The US strategy of external democratization has failed. Iraq is threatened by state failure, militarization and confrontation shape US-Arab relations. These and other global “Iraq Effects” should not cover the equally important but less recognized developments on the regional and local level of Middle Eastern politics. Thus, Iraq effects have primarily affected political processes beyond the “classical” nation-state level. The Iraq war has decisively contributed to the development of a new regional order of escalating intra-and inter-state violence, the rise of Iran as a regional power as well as a general polarization. Secondly, the Iraq war has affected the emergence and consolidation of new forms of cross-border, trans-local mobility of radical Islamist groups, Kurdish activists, but also of business people. Thirdly, the war has caused a massive refugee crisis in the Middle East which transforms local structures in Iraq’s neighboring states of Jordan and Syria. These complex dynamics constitute the “radiance” of the Iraq war for Middle Eastern politics after 2003.