A new authoritarianism has emerged in Iraq, with political power increasingly centralized in the hands of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, writes Toby Dodge, in a special issue of International Affairs. Ten years after the Iraq War, Dr Dodge observes that Iraq is once again subservient to a huge military machine, and argues that ordinary Iraqis today face a situation comparable to the one they faced before regime change.

Examining how the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is maturing into an institutionalized reality, Gareth Stansfield argues that the emergence of an independent Republic of Kurdistan is now a distinct possibility. He presents a future scenario looking back from 2036 - the hypothetical 20th anniversary of a declaration of independence.

The Iraq War undermined America's moral standing, its credibility and its deterrence strategy, writes Fawaz Gerges, in an article examining Obama's approach to the Middle East. The US, he argues, is now in a similar position to Great Britain after the Second World War: at the beginning of the end of its hegemonic moment in the Middle East.

Elsewhere, Lina Khatib looks at the role of 'political maverick' Qatar in the Middle East, warning that the emirate risks overextending its network of international partners and losing credibility in its public diplomacy.

Finally, Phillip Robins argues that Turkey has become a 'double gravity state', pulled in two very different directions. The longer the Syrian imbroglio has continued, the less plausible Turkish leadership appears in the Middle East, let alone further afield.

Notes to Editors

Read the March issue of International Affairs.

Listen to Fawaz Gerges, Toby Dodge, and Lina Khatib discuss the March issue.

Subscribe to International Affairs.