As it approaches parliamentary elections next month, Iraq is not poised for either a major political transformation or massive security improvements. But the country should remain at the center of Washington’s engagement in the region, as it has the potential to bridge divides and help re-establish order.
The Last Days of ISIS
What does the future of the Islamic State look like in the wake of its battlefield losses in Iraq and Syria? Can it sustain itself as a movement drawing in sympathizers and recruits from around the world? The Islamic State’s setbacks may not necessarily hurt the broader jihadi movement that fed it.
In the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the cost of retaking a city and beating back the extremists is the destruction of much of the ground they held. This is most evident in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s declared capital in northern Syria, which was retaken in October, and where little is left.