The Iraq Initiative provides transatlantic and regional policy makers with unique perspectives and analysis on the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing Iraq as the country tries to build an inclusive political system, attract economic investment, and encourage a vibrant civil society.

Top experts



Tue, Jun 9, 2020

US-Iraq strategic talks not just about security issues, says Iraqi former foreign minister

Mohamed Ali Alhakim said the upcoming process is a necessary, long-planned step in ongoing bilateral ties between Baghdad and Washington. But he took pains to call the process a dialogue involving the US government and the sovereign state of Iraq, one which will define the Pentagon’s future presence in Iraq as well as non-military aspects of the relationship including education, energy, culture, trade, and foreign investment.

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Conflict Coronavirus

Fri, May 15, 2020

Iran to remain key energy source for Iraq, says former electricity minister Luay Al-Khatteeb

“The only available option we have at the moment right now is Iran—and let’s be frank. I couldn’t care less as a client from the receiving end about whether this molecule of gas comes from Iran or Saudi Arabia. What really matters to me is that this gas is competitive pricewise, can be delivered as soon as possible, and meets my volume demands," said Luay Al-Khatteeb

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Energy Markets & Governance Iran

Wed, May 13, 2020

Iraq’s new prime minister must manage expectations

There is one that Mustafa al-Kadhimi must be the most cautious in tackling—the management of expectations.

MENASource by Rend Al-Rahim

Iraq Middle East

Thu, May 7, 2020

After months of gridlock, Iraq gets a new government

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 Atlantic Council

Democratic Transitions Iraq

Thu, May 7, 2020

New Iraqi government must face a pandemic and oil price drop

The formation of a fully authorized government provides a chance for Iraq to address its most pressing twin crises.

MENASource by Abbas Kadhim

Coronavirus Iraq

Fri, May 1, 2020

Have COVID-19 and Iran tensions doomed Coalition anti-ISIS strategy?

After five years of a successful campaign against ISIS, the Coalition may be permanently crippled by tensions with Iran. Furthermore, the pandemic may serve as a convenient excuse for partners to wrap up their presence in Iraq.

MENASource by Seth Frantzman

Iraq Middle East

Mon, Apr 27, 2020

The future of US-Iraq relations

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

Iraq Middle East

Thu, Apr 23, 2020

How the US military should leave Iraq

It is still possible to retain US influence in Iraq and to offer Iraqis an alternative to complete domination by Iran.

MENASource by Barbara Slavin

Iraq Middle East

Wed, Apr 22, 2020

Challenges for Iraq’s new government under Mustafa Al-Kadhimi

The protests that started in October 2019 ushered in a new political era in Iraq. For the first time in the post-2003 process of democratic transition, a government was forced to resign due to popular pressure. The resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s cabinet forced the Iraqi political leadership to face contentious constitutional and procedural […]

MENASource by Abbas Kadhim

Iraq Middle East

Tue, Apr 21, 2020

Kadhim quoted in the New York Times on anti-Iranian sentiment in Iraq

In the News by Atlantic Council

Coronavirus Iraq