Despite the apparent military success in Mosul, the state’s ineffectiveness has driven a reliance on airstrikes and put pressure on Abadi’s government.
As the self-proclaimed Islamic State retreats further north in Iraq, they have left behind a wake of damage and destruction and a population facing hunger and the cold Iraqi winter.
Sada contributors share their take on what the extraordinary election of Donald Trump could mean for a region in turmoil.
The operation to retake Mosul is part of a broader power struggle between Baghdad and Ankara over spheres of influence in northern Iraq.
The rise of the Islamic State has created both challenges and opportunities for Iranian trade networks in Iraq.
Sada launches its first eBook, a collection of essays that explores the region’s deep political changes since the Arab uprisings.
Tensions among Haider al-Abadi, Muqtada al-Sadr, and their rivals result from power struggles, not real disputes over reform.
Despite the small but important military victory in Ramadi, Iraqi forces still face significant challenges fighting the Islamic State in Anbar and reining in Shia militias in Diyala and Basra.
Supporting Kurdish groups in Syria could empower them to play a role in resolving regional conflicts, not just in Syria but also in Iraq and Turkey.
Abadi’s reforms have been mischaracterized both in terms of their content and the reasons driving opposition to them.
Any effort to retake Mosul from the Islamic State would face military and political obstacles that may be too significant to overcome.
The Kurdish Regional Government is facing immense financial challenges, but its worsening reputation in doing business is severely damaging to the future of the country’s energy industry.
Political deadlock within the Kurdistan Regional Government is hindering the shift from an executive to a parliamentary system.
The political rise of the Badr Organization and its leader, Hadi al-Ameri, is paving the way for a garrison state in Iraq.
Despite their mixed military record, Iraq’s Shia militias are growing in public standing in the wake of Ramadi.
The fight against the Islamic State has disrupted food production in Iraq, but the Iraqi government is in no shape to fill the food gap.
Sunni tribal disagreements over the role of the Popular Mobilization Forces—which have so far prevented developing a broader security strategy against the Islamic State—might change in the aftermath of Ramadi.
The Iraqi government’s military stumbles gave Iran-aligned militias a chance to push back, but for now Prime Minister Abadi holds on.
Amid the fight against the Islamic State, Iraq is witnessing another struggle for power between Abadi’s nationalist Shia factions and Iranian-backed militias.
If Iraqi parties cannot agree on a unified vision for the National Guard, options will remain limited for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State.