WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The emphasis to date on the Iraqi government’s need for US military hardware overlooks its crucial need for a strategic campaign plan to combat the recent surge in activity by Al Qaeda in Iraq, according to Jessica Lewis, Research Director of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s visit to the US comes in the midst of a growing wave of violence by Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which Maliki’s security forces have been ineffective in countering and which threatens to destabilize the government, says Lewis.
ISW analysts, who have been studying the evolving situation in Iraq, also note that:
- Right now, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) are engaged in strategically ineffective and costly operations in the provinces instead of focusing on the protection of Baghdad.
- There has been speculation that the government may enlist Shi’a militias to help protect Baghdad, which would legitimize them ahead of the 2014 elections.
- The ISF is targeting Sunni communities with mass arrests, rather than developing a targeted and effective counter-terrorism operation.
- The military hardware that Iraq is seeking, such as drones and F16s, are needed but are not a replacement for the type of strategic planning and targeted operations that are necessary for success.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. It is committed to improving the nation's ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. Visit us at www.understandingwar.org.