Addressing Corruption Just One Part of Security

By Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Talk of reforming the military and security institutions is no longer internal to Iraq, but is now an international demand that has attracted the attention of US Secretary of State John Kerry and French President Francois Hollande.

It has also been mentioned by retired Gen. John Allen, the coordinator of the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS).

The demand for military and security reform is not only an Iraqi interest.

It is also a Kurdish one, as Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani has stated to Al-Monitor the need to reform both the military and security institutions.

This need is championed by Sunni political figures, particularly parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. Security and military reforms also figure prominently in the demands of Shiite politicians such as Ammar al-Hakim and Muqtada al-Sadr.

The supreme religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has also called for reform and considers the move a necessary step.

All of these examples suggest that the Iraqi military and security institutions need genuine, well-examined and systematic reform that is agreed upon by Iraqis, despite the differences over the possible methods.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has already begun making a series of changes in the two institutions, by removing and excluding a number of commanders and appointing others. This move has received unprecedented local and international support.

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