Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Mohammad Sadiq Al-Sadr: Mobilizing the Iraqi Shia Base – By Mike Airosus

In the existing literature on the Sadrist Movement in Iraq, there has been little analysis of one of its key actors, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr. Although he never directly controlled the Mahdi Army, Sadiq al-Sadr, founded the Sadrist Movement, directly challenged the Saddam Hussein regime, providing the legitimacy and inspiration for the […]

Strategic Minorities: Iraq’s Non-Muslims and the Power of Persecution in the Fight Against the Islamic State – By Matthew Gruba

The tipping point in the U.S. debate over initiating an air campaign against the Islamic State was the plight of non-Muslim minorities in IS-controlled areas of Iraq, namely that of the Yazidi population in Sinjar. Via effective international messaging efforts, the Yazidis, a tiny religious minority unknown to the outside world, mobilized the United States […]

Mandate Iraq: Imagining a Nation – By Natalie Bowlus

While Iraq’s Sunni and Shi’a were hardly on equal footing in 1920, it was not inevitable that the inequality would persist. Failed political and social institutions are to be blamed.

From Coexistence to Cleansing: The Rise of Sectarian Violence in Baghdad, 2003-2007 – By Ches Thurber

This article will draw on first-person accounts to argue that sectarian violence in Baghdad appears to be less a result of an inherent inter-religious animus than a collective defensive reaction to the fear and vulnerability created in a time of war and political upheaval. Furthermore, it illustrates how the actions of two outside actors—the United […]

Iraqi Kurdistan: The Internal Dynamics and Statecraft of a Semistate – by Matan Chorev

The semistate possesses many of the features commonly associated with the modern nation-state but remains unrecognized as a sovereign entity. Semistates (such as Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Transnistria, and Iraqi Kurdistan) inhabit the central conflict fault-lines of Southwest Asia’s strategic landscape at the dawn of the twenty-first century. In order to concoct effective conflict management […]