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Kirk Sowell

Kirk H Sowell is the principal of Utica Risk Services, a Middle East-focused political-risk firm. He is a specialist in Arabic-language research, and aside from consultancy work he regularly publishes on topics related to politics, political economy and Islamist movements in the region.

Protests Force Iraq to Deepen Its Debt Undertaking By Kirk H Sowell - Aug 6, 2018

Iraq’s prime minister, Haider Al Abadi, has had it hard lately. A poor electoral showing for his party at national elections in May was followed by allegations of shambolic electoral organization, with fraud alleged across the field. Now, protests that already have resulted in over a dozen dead have marred his previously clean record for … Continue reading “Protests Force Iraq to Deepen Its Debt Undertaking”

Jordan Needs Deep, Structural Reforms to the Economy. Can the New Prime Minister Deliver? By Kirk H Sowell - Jun 25, 2018

On June 5, Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed Omar Al Razzaz to head a new government, a day after Prime Minister Hani Al Mulqi resigned. The decision came following a week of protests over austerity measures imposed by Al Mulqi’s government, mostly in the form of subsidy cuts and a tax law. Clearly, one of … Continue reading “Jordan Needs Deep, Structural Reforms to the Economy. Can the New Prime Minister Deliver?”

As Iraq Moves Closer to a New Government, the Alignments Don’t Augur Well for Economic Reforms or Freedom from Militia Interference By Kirk H Sowell - May 27, 2018

The upset victory of a coalition backed by Muqtada Al Sadr in Iraq’s parliamentary elections makes forming the next government a complex game of horse trading. Still, the next administration won’t be radically different from the outgoing one. However, with incumbent Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s failing to achieve an expected plurality, there will be … Continue reading “As Iraq Moves Closer to a New Government, the Alignments Don’t Augur Well for Economic Reforms or Freedom from Militia Interference”

Iraqi Prime Minister Seizes on Militia Scandal to Seal the End of Campaigning By Kirk H Sowell - May 10, 2018

Bad news often can profit someone, and in Iraq that someone might be the incumbent prime minister. With the May 12 parliamentary election looming, Haider Al Abadi has latched on to a scandal that may tar his main opponent, Badr Organization leader Hadi Al Ameri, who also heads the Fatah Coalition that is made up … Continue reading “Iraqi Prime Minister Seizes on Militia Scandal to Seal the End of Campaigning”