Iraq retakes Iraq

What is the formula to rebuild a new Iraq again, after numerous failures? Can the winning offensive of the Iraqi security forces, the Army, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and the Federal police be enough to inflate energy to a new reconciliation initiative, as planned for next September? Can sectarianism have faded to allow a political process of national unification? Can a new government gain the trust of ordinary people by eliminating the huge burden of corruption? What role could be played by the Badr organization and the anti-sectarian attitude, but having strong links with Iran, of its leader, Hadi al Amiri? Are they taking orders by Tehran or can they support a national interest? These are just a few in the long list of questions that need answers.

It has taken about fourteen months, from Spring 2015 to Summer 2016, for the Iraqi security forces to reconquer what the Black caliph, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, had seized from the state of Iraq. Now Ramadi and Fallujah are back in the Iraqi government hands. Only 14 months were needed to break the international lack of confidence in Iraq’s capacity to manage its own security, to control its territory, to fulfill its commitments to the Iraqi people and to international partners. The huge amount of money that has been poured in to train the security forces who, in the Summer of 2014, had melted like snow under the sun in front of the so-called Islamic State’s offensive, had cast a bias in international media as well as in foreign chancelleries.
The stigma of ‘corrupted government’ labeled any news from Iraq, even when the Iraqi answer to this issue was being delivered. The call of Shia religious leader al Sistani to establish a Popular Mobilization Force worked. However, another strong bias took over: the Shia “militia” is simply the long hand of Iran. The call worked to save Iraq from the consequence of the Iraqi army disbanding in front of the Islamic State offensive. It worked to create a military force based on a popular call, without great need for financial resources. Flip-flop sandals and a Kalashnikov could be its trade mark (…)



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