Michael Knights is the Jill and Jay Bernstein Fellow of The Washington Institute, specializing in the military and security affairs of Iraq, Iran, and the Persian Gulf states. He is a co-founder of the Militia Spotlight platform, which offers in-depth analysis of developments related to the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.
Articles & Testimony
Efforts to rebuild Iraqi forces should focus on establishing support units in the right proportion to combat brigades.
Since the fall of Mosul, it has sometimes been said by Iraq's detractors that there is no longer any such thing as the Iraqi security forces (ISF). This is clearly nonsense, and those peddling this line are fully aware that it is nonsense. They are motivated by schadenfreude -- a foolish desire to mock Iraq in its moment of suffering.
In fact, the ISF is fighting and winning at many points of the map. The ISF holds the longest frontline against Daesh of any armed force. The ISF has suffered the greatest casualties of any of the forces facing Daesh. The ISF has been more actively fighting the Salafi jihadists of Daesh than any other force for well over a decade of continuous combat. And the ISF is steadily recovering its strength. Those who mock the ISF should consider that Iraq will recover its vigor and that Iraqis have long memories...