Is There Hope for Iraq?

Defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will offer Baghdad a fresh state-building opportunity to correct the mistakes following the ouster of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003. As Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds pursue their own interests, a serious effort toward communal understanding is the key to progress.

Rise of the Militiamen

The end of the strongman era in Iraq has led to the rise of paramilitaries representing sects and ethnicities. Popular Mobilization Units have become part of the state’s official security structure. Although the PMUs have been instrumental in the fight against ISIS, their more powerful militias pose a stark challenge to the country’s future stability.



Terror Will Be a Blight on the Obama Legacy

/ Tahrir Forum

This is a bitter legacy for the past three American administrations and for all their international partners in inhuman, uncaring policies that have wrecked the lives and futures of hundreds of millions of people.


How ISIS Will End

The Islamic State group is losing territory in Iraq and Syria, but it may have staying power in one of its three permutations: ISIS is simultaneously a movement for Sunni Muslim empowerment, a global jihadist movement, and an apocalyptic cult.


Beating ISIS in the Battlegrounds of its Birth

/ Tahrir Forum

Unless and until the Arab world’s political and socioeconomic dimensions are addressed and significantly improved, the Islamic State group or other movements like it, or even worse than it, will continue to emerge from Arab societies.


After Ramadi, Challenges Remain for Abadi

/ Tahrir Forum

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.


Obama’s Tarnished Legacy in the Middle East

President Barack Obama had to deal with a dysfunctional state system and fraying civil societies, as well as blowback from George W. Bush's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet his own actions and inactions throughout two terms of office contributed significantly to the great unraveling of the Middle East.


Libya’s Political Stalemate

/ Tahrir Forum

Despite apparent progress toward a power-sharing agreement, Libya’s governing bodies still face problems of neutrality and representation that will hamper their ability to govern effectively.