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International and regional dimensions of Iraq's post-ISIS recovery

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Title of host publicationIraq after ISIS
DateE-pub ahead of print - 2018
Pages111-125
Number of pages15
PublisherPalgrave Pivot
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This chapter considers the roles played by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the USA in Iraq’s post-ISIS recovery, focusing on political, economic, and geostrategic interests. In what has been described as the new “great scramble” for the Middle East in Iraq and Syria, regional actors are pursuing potentially complementary but also directly diver- gent interests. Iran is looking to consolidate the substantial in uence it has built up in Iraq, while Saudi Arabia, with US support, is looking to counter this in uence. Turkey is keen to exploit business opportuni- ties and limit Kurdish groups like the PKK, and all four are opposed to Kurdish independence. Iraq remains in acute need of external assistance to rebuild the country. However, as the Trump administration has made clear its lack of interest in complex international engagements like post- war state-building, Iran will continue to strengthen its position in Iraq, while Saudi Arabia and Turkey will also seek to exercise greater in uence. Whether or not this will serve to create peace and stability in Iraq is open to question, and depends on the political ingenuity of Iraqi leaders when navigating these delicate relationships.

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