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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A Nuclear Ban Treaty: prospects and issues

The UN General Assembly is expected soon to authorise the negotiation of a treaty that would make nuclear weapons illegal. Despite little media attention, prospects for an actual agreement look better this time.

Libya’s faltering new government

The new UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has based itself in Tripoli. But the GNA is rivalled for national authority by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HOR).