Iraq: Protests and the Future of U.S. Partnership [Updated November 12, 2019]   [open pdf - 523KB]

From the Document: "Mass protests and state violence against some protestors have shaken Iraq since October 2019, with more than 300 Iraqis reported dead and thousands more injured in demonstrations and isolated clashes in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Protestors and some prominent political figures have demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abd Al Mahdi and his cabinet, channeling nationalist, nonsectarian sentiment and a range of frustrations into potent rejections of the post-2003 political order. Current protests reiterate past demonstrators' concerns (with some louder critiques of Iranian interference), but the scope and endurance of the protests are unprecedented in Iraq's recent history. U.S. officials have not endorsed demands for an immediate transition, but protestors' calls for improved governance, reliable local services, more trustworthy and capable security forces, and greater economic opportunity broadly correspond to stated U.S. goals. The nature, duration, and response to the protests are deepening U.S. concerns about Iraq's stability. Related future developments could complicate U.S. efforts to partner with Iraq's government as Iraq recovers from war with the Islamic State (IS, aka ISIS/ISIL) and seeks to maintain its sovereignty. Congress is considering President Donald Trump's requests for additional military and civilian aid for Iraq without certainty about the future of Iraq's governing arrangements or how change might affect U.S. interests."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN11195
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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