Securing Mosul Post-ISIS

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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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