Iraq | Wilson Center


New Milestones for Kurdish Women

The name Halabja evokes a dark history: the chemical bombing of this Kurdish city in Iraq in 1988, the destruction of the city’s heritage and agriculture, and genocide. But the city also boasts a strong history of female leadership, going back a century and illustrated today in the leadership of the city’s female mayor.

Women MPs in the Iraqi Parliament

The Iraqi parliament offers a case study in the opportunities, successes, and failures of women in public life. The Iraqi constitution establishes a 25% quota for women in parliament. While less than women activists had campaigned for, it nevertheless marks a pioneering and important step in the participation of women in public life.

Exporting the "Salvadoran Option" to Iraq and Beyond

Shortly after declaring “Mission Accomplished” in 2003, the United States confronted an “unexpected” development: an armed insurgency against the occupation. The outbreak of violence quickly demonstrated the disastrous shortcomings of the administration's pre-invasion policy and made a mockery of George W. Bush’s premature announcement. Within several months, violence plunged Iraq into the abyss. As Iraq disintegrated, US officials looked to the past for guidance, including a largely forgotten example, the US intervention in El Salvador (ca.

Part 2: Pro-Iran Militias in Iraq

By Garrett Nada and Mattisan Rowan 


Since 2003, Iranian influence has deepened in Iraq through a wide array of Shiite militias. Several militia leaders and politicians spent years in exile in Tehran during Saddam Hussein’s reign in the 1980s and 1990s. One of Iraq’s most powerful armed groups, the Badr Organization, was formed in 1982 by Iraqi exiles to fight Hussein with the support of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

Part 1: Iran's Role in Iraq

Iran has emerged as the most influential foreign player in Iraq since U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. Iran and Iraq are Shiite-majority countries that share centuries-deep cultural and religious ties — and a 900-mile border. The Islamic Republic has used these advantages to permeate Iraq’s political, security, economic, and religious spheres.

The Future of Iraq: A Conversation with the Former Governor of Kirkuk

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s referendum on independence from Iraq did not go as planned. The disputed territory of Kirkuk was at the center of the conflict and was reclaimed by the central government last October.

Why did the Kurdish referendum fail? What role did Turkey and Iran play in these developments? How has the KRG’s autonomous status been impacted and how will this affect the future of Iraq? 

The Wilson Center hosted former Governor of Kirkuk Dr. Najmaldin Karim to discuss these and other issues, including parliamentary elections scheduled for May.


ISIS After the Caliphate

Updated Jan. 8, 2018