By Ranj Alaaldin.
The June 2014 takeover of Mosul by the Islamic State group (ISIS) was described as an existential threat to the Iraqi state and the post-2003 political order.
Yet, its emergence was only a symptom of a broader series of crises that had engulfed Iraq over the past decade. While militant groups dominate headlines, it is Iraq’s structural problems that have enabled their emergence.
This includes weakened or partly collapsed institutions; the absence of the rule of law; dysfunctional and corrupt governance; the ascendancy of sectarian divisions; and the disastrous post-conflict reconstruction process that followed the aftermath of the 2003 U.S. invasion.
State fragility in the Levant and the regional proxy war in Syria have exacerbated these challenges and have stifled Iraq’s efforts to stabilize and rehabilitate its institutions.
(Source: Brookings Institution)