This event was part of the the IISS Manama Dialogue 2017 Discussion Series. The series, focusing on political, economic, social, and security challenges in and around the Middle East and North Africa, will be held before and after the December IISS Manama Dialogue.
This was a timely discussion on the current military challenges in Iraq, trans-border dynamics, and prospects for stabilisation including reflections on the recent Kurdish independence referendum.
This event was chaired by Mark Fitzpatrick, IISS–Americas Executive Director. It took place at the IISS–Americas office, located at 2121 K Street NW, Suite 801, Washington DC 20037.
Linda Robinson is a senior international and defense researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her current research centres on assessing the US national security strategy, strategy and campaign to counter the Islamic State, political warfare by state and non-state actors, and special operations forces. She conducted eight months of field research in the Middle East in 2016–17, testified before the US Congress on ISIS and US counter-terrorism strategy, served as a speaker at a RAND conference on The Evolving Terrorist Threat: Implications for Global Security.
Her recent RAND publications include Making Victory Count After Defeating ISIS: Stabilization Challenges in Mosul and Beyond; Assessment of the Politico-Military Campaign to Counter ISIL and Options for Adaptation; Improving Strategic Competence: Lessons from 13 Years of War; U.S. Special Operations Forces in the Philippines, 2001–2014. Other publications include a Council on Foreign Relations special report on the future of special operations forces (2013) and trade books including: One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and the Future of American Warfare (2013); Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq (2008), a New York Times Notable Book, and the best-selling Masters of Chaos: The Secret History of (2004). She serves as an unpaid government-appointed member of the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University.
Dr Denise Natali is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) where she specialises on the Middle East, Iraq, trans-border Kurdish issue, and post-conflict stabilisation. Dr Natali joined INSS in January 2011 as the Minerva Chair, following more than two decades of researching and working in the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. She is the author of numerous publications, op-eds, and short analyses on Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Kurds, and countering ISIS. Her books include: The Kurdish Quasi-State: Development and Dependency in Post-Gulf War Iraq and The Kurds and the State: Evolving National Identity in Iraq, Turkey and Iran, which was the recipient of the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title (trans. to Turkish Kurtler ve Devlet: Iraq, Turkiye ve Iran’da Ulusal Kimligin Gelismesi). Dr Natali is currently writing a second edition of The Kurds and the State to include chapters on Syria.
Mark Fitzpatrick is the Executive Director of the IISS–Americas, as well as head of the IISS Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme. He joined IISS in 2005, after 26 years at the State Department, and moved back to Washington in December 2015. His research focus is on preventing nuclear dangers through non-proliferation, nuclear security, and arms control. Follow Mark Fitzpatrick @FitzpatrickIISS.