The Long Haul – Rebooting U.S. security cooperation in Iraq – Michael Knights

January 25, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

The Long Haul – Rebooting U.S. security cooperation in Iraq – Michael Knights – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Contents (89 pages)


v Acronyms

vi Executive Summary

viii 1 Introduction

Federal Government Security Forces in Iraq

Security Forces in Iraqi Kurdistan

Optimizing U.S. Security Cooperation in Iraq

Issues and Options for U.S. Policymakers

About the Author

MICHAEL KNIGHTS is a Lafer fellow at The Washington Institute, specializing in the political and security affairs of Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and the Gulf Arab states. He has traveled into Iraq annually to support and meet with Iraqi and Kurdish ministries, local government leaders, and security forces; he has worked in every Iraqi province and most of the hundred districts of Iraq. Dr. Knights received his PhD in Iraqi military history at the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London. His analysis appears regularly in outlets including the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, the West Point Sentinel, Politico, and Jane’s IHS. He also provides expert testimony at congressional hearings.


Effective Combat Manpower of Iraq Security Forces

Assessment of ISF and Kurdish Forces as Security Cooperation Partners


My thanks to a range of colleagues for their encouragement and assistance in the writing of this study. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy provides the ideal setting for serious policy research: it attained a significant public profile during the first Gulf War against Saddam’s Iraq in 1991 and Iraq continues to be a core focus. For this I would like to thank its executive director, Rob Satloff, managing director, Michael Singh, and research director, Patrick Clawson for their sponsorship and support of the project. Program heads Michael Eisenstadt and David Schenker were very generous with their time, providing line-by-line commentary on drafts of the final text. Ambassador James Jeffrey, David Pollock, Jeff White and the Military Fellows team were also stalwart in their support.

The author has a special thank you for our wonderful publications director, Mary Kalbach Horan, who worked round-theclock and over weekends to bring the study to completion. Going forward I know I will owe a debt of gratitude to director Jeff Rubin and TWI’s workhouse communications department. Beyond the Institute I want to thank the real experts on the Iraqi Security Forces: D.J. Elliott, for maintaining an Iraqi order of battle for well over half a decade; the Olive Group intelligence analysts, still working at the coal face in Iraq; Loveday Morris, intrepid Washington Post reporter of the ISF; Ahmed Ali and the Institute for the Study of War crew; Colonel Joel Rayburn; the prolific Alex Mello; and General Mark Kimmitt (ret.) for continuing to support the Iraqi Security Forces with their urgent needs every day. I also want to thank all the U.S. and Iraqi officials who spoke to me about this study and in previous years, inside and outside Iraq.

Finally I want to dedicate the study to the Iraqi servicemen and civilians— Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yezidis, Shabak—who are still fighting, and the Americans and other international partners involved in continuing Iraq’s quest for peace, stability, and fairness.

Michael Knights January 2015


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