Iraqi President Barham Salih, right, shakes hands with visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II, left, in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 14, 2019 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).
Leaders from Iraq and Jordan held a summit meeting earlier this month, where they signed a slew of agreements liberalizing trade and commercial ties. The meeting, which follows a visit to Iraq by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, is part of a recent intensification in Baghdad’s diplomatic outreach as it seeks to rebuild after its brutal, years-long war with the Islamic State. In an interview with WPR, Randa Slim, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, discusses Iraq’s post-ISIS foreign policy priorities. World Politics Review: What is Iraq’s interest in cultivating increasingly close economic and diplomatic ties with Jordan? Randa [...]
An Iraqi soldier watches smoke rise after an airstrike by U.S.-led coalition warplanes against ISIS, on the border between Syria and Iraq in Qaim, Anbar province, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
During the 2016 U.S. presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump didn’t talk much about the specifics of foreign and national security policy, with one exception: a pledge to defeat the Islamic State. Once elected, Trump ramped up the anti-ISIS military campaign that President Barack Obama had begun and increased support to local militias in Syria, including many Syrian Kurds, and security forces in Iraq. Eventually, this paid off. Through a grueling campaign led by the militias and the Iraqis, the Islamic State lost most of the territory it controlled in both Iraq and Syria. A month ago, Trump declared victory. “We [...]
Members of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces walk inside the stadium that was the site of Islamic State fighters’ last stand in the city of Raqqa, Syria, Oct. 20, 2017 (AP photo by Asmaa Waguih).
This week’s attack against a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, by a radicalized French Muslim illustrates that jihadis, or militant Islamists, still pose a serious threat to national security in the U.S. and Europe. But since late 2013, jihadis have also become a threat to other jihadis, regularly killing each other on battlefields across the Middle East in numbers that have observers talking about a jihadi civil war. In Syria, armed rebels affiliated with al-Qaida and the so-called Islamic State continue to fight each other, while the most potent force battling the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan is the Taliban. [...]
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