Iraq

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, attend a ceremony marking the completion of the sea part of the TurkStream gas pipeline in Istanbul on Nov. 19, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s Gas Web Ensnares Europe

New pipeline projects throughout the Middle East could boost Russian influence there while also ensuring the country’s role as the prime supplier of energy to Europe.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Camp Alvarado after meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul on July 9, 2018. (Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Eyes Plans to Cut Diplomatic Staff in Afghanistan, Iraq

Officials say it's time to shift diplomatic resources to countering China and Russia.

A discarded Islamic State flag lies torn on the ground in the village of Baghouz, Syria, on March 24. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images)

ISIS’s West African Offshoot Is Following al Qaeda’s Rules for Success

The amorphous Boko Haram splinter group is taking inspiration where it can get it and bringing disaster to the Lake Chad Basin in the process.

Smoke and fire billow after a shelling on the Islamic State’s last holdout of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province, on March 3. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

Inside the Fall of the Islamic State

On the podcast: A reporter who embedded with U.S.-backed forces in Syria describes the battles there.

A partial view of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, is reflected in the visor of a U.S. Army helicopter crew member as he looks out of a  Chinook helicopter flying  from the U.S. Embassy to Baghdad International airport on Jan. 9. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq Prepares to Evict U.S. Troops

Pro-Iran factions are pushing for the move just as the Islamic State is starting to hit back.

Kolbars carrying smuggled goods return from Iraq down the Kuh-e Takht mountain in Iran on Dec. 12, 2018. (Sergio Colombo and Andrea Prada Bianchi for Foreign Policy)

For Kurdish Smugglers, Iran Sanctions Are Starting to Bite

The kolbars brave subfreezing temperatures and border guards’ bullets to carry heavy loads over the mountains in an unemployment-plagued region that Iran’s government has all but forgotten.

Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters wait to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving the group's last holdout of Baghouz, Syria, on Feb. 22. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

What Comes After ISIS?

The United States is good at using military might to defeat terrorists—but without a plan for clean, competent governance in areas once ruled by the Islamic State, the threat will remain.

President Donald Trump salutes while joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a military carry team moves the transfer case containing the remains of Scott A. Wirtz during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Jan. 19, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

All This Should Remind You of the Run-Up to the Iraq War

The march to war against Iran is echoing the drumbeats of America's last major Middle Eastern invasion.

Members of the U.S. Army 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, transport heavy combat equipment including Bradley Fighting Vehicles at the railway station near the Rukla military base in Lithuania on Oct. 4, 2014. (Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images)

Pentagon Seeks Massive Increase for ‘Slush Fund’ War Account

Contingency coffers could reach levels not seen since the Iraq surge.

Prime Minister-elect Adel Abdul Mahdi addresses the Iraqi parliament during a vote on the new government in Baghdad on Oct. 24, 2018. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Will Iraq’s Old Divisions Undermine Its New Prime Minister?

In his first hundred days on the job, Adel Abdul Mahdi has hit entrenched political roadblocks to choosing cabinet ministers and changing a system of political patronage.

A U.S. Marine prepares to board an MV-22 Osprey on his way to a site near al-Tanf Garrison, Syria, on Sept. 7, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carlos Lopez)

How U.S. Mission Creep in Syria and Iraq Could Trigger War With Iran

One previously unreported incident from 2017 illustrates the risks of Trump’s latest plan.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets with Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir in Damascus on January 12, 2008.

Shame on the Arabs

Many Arab rulers have revealed their moral bankruptcy by rekindling ties with Syria and embracing a war criminal.

A member of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces takes down a tattered Islamic State flag in Tabqa, Syria, in April 2017. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The New Face of Terrorism in 2019

Forget the Middle East—it’s time to prepare for attacks from the former Soviet Union.

Iraqi boys walk past a shop in a local market in the northern city of Mosul on Nov. 21. ( Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Sanctions on Iran Will Harm Iraq

Baghdad is heavily dependent on trade with Tehran. Without an exemption from Washington, Iraqis—and the stability of the country—will suffer.

Iraqi men flash the victory gesture from inside a car during the Hashed Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary forces' celebrations marking the first anniversary of victory over the Islamic State (IS) group on December 10, 2018. (Mohammed Sawaf/AFP/Getty Images)

Start Small to Stop the Next ISIS

One year on from the defeat of the Islamic State, the new U.S. Congress should draw on lessons learned from efforts to counter violent extremism.

U.S. President George H.W. Bush in the White House on Sept. 27, 1991 (Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images)

 George H.W. Bush’s Misunderstood Presidency

The late 41st U.S. president’s prudence was once derided as the wimp factor, but it has aged well.

Herto Hamrash Minut, 74, sits outside his house on Sinjar Mountain, where he lives with his two wives and 12 children. Four years ago, he was kidnapped and tortured by the Islamic State for eight months. (Sam Mednick for Foreign Policy)

ISIS May Be Gone, But Iraq’s Yazidis Are Still Suffering

The defeat of the Islamic State has created a power vacuum in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, leaving the Yazidi minority at the mercy of competing militias.

Iraqi protesters watch an official building in flames as they demonstrate against the government and the lack of basic services in Basra on Sept. 6. (Haidar Hohammed Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

Northern Iraq May Be Free, but the South Is Seething

The world has focused on rebuilding the country’s north after defeating the Islamic State while ignoring festering resentment and poverty in Basra.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh on October 23, 2018. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Mohammed bin Salman Is the Next Saddam Hussein

In the 1980s, the United States embraced a brutal Middle Eastern tyrant simply because he opposed Iran. Washington should not repeat the same mistake today.

Demonstrators take part in the People's Vote march calling for a referendum on a final Brexit deal in central London on Oct. 20. (Nikilas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images)

Referendum Redux?

Two years after deciding to leave the European Union, many Brits want a second vote on Brexit.

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