This article examines the future of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) after the fall of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq. The PMF is an umbrella organization of armed militias that assisted the coalition forces in liberating Iraqi cities from ISIS control. However, in the aftermath of that operation, the PMF now poses a major threat for the future of state-building in Iraq. Their armed strength and loyalties to leaders other than the Iraqi government, combined with evidence from existing research on pro-regime militias, suggest that the PMF poses a high threat in an unstable environment if not managed carefully. Therefore, this article addresses the following question: What can be done with the various militias of the PMF to ensure a secure and sustainable future in Iraq? The Iraqi government has already taken the first steps to mitigate the PMF’s threat by integrating them into the national army, but further integration is required. Since undergoing any disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating (DDR) program is unlikely in Iraq at present, this article recommends employing the PMF for the purpose of infrastructure reconstruction or its support.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2019 Faisal Paktian