Baghdad, Iraq – Iraqi military forces celebrate the 101st anniversary of Thursday as they begin a new chapter in their turbulent history after the United States. he completed his military service in Iraq on December 31, 2021.
The military is facing a daunting task of defending a country prone to scars as a result of numerous conflicts, including preventing militant threats.
Originally established in 1921, the Iraqi military faced a number of difficulties and bloody conflicts in recent years, such as the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the Gulf War the following year, ending. 2003 following a US-led invasion, and more recently the ISIL (ISIS) war.
The Iraqi government is expected to hold a series of international demonstrations to commemorate Thursday, although it is not known if it will continue. Nothing has happened in the last 100 years because of the coronavirus.
The Iraqi military has strong ties to the US military, which was overseeing the construction of the Iraqi army after the 2003 uprising.
After withdrawing its troops in 2010, the United States sent troops to Iraq in 2014 following a request from the Iraqi government to help defeat ISIL, expelling Iraqi troops from other parts of the country to seize cities like Mosul.
Four years after the defeat of the army, the US has now dismantled all its troops and transformed itself into a strategic one.
Last year there were about 2,500 U.S. troops and 1,000 allied troops stationed in Iraq here. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Although the results look great and the inevitable recent comparisons the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the withdrawal of US troops would not make a significant change in Iraq’s security, according to some experts.
Zeinab Shuker, a professor at Sam Houston State University, Zeinab Shuker, a professor at Sam Houston State University, said: “He is studying Iraqi politics,” he told Al Jazeera.
Yet threats from the military continue to pose a threat to security forces; from anti-terrorist militants and anti-ISIL militants in high-risk areas such as Kirkuk and Diyala, to maintain control of the border with Syria and Turkey.
For example, in recent months, ISIL has launched a series of terrorist attacks against civilians, state police, and the Peshmerga militia in northern Iraq, particularly in the countryside at night.
Western officials have also criticized Iran’s support groups for attacking US military bases.
However, Baghdad and the rest of Iraq remain peaceful except for a few memorials in memory of the former Iranian leader. Qassem Soleimani and a former army officer Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who were killed by the US two years ago.
According to experts, this is mainly due to the increasing number and preparation of war in recent years for Iraqi forces – including government-affiliated paramilitary forces – as they have led the fight against ISIL.
“Iraqi security forces [ISF] has shown significant progress among CJTF-OIR mission changes [Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve missions] and the transition from US troops to war in Iraq, “Caroline Rose, a News Institute specialist, think tank from Washington, told Al Jazeera.
Citing inspector general quarterly reports at the US Congress, Rose said the ISF had increased its military capabilities “especially in the fight against ISIS”.
Now, with state-owned security forces and military personnel, the Iraqi military has a population of over 530,000, according to a recent estimate by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in their 2020 global war surveillance. the number of employees was about 200,000, according to what the World Bank collected.
The United States will continue to support the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), a small group under Iraq’s security minister that is fighting “terrorism” in Iraq.
“In the case of narrow CTS, U.S. support is undoubtedly still very important in maintaining the unique capabilities of the project, even in relatively cheap and cost-effective ways,” said Michael Knights, a colleague at the Washington Institute from the US. has learned a great deal about the Iraqi military and security, he told Al Jazeera.
“Compared to the Iraqi Security Forces, the coalition’s special advisers’ team provides unparalleled support for CTS which includes education, leadership and financial assistance, and dedicated intelligence and aviation support.”
However, some experts say that differences between the military and the military are causing problems.
In addition to the government-controlled army, there are Peshmerga militias heading to the northern Kurdish government and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) force that Iran strongly advocates.
In the fight against ISIL, the Peshmerga and PMF forces also played a key role.
The first was set up under former dictator Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial regime against the Iraqi Kurds as the latter came to power after Shia spiritual leader Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa summoning Shiites to take up arms against them. ISIL.
Despite their unwavering support for the war effort in recent years, the military has posed a serious threat to Iraq’s own security.
The border dispute between Baghdad and Erbil has long left “hot spots” such as Kirkuk and Diyala to use ISIL cells. In recent months, the increasing number of ISIL threats in these regions has become evidence of this crisis.
Meanwhile, a growing PMF, particularly loyal to Iran, has launched protests against US presence, as well as against major protests in 2019. They are accused of leading the killings of protesters, journalists, and dissidents.
How the military helps to make Iraq a little safer depends on how central law can deal with the Peshmerga and PMF forces.
“Apart from the decline in US jobs and the increase in ISIS operations, it is significant that the ISF also has internal control problems, thanks to the strength of Iran-affiliated forces such as the Popular Mobilization Forces and their control over roads, highways. ., and equipment, ”said Rose.
Aside from alliances with the military, the ISF continues to face difficulties in maintaining, organizing, and gathering intelligence without the support of the US and CJTF-OIR and continues to rely on air support, experts said.
“With the integration of US operations in Iraq – with more than eight evacuations in 2020 alone – and the opportunity to learn together from the COVID-19 epidemic and for ISIS to demonstrate operational maturity, there is reason to be concerned about how ISF operates internally. by turning the US into a technology, “Rose told Al Jazeera.