About the program
The Atlantic Council is leading a long-term initiative on Iraq led by Dr. Abbas Kadhim. The Iraq Initiative seeks to provide US and European policymakers with unique perspectives from within Iraq as well as impartial, pragmatic policy recommendations. The Iraq Initiative addresses the current security challenges Iraq faces as well as identifies policies that will unlock Iraq’s potential to develop the drivers of any successful society: inclusive politics, economic development, and a vibrant civil society. It is critical that international conversation about Iraq moves from being solely focused on security and military engagement to broader policy issues such as attracting investment, improving governance and service delivery, and the country’s unique geopolitical role. The Iraq Initiative also works to develop relationships with Iraqi officials to bring them together with the right US and European policymakers and influencers to discuss how to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Featured commentary & analysis
Wed, May 13, 2020
There is one that Mustafa al-Kadhimi must be the most cautious in tackling—the management of expectations.
Thu, May 7, 2020
Iraq’s months-long quest to form a national government reached a major milestone on May 6 when a partial government under new prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was approved by lawmakers. Al-Kadhimi—who previously served as Iraq’s national intelligence chief—was nominated by Iraqi President Barham Salih on April 9 after two previous nominees failed to form a government. Although fifteen of the major cabinet posts were approved by the parliament, several others have not yet been confirmed—including foreign affairs, justice, oil, agriculture, and trade—due to failure to reach an agreement between major parties on their allocation.
New Atlanticist by
Thu, May 7, 2020
The formation of a fully authorized government provides a chance for Iraq to address its most pressing twin crises.
MENASource by Abbas Kadhim
Featured in-depth research & reports
Mon, Apr 27, 2020
This Atlantic Council Iraq Initiative report by Nonresident Senior Fellow Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff analyzes the current challenges in the US-Iraq relationship and presents policy recommendations.
In-Depth Research & Reports by C. Anthony Pfaff
Mon, Jul 15, 2019
As Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei age, the international community of Shia Muslims faces a looming void in religious and political leadership.
Issue Brief by
- Ambassador Feisal al-Istrabadi, Founding Director, Center for the Study of the Middle East, Indiana University, Bloomington
- Ambassador Rend al-Rahim, Former Iraqi Ambassador to the United States
- Mr. Stephen J. Hadley, Former US National Security Advisor
- Mr. Majid Jafar, CEO, Crescent Petroleum
- Ambassador Srood Najib, Former Head, Multilateral Department, Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Dr. Meghan O’Sullivan, Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Kennedy School, Harvard University
- General David Petraeus, Chairman, KKR Global Institute
- Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie, Former Iraqi Ambassador to the United States
- Mr. Olin Wethington, Founder and Chairman, Wethington International LLC