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
MENASource Nov 7, 2022
Iraq lacks strategy on many governance fronts. It’s never too late to rectify this unforgivable deficiency.
By Abbas Kadhim
Post-2003 Iraq has shown a gross lack of strategy on many governance fronts. It’s never too late to rectify this unforgivable deficiency.
MENASource Nov 4, 2022
Iraq has a new government. The United States would benefit from broad engagement with all Iraqi stakeholders.
By C. Anthony Pfaff
Such an approach will typically yield modest results, but these results can accumulate and place the United States in a better position.
Event Recap Nov 3, 2022
Turmoil and transition: Iraq twenty years after the invasion
By Madeline Hart and Nour Alhajjeh
An Atlantic Council conference on Iraq’s security, environment, economy, and democratic institutions brought together high-level officials from across the region and the United States to explore innovative solutions.
Featured in-depth research & reports
Report Nov 16, 2022
KRI positioned in prominent role in global gas markets
By Ahmed Tabaqchali
A new report, The Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Gas-Export Potential: Deja Vu All Over Again, authored by Atlantic Council senior fellow Ahmed Tabaqchali, considers the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s (KRI) proven and probable gas reserves having the potential to nearly triple production by 2030 and more than sextuple by 2040.
Report Nov 3, 2022
Optimizing and aligning the US-Iraq relationship
By C. Anthony Pfaff
This report considers US-Iraq relations’ need for an approach that relies less on directly confronting corrupt and malign actors and more on creating better alternatives so that individuals and groups do not choose to engage in corrupt and malign activities in the first place.
Report Sep 26, 2022
Amman-Baghdad-Cairo (ABC) Agreement: A new path for economic integration
By Racha Helwa, Barik Schuber, and Ibrahim Saif
Since 2019, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan have held multiple summit meetings to discuss trilateral agreements to formalize and deepen economic integration. By cooperating among themselves, the three countries can represent a united political and economic front. This report explores the potential benefits and pitfalls to avoid from the perspective of each country: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq.
- 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 David Mack, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs
- 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