The Iraq Initiative provides transatlantic and regional policy makers with unique perspectives and analysis on the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing Iraq as the country tries to build an inclusive political system, attract economic investment, and encourage a vibrant civil society.

Top experts



Jun 16, 2023

How the international community can help Iraq on a path toward democratic stability

By Sarkawt Shamsulddin

The international community should increase its financial support for civil-society organizations in Iraq, as these play an instrumental role in reconciling ethnic divisions while promoting democratic principles among younger people.

Civil Society Corruption
Dr. Azzam Alwash (right) speaking at a private roundtable event, alongside Iraq Initiative Director and moderator Dr. Abbas Kadhim (left).


Jun 7, 2023

Private roundtable on Iraq with Dr. Azzam Alwash

By Atlantic Council

On May 18, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative hosted Dr. Azzam Alwash, Founder and CEO of Nature Iraq, for a private hybrid roundtable discussion on Iraq’s environmental crisis and future efforts to address climate change. Iraq Initiative Director Dr. Abbas Kadhim moderated the conversation.

Climate Change & Climate Action Energy & Environment


May 24, 2023

The US needs to be proactive in order to break its escalatory cycle with Iran

By C. Anthony Pfaff

Here we go again. On March 23, Iran-backed Iraqi militias launched a drone attack that killed an American contractor and wounded another, as well as twenty-four US military personnel. The attack feels very much like a repeat of the one in December 2019, which also killed a US contractor and led to an escalatory cycle, […]

Conflict Iran

Event Recap

May 9, 2023

Reimagining a way forward: Iraq’s economy and energy sector in the post-invasion era

By Amna Haider and Mahnaz Vahdati

On April 24, 2023, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative convened a hybrid panel discussion to examine Iraq’s current economic and energy landscape, and their future trajectory. The panel discussed Iraq’s significant progress in rebuilding its economy and energy sectors that have suffered since the 2003 US invasion of the country, despite facing various challenges such […]

Economy & Business Energy Markets & Governance


May 1, 2023

Should history rethink Paul Bremer’s role in the Iraq war?

By Andrew L. Peek

In the pantheon of Iraq war “villains,” perhaps no single official has been blamed for more disaster than Paul Bremer, the Coalition Provisional Authority leader who ruled Iraq for roughly one year.

Iraq Middle East

Event Recap

May 1, 2023

20-Year retrospective: Reflecting on the ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech and its aftermath

By Amna Haider

On the first of May, 2003, six weeks after the US invasion of Iraq, former US President George W. Bush delivered the widely known “Mission Accomplished” speech while aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. On the twentieth anniversary of this speech, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative hosted a virtual discussion with distinguished guest speaker General David […]

Conflict Crisis Management


Apr 14, 2023

The rise of a Shia Vatican in Iraq

By Mehiyar Kathem

The anchoring of Shia religious institutions as a national actor in the cultural heritage field may altogether change Iraq’s cultural landscape.

Iraq Middle East

In the News

Apr 11, 2023

Rich Outzen joins TRT World to discuss the PKK in Iraq

Iraq Security & Defense

In the News

Apr 3, 2023

Kroenig and Ashford debate the US 2003 response in Iraq

On March 24, Foreign Policy published its biweekly "It's Debatable" column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.

China Iraq

Event Recap

Mar 24, 2023

Trajectories of Iraqi youth two decades after the 2003 invasion: Between aspirations and reality

By Britt Gronemeyer

On March 20, 2023, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative hosted a discussion with a number of young Iraqi civil society activists and prospective leaders to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Economy & Business Education