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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North Korea: growing threat despite charm offensive

North Korea poses an array of security threats to its neighbours and the wider world, and these threats continue to grow. But for a short period this autumn, North Korea appeared to be making efforts on nearly every front to improve its image.

Countering hybrid threats: challenges for the West

The West's adversaries have increasingly sensed the advantages of mixing up tactics and gaining asymmetric advantages. Countering such 'hybrid' threats will require new responses.