Skip to main content

Iraq's unified 'National Guard' may be impossible

Iraq's prime minister has proposed the formation of a National Guard that would unify the ranks of Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish forces.
A tank is pictured as Iraqi security forces patrol after clashes with militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in the Hamrin mountains in Diyala province July 16, 2014. The Iraqi army and allied Shi'ite militia forces are trying to push back the Sunni insurgents of the al Qaeda offshoot, who swept through northern Iraq last month to within 70 km (45 miles) of Baghdad. Picture taken July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS C

The dispute regarding the formation of an Iraqi National Guard is ongoing among the country's political actors. The guard is supposed to incorporate Shiite and Sunni militias, as well as local armed forces, under an official umbrella that would work alongside the Iraqi army across the entire country.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi included the issue of the National Guard in his plan of action, on which the parliament recently voted. He said the plan "is based on ensuring stability and security, supporting the security forces and the national reconciliation project, developing the popular mobilization experience, establishing a provincial national guard, [as well as] supporting the peshmerga.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.