Government of Iraq

ISW in Brief: Downward Spiral in Iraq

More than 400 people have died in Iraq since the U.S. withdrawal in mid-December. Coupled with the political struggles that broke out days after U.S. troops departed, Iraq’s worsening instability leaves little hope for developments that could augur an end to the crisis.

Iraq After the U.S. Withdrawal

The Obama administration had three years to push Iraqis toward genuine national reconciliation, the most critical component in securing a stable Iraq over the long term. The White House failed to leave behind a representative government that respects the concept of power-sharing and the rule of law under the Iraqi Constitution. Instead, the central government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is riddled with sectarian and authoritarian elements that were bound to capitalize and expand after the departure of U.S. forces from Iraq.