Middle East

Preventing the Next Insurgency: A Pathway for Reintegrating Iraq’s Sunni Population

Since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the “Sunni community” has been imprisoned within a cycle of upheaval and violence. In its latest iteration, the Islamic State (ISIS) monopolized a Sunni rebellion...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 9: Space Launches and Growing Authoritarian Crackdowns

The end of April is in sight. Most of us have been working from home and living under quarantine and social distancing policies for six weeks now, but somehow, April’s almost over. Some misguided individuals are now protesting to...

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Introduction to Iraq in Transition: Competing Actors & Complicated Politics

The Republic of Iraq has faced considerable challenges after the American-led invasion in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein, ranging from ...

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The Future of the Popular Mobilization Forces after the Assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

By depriving the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) of its leading strategist, the assassination of Abu Mahdi Muhandis, the chief of staff of the PMF, delivered a significant blow to what U.S. officials regard en masse as Iran’s Trojan Horse...

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Securitization and Politics in the Israeli COVID-19 Response

While countries around the world continue to wrestle with how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel acted quickly to contain the virus, a decision that has resulted in comparatively better results than countries in Europe and North...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 7: Turkish Economic Problems, China’s Human Rights, and Progress in the War in Ukraine

Week four of social distancing and quarantine is coming to a close in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We’re starting to see some encouraging signs about curves flattening, but the death toll this week has been a tragedy. This...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 5: And Now For Something Completely Different

We’re entering the month of April and week three of social distancing and quarantine. The country has at least another month of abiding by the national guidelines to flatten the curve. Since April Fool’s Day was yesterday and people...

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The Future of the Kurdistan Region after the Defeat of ISIS and the Failure of the 2017 Independence Referendum

In 2017, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq held an independence referendum, which triggered severe backlash, including the loss of control over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The backlash from the independence referendum prompted the regional government (Kurdistan Regional Government)...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 4: The U.S. “Angers” China and North Macedonia Joins NATO

Welcome to week three of social distancing and quarantine. Due to the increased number of cases in the United States, President Donald Trump has renewed all restrictions on social gatherings until the end of April. As everyone remains in...

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Making Sense of the Sadrists: Fragmentation and Unstable Politics

Iraq’s Sadrist movement, led by populist Shi’i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has been at the heart of Iraqi politics since 2003. The movement's political strategies have shifted dramatically during this time, encompassing militant insurgency, sectarian violence, electoral politics, and reform-oriented...

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