When the American military presence in Iraq ended in December 2011, Washington and Baghdad claimed that Iraq was a stable, sustainable democracy. However, this appears questionable as Nuri al-Maliki, prime minister since 2006, has continued his quest to dominate the state and to use its power to break opposition to his rule,  leaving the country vulnerable to heightened sectarian tension and a new civil war.

When the American military presence in Iraq ended in December 2011, Washington and Baghdad claimed that Iraq was a stable, sustainable democracy. However, this appears questionable as Nuri al-Maliki, prime minister since 2006, has continued his quest to dominate the state and to use its power to break opposition to his rule. His systematic exclusion of key politicians from power underlines the failure of the 2010 elections to deliver representative government, and leaves the country vulnerable to heightened sectarian tension and a new civil war.

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Turkey: the attempted coup and its troubling aftermath

The military coup attempted in Turkey on 15 July 2016 fizzled out quickly. But President Tayyip Erdogan has accused preacher Fethullah Gulen and his followers of engineering the coup without substantiation, and is using it as a pretext to purge the government, judiciary and military.

European air combat capabilities

The UK's vote to leave the EU risks worrying NATO allies about its reliability as a defence partner. To allay this concern, the UK could expand its collaboration with Europe on aerospace projects.