Securing Mosul Post-ISIS

By Waleed al-Rawi

Dr. Waleed al-Rawi is a retired brigadier general in the Iraqi Army. From 2001-2003 he was director of Research and Development at the Ministry of Defense and from 1996-2001 he was the principal secretary of the Minister of Defense. Waleed has published four books in Arabic about Islamic militant groups. His latest book, The Islamic State of Iraq, was published in 2012 by Amina House Publishing in Amman, Jordan.

By Sterling Jensen

Sterling Jensen is an assistant professor at the United Arab Emirates' National Defense College in Abu Dhabi. From 2006-2011, Jensen served in as a contract linguist for the U.S. Army, then as a civilian Foreign Area Officer for the U.S. Marines and an analyst for a strategic communications campaign. Jensen holds a Ph.D. in Middle East and Mediterranean Studies from King's College London, having written his dissertation on Iraqi narratives of the Anbar Awakening.

It is likely that Iraqi security forces and international partners will soon liberate Mosul from ISIS’ three-year hold. However, without proper governance over the city, security gains will be fleeting. In 2014, before ISIS’ takeover of Mosul, security in the city was divided amongst several competing political loyalties: Shiite-led Baghdad controlled the security forces, Sunni Arabs competed with Kurdish groups for control the provincial government, and local tribes followed whoever they deemed most powerful.

Today, a consensus to defeat ISIS keeps these parties working together. However, it is temporary, as once ISIS is kicked out of Mosul, a whole new set of issues must be addressed to resolve anticipated governance problem. At the moment, there are three working schools of thought: establish a heavy handed political government administered by Baghdad, strengthen the current provincial government, or authorize a provisional military government. Of the three options, it appears that the best path to pursue is to implement a provisional military government with an accompanying Mosul Council of Elders.

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