ON-Lion Letter
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization established by Kimberly Kagan in 2007, is providing comprehensive coverage of the unfolding events in Iraq as political unrest has grown during the last few months.  

According to ISW, hundreds of supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr entered Iraq’s Green Zone and its Council of Representatives (CoR) building on April 30.  ISW notes that the Sadrists did not mobilize formal military forces, but they did prevent Iraqi leaders from accessing government buildings and forced members of the CoR to leave the Green Zone. 

ISW reports that the protests erupted after CoR met earlier that day to select new ministers as part of the cabinet reshuffle process.  The demonstration came at a dangerous time, as thousands of Shi’a pilgrims descended on Kadhimiyah in northwestern Baghdad from across Iraq for the commemoration of the Imam al-Kadhim on May 3.  Sadr and the Sadrist Trend leaders urged demonstrators to remain peaceful, and protestors eventually disbanded.  

However, ISW warns that Iraq continues to face a major political crisis that threatens to collapse the current government and exacerbate political unrest.  Even though several political figures and parties have called for a quick resumption of CoR sessions, a date for a full session has yet to be determined and multiple political parties announced that they would boycott any upcoming sessions, making a continued political stalemate likely to drag on.

Since its formation in 2007, the ISW Iraq Project has remained a premier source for unbiased analysis on the changing political and security dynamics affecting progress in Iraq.  ISW has built a reputation for its accuracy and ability to translate complex military concepts and specialized information into formats accessible to a more general audience.  In addition to its Iraq Project, ISW also launched its Afghanistan Project in 2009, and its broader Middle East Security Project in 2011. 

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports the Institute for the Study of War.

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