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Report of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq

by Nils Wörmer, Lucas Lamberty

KAS-supported expert group recommends long-term US engagement in Iraq

With the prospect of a military defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul, there is a need for a strategy for the stabilisation of Iraq in the future. Over the last year, the Task Force on the Future of Iraq, an expert group founded by the Atlantic Council with the support of KAS to advise the US administration, has developed policy recommendations for the future US policy in Iraq. In its report, the task force advocates a long-term approach in Iraq with a focus on good governance and continued support for Iraqi security forces.

The task force was initiated by the Atlantic Council in 2016 to develop policy recommendations for the future US administration’s policy in Iraq. It was chaired by Ryan Crocker, the former US ambassador to Iraq, and included 20 renowned experts from Iraq, the US and Europe. The Konrad Adenauer Foundation was represented by Nils Wörmer, head of the Syria/Iraq office. During meetings in Washington, D.C., Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Amman and Berlin, the expert group held high-level talks with decision-makers, politicians and civil society representatives. The two meetings in Washington, D.C. were supported by the KAS US office, while the Berlin program was organized by the KAS headquarters.

Based on these extensive consultations and research, the expert group has established ten key policy recommendations for the Trump administration that were recently published in the official task force report. These include, among others, the need for a long-term engagement in Iraq, to work towards good governance, support economic reform, continue to advise, train and equip Iraqi security forces and to mediate between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil.

With the support of the task force, Konrad Adenauer Foundation aims to contribute to the stabilisation of Iraq and to further Germany’s position in the international efforts for the country. The Syria/Iraq office has implemented projects in all parts of Iraq – among others in Basra, Karbala, Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Dohuk – and works towards strengthening the rule of law, societal reconciliation, minority rights as well as the reintegration of IDPs and refugees. To further German-Iraqi relations, KAS frequently hosts high-level delegations from Germany in Iraq. The Syria/Iraq office recently welcomed its Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, and several German members of parliament, among others Roderich Kiesewetter, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Tobias Zech, Member of the Developmental Aid Committee, in Iraq. In January, Konrad Adenauer Foundation hosted a delegation of seven Iraqi government officials, parliamentarians and civil society representatives from Baghdad for political talks in Berlin.

To read the full report, please open the document above.