Despite having been one of the most studied areas of the last few decades, the fluid and multiple facets of the Iraqi security spectrum make it one of the most complex case studies to deal with. Notwithstanding the traditional centrality bestowed on regular forces by the diverse political leaderships governing the land of the two rivers, the Iraqi security system has always been characterized by the presence of a wide array of armed groups, militias and paramilitary units. While leaders in Baghdad tried to quell the challenge represented by overtly hostile non-state security networks, in several cases they directly supported parallel forces for specific internal and external political aims. In doing so they largely recurred to top-down approaches aimed at guaranteeing at least a modicum of control over these actors, de facto contributing to a significant hybridization of the country’s security system. Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003) impacted dramatically on the equilibriums of the country but, far from quelling the influence of local non-state actors, contributed to their (unintended) empowerment well beyond the mere security dimension. The chapter therefore aims at analyzing the complexity of the Iraqi security system, focusing on the role played by irregular and parallel security forces. Due to the critical role played during the war against the self-declared Islamic State and to the influence it secured within the country, the analysis will concentrate in particular on the Hashd al-Sha‘bi (Popular Mobilization Forces - PMF), trying to delineate their multiple facets and to understand what role they could play within the Iraqi system.
|Titolo della pubblicazione ospite||The Rise and the Future of Militias in the MENA Region|
|Numero di pagine||10|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2019|