Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2014

Iraq's Tangled Foreign Interests and Relations

Paul Salem

December 2013

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


A decade after Saddam Hussein’s fall, Iraq still lacks a centralized foreign policy that advances its national interests. Internal divisions, such as those between the Shia-dominated regime in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, have given rise to alternative power centers with their own policy priorities. Iraqi foreign policy will remain disjointed and incoherent until Baghdad resolves the issues polarizing the country.