Tensions among Haider al-Abadi, Muqtada al-Sadr, and their rivals result from power struggles, not real disputes over reform.
Despite the small but important military victory in Ramadi, Iraqi forces still face significant challenges fighting the Islamic State in Anbar and reining in Shia militias in Diyala and Basra.
Supporting Kurdish groups in Syria could empower them to play a role in resolving regional conflicts, not just in Syria but also in Iraq and Turkey.
Abadi’s reforms have been mischaracterized both in terms of their content and the reasons driving opposition to them.
Any effort to retake Mosul from the Islamic State would face military and political obstacles that may be too significant to overcome.
The Kurdish Regional Government is facing immense financial challenges, but its worsening reputation in doing business is severely damaging to the future of the country’s energy industry.
Political deadlock within the Kurdistan Regional Government is hindering the shift from an executive to a parliamentary system.
The political rise of the Badr Organization and its leader, Hadi al-Ameri, is paving the way for a garrison state in Iraq.
Despite their mixed military record, Iraq’s Shia militias are growing in public standing in the wake of Ramadi.
The fight against the Islamic State has disrupted food production in Iraq, but the Iraqi government is in no shape to fill the food gap.
Sunni tribal disagreements over the role of the Popular Mobilization Forces—which have so far prevented developing a broader security strategy against the Islamic State—might change in the aftermath of Ramadi.
The Iraqi government’s military stumbles gave Iran-aligned militias a chance to push back, but for now Prime Minister Abadi holds on.
Amid the fight against the Islamic State, Iraq is witnessing another struggle for power between Abadi’s nationalist Shia factions and Iranian-backed militias.
If Iraqi parties cannot agree on a unified vision for the National Guard, options will remain limited for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State.
In the Middle East, producers are facing different effects of the recent drop in oil prices. Four oil experts explore the impact of falling prices on the economies of key regional producers.
Although Kobani has spurred a KRG-PYD strategic rapprochement, Kurdish unity across borders remains elusive.
Plans to build a national guard force risk widening sectarian divisions in Iraq and pushing more Sunnis toward the Islamic State.
Although the Islamic State gained access to significant resources in Syria and Iraq, budgetary constraints will hinder the group’s expansionist aims.
Jordan’s attempt to prioritize Syrian and Iraqis refugees leaves its other asylum seekers underserved.
Prospects for an independent Kurdish state are hampered by security challenges, internal competition, and insufficient international support.