"Despite the headlines about bombings in Baghdad, the situation has improved immeasurably," writes Max Boot, referring to the better security in Iraq on his most recent trip. Nevertheless, he cautions that, "there is no room to be complacent," as there is much work yet to be done.
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) released its twenty-third report to Congress. The October report states: "Thee next six months will see a substantial reduction in the size of the U.S. military presence in Iraq, a continuing reorganization of the U.S. Embassy's reconstruction management, and the election of a new Iraqi parliament."
Middle East expert Joost Hiltermann says Iraq appears headed for an uncertain, and potentially violent, political season with no clear dominant faction emerging ahead of January parliamentary elections.
Tara McKelvey profiles the Washington Post's special military correspondent, Thomas E. Ricks, and looks at the ways in which debates on counterinsurgency policy within the media blur accurate coverage of war strategy and purpose.
As part of the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship 60th Anniversary initiative current and former fellows discuss the stories that have had the most impact and present ideas for sustaining serious international journalism. Former fellow Mohamad Bazzi looks back to his early coverage of the Iraq war and what it taught him about the importance of having many different news outlets covering the same story. For more on the initiative, visit cfr.org/murrow.
Veteran reporter Jane Arraf says the massive truck bombings of August 19 in Baghdad have shaken the people and government. She says the United States may have to take a new look at the policy of leaving security under Iraqi control in urban centers.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Barack Obama struck a note of cooperation in their latest meeting. But some Western observers worry the Obama administration is not focused enough on Iraq's simmering problems.
Daniel P. Serwer, who served as executive director of the Baker-Hamilton Commission on Iraq, says the "serious" crisis between Kurdistan and the central Iraqi government "needs to be resolved" to some degree before the U.S. troops leave."
Iran's foreign policy is often portrayed in sensationalistic terms, but in reality it is a rational strategy meant to ensure the survival of the Islamic Republic against what Tehran thinks is an existential threat posed by the United States.
In this opinion piece Jawad Al Bolani, the interior minister of Iraq, writes that the June 30th withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq's major cities is the start of a highly uncertain period for Iraqi democracy rather than a historical endpoint to be celebrated.
Kenneth M. Pollack interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
As U.S. combat forces begin to withdraw from Iraq's cities, expert Kenneth M. Pollack says he remains "very concerned" about the political situation in Iraq. He stresses the need for the "continued attention" of the United States to bring about a stable Iraq.
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