ISW and AEI's Critical Threats Project mapped this weekend's U.S. Embassy and Consulate closures.
In the early part of 2012, ISW, AEI, and the Brookings Institution undertook a war game designed to simulate a worsening of the Syrian conflict and the spillover effects of that crisis on neighboring countries. What was postulated as a hypothetical situation in fact hewed quite closely to the way in which events eventually unfolded.
Al Qaeda in Iraq launched a concentrated wave of car-bomb and other attacks specifically against civilian Shi'a targets in and around Baghdad. Shi'a militias are mobilizing and have begun a round of sectarian killings.
The political participation of the Sunni Arab minority in Iraq is critical to the security and stability of the state. At present, they are functionally excluded from government. Without effective political representation, the Sunni in Iraq are left with few alternatives to address their grievances against the Maliki government.
Iraq continues its slide towards widespread violence. Over the weekend, the Iraqi government has issued an ultimatum to anti-government protesters following an attack in Anbar province that left five soldiers dead.
On April 20th, Iraq will hold its third provincial elections since 2005. There are 447 open seats nationwide, and competition for them is fierce. Previous elections illustrate that winning provincial seats can reverberate on the national level.