January 8, 2018

Recent events in the Middle East provide another reminder of how important it is that people can protest peacefully.

In December, as many as 10 demonstrators were killed in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) and over 300 arrested by Kurdish security forces, while Kurdish...

January 3, 2018

Should printing presses be licensed by the government?  The answer is a good test of your posture towards authoritarianism and bureaucracy.  A 1999 resolution of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council headed by Saddam Hussein required licensing of all private printing...

December 20, 2017

At the end of November, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi publicly declared a new “war on corruption” in Iraq. Given the timing of this announcement, the new policy to reduce corruption, especially the misuse of public funds, will be a key pillar of his 2018 re-election c...

November 3, 2017

A version of this article with references is available on request as a PDF. Please email: iraqincontext@gmail.com 

Between February 2017 and mid-October, Rosneft signed a number of deals with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) that established for it, and by ext...

October 24, 2017

As part of a series of articles on the Kurdish referendum crisis, we invited Joel Wing to discuss the aftermath of the vote. Joel has been writing the blog Musings on Iraq since 2008.

Readers familiar with Musings on Iraq will know it as an invaluable resource: Joel ha...

October 24, 2017

The days surrounding the Kurdish independence referendum have been filled with feverish commentary, speculation and in some cases, mis-information about the situation on the ground. Subsequent events in Kirkuk and the disputed territories caught many commentators off-g...

October 3, 2017


Writing in Haaretz recently, David Rosenberg recently noted that an independent Kurdistan would resemble Zimbabwe, rather than Dubai-- the central African nation of Rhodesia was ruled by a minority which unilaterally declared independence in 1967, and rapidly plummet...

October 3, 2017

One of the differences between states and non-state actors is a sense of permanence. Germany and Japan were completely defeated after World War II, yet today these states are important players in the international order.  Even after the Syrian civil war and the fall of...

September 30, 2017

It has passed some observers by that Iraq is rigorously pursuing a multilateral foreign policy, based on building bridges in the region. It is worth considering that this may even be a historic first in the modern Middle East potentially charting a path to a new Arab u...

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