The most powerful groups within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) existed long before ISIS seized Mosul in June 2014, and will continue to build influence in the future now that operations to liberate the city have concluded.
Iraq’s southern oil capital could be the country’s richest city, but over a decade of corruption, demographic shift, and insecurity has handicapped its development.
As he prepares for graduate study, our departing program assistant reflects on his time and research at EPIC, and looks toward Iraq’s reconstruction after ISIS.
Preparations for the independence referendum highlight political and generational divides in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The water crisis in Iraq is so severe that the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers — the country’s namesakes — could cease to flow by 2040.
The agricultural sector — Iraq’s second largest industry, employing nearly one-third of the population — has been decimated by conflict, mismanagement, and halfhearted reform.
Security challenges facing Baghdad after ISIS may not be so different from those that existed before 2014.
In March 2017, EPIC Program Assistant Matthew Schweitzer traveled to the recently-liberated neighborhoods in eastern Mosul. During this trip, he accompanied Layla Salih, Director of Antiquities for Ninewa Province, into tunnels dug by ISIS underneath the now-destroyed shrine and tomb of Jonah (known in Arabic as Nabi Younis). There, ISIS excavations revealed a 2,600-year-old Assyrian … Continue reading Underneath a Liberated Mosul
Policymakers in Iraqi Kurdistan must restore their people’s faith in the government, or jeopardize the region’s future.
Liberation without a complementary plan for sustained recovery will leave unmet needs among fragile populations, fostering conditions for renewed instability.
Stigma, insufficient training in mental healthcare for physicians, and subsequent lack of treatment capacity have handicapped efforts to build Iraqi mental healthcare capacity or deliver much-needed psychosocial services.
Stability and sustainable recovery in Iraq after ISIS will require that policymakers and NGOs address the legacy of upheaval far beyond the current emergency context.
Uncertainty regarding proper screening, detention, and civilian return procedures threatens future instability in Iraq as operations to liberate Mosul enter the final stages.
Following a recent day trip to eastern Mosul to visit the clinics receiving support from Soccer Salam, EPIC’s Matthew Schweitzer describes the sheer destruction facing the lifelong residents struggling to repair their war-torn city. Just across the Tigris, ISIS violence continues unabated.
The dissolution of Iraq’s once-prestigious healthcare system represents the tragic culmination to a longer trajectory of decline marked by war, sanctions, funding shortfalls, and neglect over three decades.
Iraq has been subject to intense upheaval, social change, and cyclical violence — a reality that is challenging for any reporter to capture and share with an international readership.
Iraq’s government can implement civilian protection policies to promote national reconciliation and reduce tensions between the country’s ethnic, religious, and sectarian communities.
More than a decade of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan taught US commanders the strategic importance of protecting civilians during wartime. This principle should guide future American policy.
Today, the status of Iraqi armed groups remains ambiguous despite Baghdad’s attempts to integrate them into the military command structure — a situation that highlights the complex, multifaceted, and poorly-understood roles they will play in Iraq’s political, social, and military development after ISIS.
Stabilizing post-ISIS Iraq will require economic reform in addition to any political settlement. Worryingly, the political “rules of the game” could prevent such a process from succeeding.
For Iraqi youth, opportunities to attend school have diminished. Without renewed investment in the country’s education system, the next 30 years will witness the maturation of a generation lacking its predecessor’s skills and training — reshaping its socio-economic environment.
Political rivalries and proxy conflict threaten to engulf Sinjar’s vulnerable Yazidi population in renewed violence. How local and regional actors manage this region can offer lessons for other disputed territories post-ISIS.
Policymakers in Erbil today confront severe governmental and fiscal emergencies that threatens the region’s stability and prosperity. To meet these challenges, they will need to couple stringent economic reforms with reconciliation between political parties.
After burning for three months, fires in Qayyarah leave northern Iraq with a twin humanitarian and environmental crisis that will impact thousands of refugees and reshape the region’s political economy.
To awake from the nightmare of violence, Iraq needs a strong reconciliation framework, at both communal and national levels, that can give Iraqi citizens an alternative to cyclical conflict.
This article originally appeared in The Hill on October 25, 2016 under the title “Iraq, Once Again, Has our Attention.”
The war against ISIS has wrought intense devastation across Iraq. How can the Iraqi government, with international assistance, overcome financial restrictions to reconstruct the country?
Worryingly, Iraqi politicians are today far more powerful than the people’s will.
Dysfunction among policymakers in Baghdad points to a deeper rot in Iraq’s political system, undermining prospects for long-term stability in the country.
Government policymakers and humanitarian agencies have not adequately prepared for a scenario in which a significant portion of Mosul’s remaining 1.2 million residents stay in the city as it is liberated.
In northern Iraq, Turkey and Iran are playing their proxies against each other. This rivalry will shape the region’s post-ISIS landscape, and could spark future conflict. To learn more, we spoke with Joost Hiltermann, program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group and an expert on Iraqi Kurdistan.
In Tal Afar, an overstretched Iraqi Army leaves regional powerbrokers and their proxies room to fight, with little chance of mediation.
The Iraqi government has ignored Hawija’s plight, risking future unrest.