The Institute for the Study of War and AEI's Critical Threats Project conducted an intensive multi-week exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to defeat the threat from ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria. This first report examines America’s global grand strategic objectives as they relate to ISIS and al Qaeda and considers the nature of those enemy groups in depth and in their global context.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued an arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni and prominent official from the opposition Iraqiyya List, on December 19, 2011.
Recently Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki commenced in a wide-scale campaign to purge hundreds of former members of the Ba’ath party from Iraq’s security apparatus.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Popular Mobilization, and tribal fighters launched a major operation to retake Fallujah on May 23. The joint force quickly recaptured northern terrain on the first day, including Garma District, a historic hotbed for Sunni extremists including ISIS’s predecessor Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Updated on May 24: Iraq’s Federal Court will issue an important ruling on May 25 that could have a major impact on the political crisis. The issues at stake are the legitimacy of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s ministerial appointments and the speakership of the Council of Representatives. This page provides a comprehensive collection of ISW reporting and analysis of this political crisis, which ISW has covered since it began.
The ISF has made significant gains in the Euphrates River Valley over the past two months, recapturing almost the entirety of the southern bank.
Iraqi politics are deadlocked. Several political parties and blocs boycotted the Council of Representatives (CoR) following the Sadrist protesters’ first breach of the Green Zone on April 30. The Kurdish Alliance, a bloc that consisted of nearly one-fifth of the CoR, withdrew on May 5. The bloc has now split, and two of its component political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran, formally reunited on May 14 to create a new bloc.
ISIS carried out explosive attacks in Baghdad and its environs to undermine an increasingly fragile Iraqi government through April and early May. The group exploited a security system both distracted by ongoing political upheaval caused by a stalled reform and burdened with protecting thousands of Shi’a pilgrims travelling to northern Baghdad for a major Shi’a holiday.
Iraq’s political crisis has degenerated further as a majority of Iraqi parties, including the Kurdish parties and the Sunni Etihad bloc, have boycotted parliament sessions following the April 30 breach of the Green Zone by Sadrist demonstrators.