This chapter argues that the dynamics and consequences of competition between extra-regional great powers have largely shaped Iraq’s politics and history. Iraq’s role in great power competition is often, if not always, reactive and determined by the nature of the international system. Moreover, Iraq lacks the material power to influence the trajectory and dynamics of global power competition, and it will remain to be seen whether multipolarity will bring new opportunities or further obstacles to Iraq in the 21st century. Crucially, unlike other studies of great power competition in Iraq, this chapter includes a discussion about the relationship between the Kurds and the great powers, avoiding an overly simplistic narrative focusing solely on the central Iraqi government.