August 07, 2023

Washington’s Security Strategy in Iraq Was Deep-frozen. This Week Might Bring an Overdue Thaw.

This week, the Pentagon will host Iraq’s Defense Minister Thabet Muhammad al-Abbasi and a delegation of Iraqi military leaders, selected by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, for a Joint Security Cooperation Dialogue (JSCD) in Washington. The two-day conference, led on the American side by Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander, will seek to discern a vision for the future of the US-Iraqi security relationship.

It will require immense political will and courage to reform an Iraqi defense establishment that continues to perpetually hollow itself through corruption, indifference, and over-dependence on foreign assistance.

It’s a discussion that’s long overdue, and one that has to come with hard questions, not just about US-Iraq affairs but about how the Biden administration plans to manage the millions of dollars it still spends on Iraqi security each year.

Read the full article from Breaking Defense.

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