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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US–Mexico relations under Trump

If US President-elect Trump were to fulfil his strident campaign promises on immigration and trade with respect to Mexico, prospects for left-wing, populist candidates in the 2018 Mexican presidential election would likely improve.

The Islamic State and Southeast Asia

Up to a thousand Southeast Asians have travelled to the Middle East to fight for the Islamic State. While some may return to engage in terrorism, the greater threat is homegrown extremism.