Why Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki Should Stay

The Iraqi parliament needs to form a coalition government that provides Nouri al-Maliki the mandate he needs to go after ISIS and receive funds from the U.S. to fight them and other terrorist groups like them inside of Iraq. I can remember when very vociferously Senator Dianne Fienstein(D-CA) was advocating the removal of al-Maliki in favor of another heretofore unnamed individual. Names were floated: Masoud Barzani, even Ahmed Chalabi but none as of the writing of this have been able to cobble together the Iraqi parliaments explicit support, nor American implicit support. However after looking at the facts on the ground the reasons are clear; Maliki gives the Iraqi Army (IA) something to fight for.

Let’s not forget the Espirit d’Corps that Maliki arouses in the soldiers being since being the only leader that they’ve ever known in post Saddam Iraq. And also the authority the Maliki commands as Iraq’s only two term President. These are powerful forces which give the IA something to fight for. These among other reasons are why I think the U.S. should get behind Maliki as soon as possible an order to stabilize Iraq’s already fragile governing coalition. The alternative could be disastrous. A weak government in Baghdad could foment death squads like the ones seen in 2006-2007 and the lessening of crown authority would only exacerbate the situation with ISIS. By keeping Maliki in power we can guarantee not only a spirited effort by the government to rid the country of ISIS and other soldiers of fortune but we could also see to it that there would be a peaceful handover of power at the next Presidential elections as Maliki promised back in 2011, during the height of the Arab Spring.

For Maliki this isn’t about just holding onto power but rather assuring the future of Iraq is peaceful and free of any insurgent activity. ISIS seems to be desperate since the siege of Mosul began resorting to a slew of vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIEDS) in the heart of Baghdad. These attacks are just the desperate attempts of a mad man to undo a successful campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq once and for all. But it’s not over yet and things could quickly get out of hand if for instance say the siege of Mosul fails or some other major city falls into ISIS hands this would spell certain doom for the Maliki government as the cold embrace of ISIS’ al-Baghdadi would begin to settle in.

Nouri al-Maliki has done a lot of things to divide Iraq in post Saddam Hussein era but he has also done a lot of things that are keeping the country together no matter how fractious and fragile that coalition may be. He may not be the best man for the job but he is most certainly the right man, right now for Iraq.

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