This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Lahib Higel, Crisis Group’s Iraq expert, to discuss the recent escalation between U.S. forces and Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria and what it means for the presence of American troops in Iraq.
The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq infused the country’s Kurds with renewed hope of loosening the bonds that tie them to Baghdad. But subsequent events have dampened that spirit. Despite considerable progress toward autonomy, the historical Kurdish predicament endures.
The core lesson of the 2003 Iraq war is that ruptures in autocratic settings are inherently fraught with risk. Policymakers should approach proposed interventions in such settings with caution.
The architects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq had grand visions of transforming the Middle East in favour of U.S. interests. Two decades later, it is clear that the venture was a failure not just in that respect, but in most others as well.
Iraq has a new government after months of delay, but various challenges to stability persist. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2023, Crisis Group explains how the EU and its member states can help support necessary reforms.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to Crisis Group’s Iraq expert Lahib Higel about the crisis in Iraq, with parties unable to form a government almost a year after elections and the deadliest clashes the Iraqi capital has seen in years erupting in late August.
Demonstrators are occupying parliament in Baghdad, with Iraq’s main political camps deeply divided. The standoff need not turn violent, if the country’s leaders can shift to dialogue with support from foreign partners.
Sinjar has yet to recover from the ravages of 2014, when ISIS subjected the population to unrelenting terror. Thousands remain displaced. To persuade them to return, the Iraqi federal and Kurdish regional governments will need help from the current residents in improving governance and security.
Turkey is increasingly relying on airpower in its fight against the PKK. New parties have been drawn into the conflict as it spreads to new theatres in Iraq and Syria, which, for now at least, complicates potential efforts to settle things down.
Though it did not produce fundamental change, the October voting in Iraq did upset the balance of power in parliament. The most likely outcome is a coalition that can sustain the political status quo but perhaps not the social peace.
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