From the Overview: "After more than 17 years of conflict and zero-sum political competition, Iraqis are struggling to redefine their country's future and are reconsidering their relationships with the United States, Iran, and other third parties. Since seeking international military assistance in 2014 to regain territory seized by the Islamic State organization (IS, aka ISIS/ISIL), Iraqi leaders have implored international actors to avoid using Iraq as a battleground for their own rivalries and have attempted to build positive, nonexclusive ties to their neighbors and to global powers. Nevertheless, Iraq has become a venue for competition and conflict between the United States and Iran, with resulting violence now raising basic questions about the future of the U.S.-Iraqi partnership and regional security. When a new government took office in Baghdad in June 2020 after a months-long delay, U.S. and Iraqi officials opened talks on a new foundation for bilateral ties through a high-level strategic dialogue. In the meantime, Iraqi leaders are grappling with challenges posed by lower oil revenues, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and the latent demands of protestors whose demonstrations toppled last Iraqi government."
CRS Report for Congress, R45633
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/