The Baghdad Summit and After

08/14/2012
2012-08-14 By Richard Weitz Iraq-GCC relations have perhaps now reached one of their most critical stages. This turning point has been reached due to several concurrent developments. Iraq’s precarious internal and external conditions after the U.S. military withdrawal, the enduring and widespread impact of the Arab Spring, and the profound…

Iran: Ankara’s Partner or Rival?

08/07/2012
2012-08-07  by Richard Weitz Turkish analysts are well aware of Iran’s considerable influence in Iraq. Tehran disposes of several important assets in the country, including (like Turkey) geographic proximity, a newly self-conscious and empowered Shiite majority that appreciates Iran’s centrality to the Shiite faith, and influential pro-Iranian factions embedded within…

Turkey’s Goals in Iraq

08/05/2012
2012-08-05 By Richard Weitz Turkey views Iraq as a key area of interest and influence. Turkey has several core interests in Iraq: Cultivating ties with the various Iraqi factions, Preventing terrorists from using northern Iraq as a base of operations; Balancing the influence of Iran; Securing access to Iraqi oil…

Iran’s Widening Tool Box in Iraq

08/03/2012
2012-08-03 By Richard Weitz Iran had several motives for assisting the Iraqi insurgents during the 2005-2008 period. A first goal was to create a security buffer zone. Many Iranians saw Iraq as their first line of defense against a foreign invasion, considering that many past attacks had come from the west.…

New Dawn: Police Reform in Iraq

08/01/2012
2012-08-01  by Richard Weitz Having an effective police force is critical for Iraq’s long-term stability. The Ministry of Interior rather than the Iraqi military needs to be the lead Iraqi government agency for countering terrorism and crime, including trafficking in weapons and other contraband across Iraq’s lengthy borders. The Iraqi…

The Iranian Offensive in Iraq: The Initial Push

07/30/2012
2012-07-30 By Richard Weitz Many consider Iran the ultimate victor of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Although the subsequent military occupation of Iraq that ended in 2011 was carried out by the United States and its allies, Iranian influence in Iraq grew tremendously following the elimination of the Saddam…

From DOD to State in the New Dawn Process: A Troubled Transition

07/28/2012
2012-07-28 by Richard Weitz The handoff of the Iraq mission from the Department of Defense (DOD) to the Department of State (DOS) has represented one of the most complex military-to-civilian transitions in American history. DOS has taken over many DOD programs while changing their missions and scale. Mission Iraq, under the…

Iraq’s Internal Security: Dangerous But Doable

07/23/2012
2012-07-23  by Richard Weitz June 2012 proved to be one of the most violent months in recent Iraqi history, with more than two hundred people killed in violent attacks.  These attacks, for which the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility, have continued in early July, with Shiite…