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

Featured in-depth research & reports

Experts

Advisory Committee

  • 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

Past events

Tue, Feb 11, 2020

Roundtable with Iraqi MP Sarkwat Shamsulddin

Iraqi MP Sarkawt Shamsulddin discusses the formation of the new government, US-Iran tensions, and the ongoing pro-reform demonstrations in Iraq.

1:00pm Washington DC

Thu, Jan 9, 2020

US-Iran tensions rising with Iraq in the middle

The Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative and Future of Iran Initiative hosted a conversation on US-Iran tensions and the impact on Iraq with Congressman Seth Moulton and Senator Chris Murphy.

2:00pm Washington

Thu, Nov 21, 2019

Roundtable with KRG Head of Foreign Relations Department Safeen Dizayee

The Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative hosted a private discussion with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s top diplomat to discuss recent events in Iraq.

10:00am Washington DC

Fri, Nov 1, 2019

Iraq’s political and energy outlook

On November 1, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative and Global Energy Center hosted an event on what’s next for Iraq amidst historic protests.

9:00am Washington DC

Wed, Oct 2, 2019

Roundtable with Iraqi National Security Adviser Falih Al-Fayyadh

The Iraq Initiative hosted Iraqi National Security Advisor Falih Al-Fayyadh for a conversation about US-Iraq relations and efforts to integrate the militias into the armed forces.

4:00pm Washington DC

Tue, Sep 10, 2019

A conversation with Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen

The Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative hosted a conversation with Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen.

12:00pm

Tue, Aug 6, 2019

A view from Iraq: A conversation with Iraqi MP Sarkawt Shamsulddin

On August 6, the Atlantic Council Iraq Initiative hosted Iraqi Council of Representatives Member Sarkawt Shamsulddin for a public event.

12:00pm

Wed, Jun 26, 2019

Arab Barometer Polling Data Event

On June 26, the Hariri Center, in collaboration with Arab Barometer, held a public event to release Arab Barometer’s latest public opinion survey data from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Following their presentation, Arab Barometer experts Mark Tessler and Kathrin Thomas joined Iraq Initiative Director Abbas Kadhim and Nonresident Senior Fellow Faysal Itani for a panel […]

Event Recap by Atlantic Council

Iraq Middle East
mickmulroy

Sat, Jun 1, 2019

Private Roundtable on Iraq with DASD Mick Mulroy

On May 7, the Iraq Initiative hosted Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Michael “Mick” Mulroy for a private, off-the-record discussion on Iraq. Middle East Programs Director William F. Wechsler moderated the conversation.

Insights & Impact

Iraq Middle East

Fri, Jul 19, 2019

Private virtual roundtable with Al-Bayan Center on US-Iraq relations

On July 19, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative hosted a roundtable with Al-Bayan Center, a think tank based in Baghdad. Iraq Initiative Director Dr. Abbas Kadhim moderated the conversation. The participants from Al-Bayan joined by videoconference.

Event Recap by Atlantic Council

Economy & Business Energy & Environment

All content

Wed, Feb 26, 2020

Factbox: The outcome of Iran’s 2020 parliamentary elections

Now that the elections are over, this guide aims to illuminate its outcome and why there was a low turnout.

IranSource by Arash Azizi

Iran Middle East

Tue, Feb 25, 2020

Cover-ups and incompetence: Iran as the Middle East’s coronavirus epicenter

For now, Iran has not banned its citizens from traveling to China, which as of midnight on February 25 has confirmed nearly 65,000 infections within its border.

IranSource by Brendon Hong

Iran Middle East

Mon, Feb 24, 2020

Wechsler and Fontenrose in The Washington Post: How US allies in the Gulf can help prevent an Iranian October surprise

As the 2020 US presidential election ramps up, the Atlantic Council’s Kirsten Fontenrose and William Wechsler write in The Washington Post on the threat of an October surprise from Iran.

In the News

Elections Iran

Mon, Feb 24, 2020

FATF blacklists Iran, but does it matter?

The decision to impose counter-measures by the Paris-based body signals something of an end to the group’s patience with Iran, especially by the European Union, after Tehran failed to follow through on the action plan it agreed upon with the FATF to address its deficiencies.

IranSource by Brian O’Toole

Economic Sanctions Iran

Fri, Feb 21, 2020

Slavin joins PRI to discuss Iran’s parliamentary elections

In the News by Atlantic Council

Elections Iran

Fri, Feb 21, 2020

Nia in Just Security: For Free Expression in Iran, the U.S. Can Act to Keep the Internet On

In the News by Atlantic Council

Iran Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Feb 20, 2020

To deter Iran, the Gulf states need stronger navies

The Gulf states should follow Washington’s lead in restoring deterrence in the face of the desperate regime in Tehran.

MENASource by Daniel J. Samet

Iran Middle East

Wed, Feb 19, 2020

Slavin quoted in CNBC on Iran’s parliamentary elections

In the News by Atlantic Council

Elections Iran

Wed, Feb 19, 2020

Fantasies of regime collapse in Iran come without a plan

In pushing for regime collapse in Iran, US officials should at least be aware of what they’re courting. Even if their policy is successful, it could be more disastrous than what they’ve ever imagined.

IranSource by Borzou Daragahi

Iran Middle East

Wed, Feb 12, 2020

The ‘maximum pressure’ campaign undermines Trump’s national security strategy

In order to stay focused on our long-term priorities, the US government must align its Iran policy with its national security strategy.

IranSource by David Wallsh

Iran Middle East