Iraq : Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

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Since the 2011 U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, sectarian and ethnic divisions have reemerged to fuel a major challenge to Iraq's stability and to Iraq's non-Muslim minority communities. Many of Iraq's Sunni Arabs appear willing to support even radical Sunni Islamist insurgents if doing so will reduce Shiite political domination. Iraq's Kurds have been separately embroiled in political and territorial disputes with Baghdad, although those differences have been muted as the Kurds and the central government jointly address the threat from the Sunni Islamist extremist group called the Islamic State. Building on successes in Syria and the political rifts in Iraq, Islamic State fighters took control of several cities in Anbar Province in early 2014 and captured Mosul and several other mostly Sunni cities in June 2014. The crisis has had some potentially serious consequences for Iraq's long-term future. The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) remains weak after nearly a third of its divisions collapsed in the face of the Islamic State offensive in June 2014. The collapse enabled the Kurds, who run an autonmous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to seize control of the long-coveted city of Kirkuk and its crucial oil fields. And, the crisis has caused Shiite militia forces to revive; they are politically aligned not only with dominant Shiite factions in Iraq but also with Iran. These forces have helped the ISF defend Baghdad and recapture some areas from the Islamic State, but the militias have also reportedly committed human rights abuses against many Sunnis and reinforced Sunni resentment of the Iraqi government. The Islamic State's gains in Iraq prompted a U.S. response that includes direct U.S. military action as well as efforts to promote political inclusiveness in Iraq. The political component of U.S. strategy has shown some success in the replacement of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki with another Prime Minister, Haydar al-Abbadi. Although both men are from the Shiite Islamist Da'wa Party, Abbadi appears more willing to compromise with Sunni interests than was Maliki. Abbadi has acknowledged publicly that Sunni security forces will need to be empowered to secure Sunni areas that might be freed from Islamic State control. Abbadi also has reached a seemingly crucial agreement with the Iraqi Kurds over Kurdish oil exports. The military component of U.S. strategy has begun to show some success in slowing Islamic State momentum and reversing a few of its 2014 gains in Iraq. President Obama states that he has ruled out reintroducing U.S. combat troops to Iraq (or Syria), but the Administration is deploying up to 3,100 military personnel to assess, advise, and train the ISF and protect American personnel and facilities. These personnel are to be joined by about 1,500 coalition partner advisers and trainers for the ISF. The United States and several NATO partners are also striking Islamic State positions in Iraq to facilitate combat efforts by the ISF and the KRG's peshmerga forces. The United States is also proceeding with pre-existing Foreign Military Sales of combat aircraft, as well as with new sales of tanks and armored vehicles to replenish the equipment lost in the course of the ISF partial more

Product details

  • Paperback | 46 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 3.05mm | 181.44g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507869975
  • 9781507869970