Iraq's Defunct Military Industry

Iraq allocated about 23% of its 2015 budget for security forces and armament contracts, aiming to end the expansion of the Islamic State (IS), which seized one-third of the country's surface and executed terrorist attacks in cities controlled by government security forces, such as Mosul and Tikrit.

The policy of attrition adopted by IS of a high human and financial cost to Iraq prompted the Iraqi government to reconsider the local manufacturing of weapons and military equipment, to limit the large sums spent on armament contracts with the United States and Russia.

In early May, the Shiite authority in Najaf realized the importance of military industrialization and called for its reactivation; it urged the Iraqi government to take a swift and bold decision to provide military security for the country.

Nora al-Bejary, a member of the parliamentary Economic and Investment Commission, told Al-Monitor that the Iraqi parliament discussed reactivating the MIC with the minister of industry and minerals in February. Bejary was an MIC employee for 15 years before the fall of Saddam's regime, but she declined to reveal details about her time at the commission.

She said, “The time has come to reactivate the companies affiliated with the MIC in light of the expansion of the open war fronts in a number of areas of Iraq.”

Bejary, who hails from Mosul, confirmed that the reactivation of the MIC will substantially ease the financial burden of the war on Iraq. However, she pointed to the lack of any serious steps by the government in this respect.

She added, “There are experienced key employees in the government and ministries capable [of producing] weapons and military equipment that would significantly help Iraq in its war on terrorism.”

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