Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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Fikra Forum

Fikra Forum

خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

U.S. Interests and the Unsustainable Status Quo in Iraq

Michael Knights

The unprecedented protests in Iraq underline the reality that Iraq is slowly failing as a state. Fundamental change is needed: to the nature of party politics, endemic corruption, undue influence by foreign-backed militias, and elections that are at best rigged but are increasingly outright stolen. In private, almost none of my senior Iraqi political contacts bothers to refute any of the above facts. These issues are also crystal clear to U.S. policy-makers on Iraq, but they are less sure about the U.S. role in what comes next.

Fikra Forum

How Sudan Can Draw Its Diaspora Back

Nasreldin Wali

Sudan's new government, or Sudan itself, can increase its chances of achieving long-awaited political, economic, and democratic changes by drawing on a unique, untapped resource. While seeking international guidance and help, the Sudanese government should work to encourage the return of Sudan’s large diaspora, focusing particularly on highly educated Sudanese youth whose skills attained abroad can contribute to building the new Sudan into a flourishing democracy.

Polling Insights on Iraq’s Shia Revolt

Munqith Dagher and Karl Kaltenthaler

Iraq is witnessing protests that are shaking its political system to its core. The nationwide protests, which started on October 1, 2019, have been startling in their scope, their size, and the violent response with which the largely non-violent protestors have been met. But perhaps the most surprising aspect is the makeup of most of these protests, as it is Iraq’s Shia majority that is protesting its Shia-dominated government. These ongoing protests have raised an important question: why have so many of Iraq’s Shia turned on a government that seems to represent them?

Fikra Forum

Egypt’s Economy: The Next Challenge for the Regime

Maged Atef

As Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi traveled by plane to New York City to attend the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, sporadic demonstrations erupted in several Egyptian cities calling for Sisi’s ouster and denouncing what they called “military rule.” While limited in scope, the demonstrations marked the first time since the President took office that protests have taken place calling for his removal from power.

Fikra Forum

A Regional Kurdish Response to U.S. Policy in Syria

Lawk Salah Ahmad

As successive U.S. administrations have failed to heed this advice, and U.S. policy’s rapid shifts have had a particular impact on the lives of Kurdish people throughout the region, and especially for U.S. allies in Iraq or Syria. These Kurds have been repeatedly asked to make major sacrifices for U.S. interests, only to face unexpected U.S. policy reversals and pay an unforeseen price.