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New Op-Ed

Check out the opinion page at the WSJ tomorrow. Austin Bay and I will have a piece on government formation.

Realities, rules, relationships won't help surge succeed

Debating the surge in Afghanistan, on The Hill. Here are my two cents. When the Bush administration unveiled the Iraq surge and new war strategy, then Senator Barak Obama opposed the plan, arguing it was bound to fail and increase the violence. Show More Summary

False alarm

Yes. That's what the post from July 8 was. It was very disappointing because Maliki did in fact make such statement and it was reported the next day by numerous local and Arab sources. It was probably a statement that he made without...Show More Summary

Maliki Concedes the Premiership to Allawi

It looks like Allawi is about to get what he deserves as the winner in the March 7 election: Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said that he is not opposed to having al-Iraqiya bloc of Ayad Allawi form the new government, if the matter was...Show More Summary

Allawi-Maliki Deal Imminent

Nouri Al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi are going to meet tonight at 6pm local time, at Allawi's Iraqiya bloc offices. Word in some local media and speculations by some politicians indicate that a deal between the two leaders is imminent. The...Show More Summary

Najaf on Vatican's Steps?

A growing sex scandal that recently surfaced is probably going to haunt the Najaf clergy, particularly that of Ayatollah Ali Sistani, for a while. Recently, a bunch of video clips appeared on youtube, in which Sistani's representative...Show More Summary

Time for some maintenance

I decided it was time to finally endorse Blogger's new (a couple years old actually!) goodies and fancy tools. So, I will be upgrading, adding, removing, adjusting and readjusting page elements, sidebar content, links etc one thing at a time, meaning it will probably take a couple weeks until things return to normal. Show More Summary

Maliki at a Crossroads

Two months after election and six weeks after results were announced, we are farther from figuring out the shape of the new government than we were on election eve. The largest three blocs (Allawi's Iraqiya, Maliki's SoL and Hakim/Sadr's INA) are struggling to wrestle the initiative from one another. Show More Summary

Government Formation--Nationalism vs. Regional Agendas

The dust from election day is beginning to settle down and now we can identify the main possible trajectories in which government-formation is going. First of all, it is becoming clear that there are two very powerful regional influences that are pulling in different, but not exactly opposite, directions. Show More Summary

Terrorist Plot to Attack Najaf Shrine With Hijacked Airliners?

Al-Sumaria News:A government delegation arrived in Najaf Wednesday afternoon to discuss the closure of Najaf’s international airport. The delegation included the ministers of defense, transport and national security.A source in Najaf’s...Show More Summary

Iraq Election Results Coming Soon

We should hear the election results in about 90 minutes, 7:00 pm baghdad time.I hope it won't be a 91:91 tie between Allawi and Maliki as some calculations and predictions are showing--such result would be bad for post-eelction negotiations and could seriously complictae cabinet formation. Show More Summary

Iraq Elects, Again

Here we go again, for the third time since 2003, Iraqis are heading to the ballots to choose their representatives. It’s a little different this time. In some aspects it's a little less "interesting"... In December 2005 we walked from...Show More Summary

A BigTest for 'Justice and Accountability'

Earlier today, there were reports that thousands of protesters took to the streets in Diyala and Fallujah demanding that MP and senior member of Sadr movement Bahaa Al-Aaraji be prosecuted under the Justice and Accountability Law.Al-Aaraji...Show More Summary

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