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Fikra Forum

Fikra Forum

خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

Seeing Saudi Changes Up Close: A Week’s Worth of Surprises

David Pollock

The Saudi kingdom’s grinding proxy war against Iran and its allies in Yemen, its long-delayed decision to grant women the right to drive, and most recently its bizarre feud with Canada over arrested Saudi dissidents have all captured international attention and propelled much heated discussion about the country’s internal affairs. But despite its place in the spotlight, there is much about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia one doesn’t often hear about.

Fikra Forum

Assessing Jordan’s National Strategy to Combat Violent Extremism

Saud Al-Sharafat

August 10, 2018 — According to studies by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS), nearly 4,000 Jordanian fighters joined the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and other locations since 2011. Now that IS has shrunk, returning fighters pose a major concern for Jordan, as they bring back their military, combat, and organization experience to the country.

Fikra Forum

In Southern Iraq, Iran’s Intentions Backfire

Haitham Numan

August 9, 2018 — Iraqi media is currently reporting that the Basra protests—which have spread to Wasit, Maysan, Dhi Qar, and Karbala provinces—resulted solely from the energy crisis and rising unemployment. However, the truth is that these major economic and political crises emerged as a result of the increase of Iranian influence in Iraq, and protesters recognize this.

How Lessons from Algeria Can Shape Iraq

Abdelillah Bendaoudi

August 8, 2018 — After its military defeat in Iraq, the Islamic State (IS) has transformed from a governing entity to a scattered organization. Nonetheless, due to the worldwide spread of extremism, it is still necessary to combat the group’s ideology, which can easily be developed and spread by other extremist organizations. Luckily, the successful fight to defeat radical ideologies during the decade-long Algerian Civil War can provide a blueprint for those seeking to challenge terrorism in Iraq today.

Fikra Forum

After IS, Iraq’s Major Challenge is Corruption

Sarwar Abdullah

August 2, 2018 — Iraqi political commentators often point out that the main cause of corruption in the country is sectarianism and the distribution of official or government positions between political groups in what is called muhassasa. The next Iraqi administration should concentrate on incrementalism—small, effective steps towards eradicating corruption rather attempting to squash corruption everywhere at once.

Fikra Forum

Kurdish Failures in Kirkuk

Mera Jasm Bakr

August 3, 2018 — The PUK has been failing Kirkuk’s Kurds for years, sacrificing Kurdish interests for selfish gains. In contrast, and despite PUK accusations, the opposition parties in Kirkuk, far from betraying Kurdish interests, ran together as one list to boost the influence of their voters and cannot be held accountable for the recount.