Author: Iraqi Thoughts

Homage to Iraq’s Heroes

There is no shortage of analysis and writing that has been done on the Mosul Offensive; a battle that dwarfs any sustained urban combat in recent decades. To be sure, historians and military planners alike will spend years scouring the aftermath to glean what lessons they can from the Iraqi Security Forces’ triumphs and mistakes as well as what they portend for the future of warfare. For this article however, I’ve avoided questions of tactics and strategy or the political implications of the Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul. Instead, I would like to share the human side of the...

Read More

Iraq’s Next Big Challenge: Asserting Control Over its Borders

Brandon Louis Wallace Last month, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced a project for the development of Iraq’s first toll road along Highway 1. While some surely read the headline as a humble infrastructure project, the privatization and development of the highway reveals a larger, highly political confrontation. Connecting Amman to Baghdad, Highway 1 is, for many, a requisite of commercial trade. When Daesh caused the road to seal its borders in 2015, Jordanian exports to Iraq fell from $1.16 Billion in 2014 to $690 million. For others, the road is a case study in corruption and disorder. Recently, PM...

Read More

The role of civil society and media in countering hatred and fostering inclusion in Iraq

I was just sixteen years old in 2003 when US troops toppled Saddam Hussein, a dictator who led Iraq for thirty years and who feared any institutions separate from the state of the ruling party. Up until then, I had spent all of my life on my grandfather’s farm, walking five miles back and forth every day to attend the school closest to our small village. During all these years, no one discussed the idea of civil society, neither in school nor in the community. Civil society organizations were paralyzed or dominated by the government solely to carry out...

Read More

“Nujaifi, Erdogan, and Abadi All Walk Into a Bar…”

Brandon Wallace In Ankara’s pursuit of greater influence in Kirkuk and Mosul, Turkish support has inflated a paramilitary force that, if collapsed, could generate diminishing returns for security in Nineveh. Turkey has created a security liability in northern Iraq. When Daesh terrorists overran Mosul in 2014, the then governor of Nineveh- Athil al-Nujaifi- fled the city for Erbil. Parliament removed Nujaifi of his gubernatorial duties the following year, and an Iraqi court issued a warrant for his arrest that October. Nujaifi was suspected of securing the invitation of Turkish troops to a base in Bashiqa- 20 km northeast of...

Read More

Recent Tweets