Michael Knights is the Jill and Jay Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute and cofounder of the Militia Spotlight platform, which offers in-depth analysis of developments related to Iran-backed militias.
Crispin Smith is an associate at a Washington-based national security law group, focusing on Iraqi security, human rights, and law of armed conflict issues. He is a cofounder of the Militia Spotlight platform.
Articles & Testimony
A comprehensive study of the various institutional, financial, and military levers that have enabled Iran’s “resistance” camp to take over another country even under the international community’s watchful eye.
Despite losing Iraq’s 2021 elections, Iran-backed groups ended up picking the prime minister anyway and taking charge of the world’s fifth-largest oil producer. This remarkable reversal of fortunes was not delivered via the barrel of a gun but rather through a series of cool-headed and coordinated moves by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Iranian-groomed and militia-controlled judges, and militia politicians. The country’s oil economy, freedoms, and intelligence services are being gutted by militias to ensure their rule is permanent. Yet unprecedented control has not moderated these armed factions: the Gaza war shows that they are still addicted to militant “resistance” to the United States. The result is the emergence of a terrorist-run state with greater resources than any of Iran’s other proxy networks, hiding behind the facade of a sovereign country...