Without a functional coalition, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Adbul-Mahdi may be forced to rely more on unilateral executive decrees, exacerbating the country’s institutional crisis.
Although the Islamic State has lost its stronghold in Hajin, instability within disputed territories provides opportunities for it to survive in both Syria and Iraq.
The KDP’s nominees for Kurdistan’s highest offices demonstrate the party’s belief that it can shape the region’s politics without regard for established power-sharing norms.
Although Iraq’s political blocs have agreed on a new prime minister, the lack of a coherent coalition shows the incoming government’s inherent weakness.
Its economic future in question, Tehran is looking to maintain and increase its influence in Iraq by investing in schemes and projects linked with loyal paramilitary forces.
Amid low turnout in Iraq’s elections, the Sadrists’ active voter base helped them win Baghdad.
With their legitimacy and credibility irreparably damaged, Kurdish political elites stand to lose seats and influence in Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
Losing control of his campaign narratives, Iraq’s incumbent prime minister is facing questions about his credentials on nationalism, security, and public services.
After several early stumbles in his campaign, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will likely end up with a narrow plurality in a highly fragmented field.
Under strain from protracted conflict, displacement, and a budgetary crisis, Iraq’s health system is struggling to care for the physically disabled.
Masoud Barzani’s resignation as president of the Kurdistan Regional Government is part of an attempt by the two main parties to preserve their influence in an increasingly volatile political environment.
Escalating tensions surrounding the Kurdish independence referendum are encouraging Iran to accelerate efforts to diversify trade to Iraq.
The Kurdistan Region’s “yes” vote in the independence referendum does not translate to unconditional support for independence in the short term.
The aggressive rhetoric surrounding Kurdistan’s largely symbolic independence referendum risks triggering armed conflict in ethnically mixed territories.
As Iran-aligned factions within Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces expand their political influence, Abadi is working to strengthen and integrate rival factions within the military.
Abadi is using the narrative of victory in Mosul to distract from dire policy issues that cannot be resolved in the near future.
The independence referendum for the Kurdistan Region reflects not just struggles with Baghdad but intra-Kurdish political rivalries that could encourage further conflict.
Debates over how to oversee and tally votes in Iraq’s provincial and national elections could spill over into popular unrest.
Despite the apparent military success in Mosul, the state’s ineffectiveness has driven a reliance on airstrikes and put pressure on Abadi’s government.
As the self-proclaimed Islamic State retreats further north in Iraq, they have left behind a wake of damage and destruction and a population facing hunger and the cold Iraqi winter.