A "day after" strategy is vitalby Renad Mansour, Saad Aldouri / October 20, 2016 / Leave a comment
With the Mosul offensive underway, discussion has largely focused on the eventual fate of Islamic State, once it is ousted from the city. Yet the most significant barometer of this offensive remains unanswered: what happens if a military victory is not followed by a political accord among Iraq’s competing players? The signs are not encouraging.
The realities of victory differ when viewed from military and political perspectives. In the build up to the offensive, most of the focus has been on how to achieve a military victory. Here, much debate has centred on the makeup of the force. It is clear that the Iraqi army, under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s command, will lead the liberation and the operations inside the city. Yet the supporting cast remains a shaky coalition of Shia paramilitaries under the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces, and Sunni tribal units from the area. Iranian, American, and Turkish troops will also provide support from the air and the ground. The division of labour among the coalition remains somewhat unclear.