a positive agenda for Iraq. Europe needs to find the courage and initiative to make Iraq a strong strategic partner, a critical security interest, and a centerpiece of the EU’s policy in the Middle East. Europe must quickly engage the Biden administration in discussions about the future policy approach toward Iraq and clearly signal that Europe is ready to take the lead.
Wed, Nov 18, 2020
A new report presents a series of recommendations for the E-3 and the EU to preserve the JCPOA, promote regional peace and development and boost people-to-people contacts with Iran in concert with the new US administration. Taken together, these steps would amount to a renewed transatlantic diplomatic agenda through which the United States and European allies can stabilize the nuclear file and then build on the resulting diplomatic momentum to address other concerns with Iran.
Issue Brief by
Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.