NATO’s Ambiguous Mission in Iraq New Plan for Socio-Cultural Influence

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An international relations professor said that although NATO’s training mission for the Iraqi police forces is carried out in line with preventing ISIS from regaining power, in fact, NATO has decided to develop the scope of its mission in Iraq, noted: NATO, and the United States at its head, is looking for influence in the social body of Arab countries, especially Iraq, to advance its targets while shaping the intellectual formation and organizing the police body against the Resistance.

In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Davood Ahmadzadeh stated that the foreign ministers of the NATO member countries have decided in a conference to expand the missions of that organization in Iraq and also train the military officers, the sailors and the local police of that country. Although it has been said that this measure is aimed at preventing ISIS from regaining power, NATO has decided to expand the scope of its mission in Iraq and enter the profound social and cultural layers of that country. Previously, NATO members had agreed to strengthen and expand their presence in Iraq at the Wales Summit in 2014, the Warsaw Summit in 2016, and the Brussels Summit in 2017 and 2018.

He added: NATO’s initial mission in 2018 was to advise the defense and security officials in the Ministry of Defense, then they cooperated with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Joint Operations Center of the Prime Minister’s Office, and now with the expansion of the scope of their activity they work with the Ministry of the Interior and the Organization of Federal Police. The Federal Police is one of Iraq’s four active combat organizations, along with the army, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (Al-Hashd al-Shaabi), and the Special Counter-Terrorism Unit.

The university professor, saying that NATO has announced in its training to Iraqi forces that it is considering increasing their attention to environmental changes and ways to reduce the effects of such changes, referred to the criticisms of political groups and members of the Iraqi parliament regarding the increase in the presence and role of foreign military forces in that country and continued: They emphasize that Iraq does not need the presence of foreign forces in its territory, because it has security forces, the army and Hashd al-Shaabi, which are capable of controlling the security and stability of the country and fighting terrorism.

Emphasizing that the United States is looking for an excuse to increase the role of its military and security forces in Iraq, Ahmadzadeh added: Every time NATO proposes a new direction for its activities in Iraq. In this situation, there are uncertainties about NATO’s primary mission in Iraq.

He stated that in the past months, the Iraqi security authorities have been trying to entrust the security case of the cities to the police and transfer the army and Hashd al-Shaabi forces to the barracks outside the city; this action is in line with the agreements of the Iraqi political groups in the form of the “government administration” coalition during the formation of Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani’s government and reminded: Last year, the Ministry of the Interior and Police took over the security files of many provinces.

The expert on West Asia affairs called the US strategy the cause of internal disputes in that country and said: Americans are looking for intervention and a new type of occupation in Iraq, but the Resistance groups, as the guarantor of Iraq’s security, have repeatedly warned against the consequences of continued US occupation. He adds that some Iraqi media had written that American officials in recent negotiations with the Iraqi side had demanded the dissolution of Hashd al-Shaabi in exchange for handing over advanced weapons to the Iraqi army.

Saying that the US is seeking to weaken the Resistance Front while weakening Arab-Iranian convergence, he noted that NATO is now trying to play a serious role in training police forces in Iraq. This is while we are witnessing the West’s efforts to deal with the Axis of Resistance, especially identifying the prominent figures of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their capacities in the region by employing the police of the countries, training them, and expanding their intelligence domination.

The analyst of West Asia affairs added: French President Macron stated This strategy in the past weeks in a joint press conference with Netanyahu. In fact, NATO, led by the United States, is seeking to influence the social body of Arab countries, especially Iraq, to advance its targets while shaping intellectual formation and organizing the police body against the Resistance.

Ahmadzadeh, while explaining the view of Western countries on Iraq and the political geography of that country in terms of history, reminded that after the overthrow of the Baath regime and the promotion of the position of Shiites in Iraq and the close relations that were formed with Iran due to cultural, political and historical issues, the US tried to prevent this expansion of relations and closeness with Iran. Now, it is trying to advance its general strategies in Iraq by strengthening its social and cultural influence.

He emphasized that the US is looking for targeted political and security influence in Iraq to deal with the Resistance movements. In contrast, the Resistance groups in Iraq have repeatedly condemned the American occupation and targeted its military bases. He said: Under such circumstances, NATO and especially the French are trying to form stronger relations with the central government of Iraq by making promises, including economic aid and increasing cooperation in the security and military fields. By training the Iraqi police forces, they are trying to create a gap between the effective forces in Iraq by making the police stronger against other armed forces in that country.

The university professor stated that this plan is pursued to create an internal gap in Iraq and sow discord between Iraq and Iran, and added: If the influence of foreign powers in Iraq decreases, there is no need to train and expand their security relations with Iraq. No matter how much ethnic, tribal, and religious differences in Iraq and the gap between the sovereignty and the popular forces and the Axis of Resistance and the government will increase, the possibility of the presence of destructive forces against Iraq’s national interests, foreign forces, and NATO will increase.

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