NATO improves Iraq’s civil-military ties

Iraq's military and civil ministries face enormous challenges in helping Mosul and its residents recover from two years of ruinous rule by ISIS. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

The end is near for ISIS in Iraq, but the enormous task of rebuilding cities that have been left in ruins by the militants is just beginning.

As millions of refugees look to return home, Iraq’s military and civilian ministries all have critical roles in keeping them safe and restoring basic services — food, water, electricity, sanitation, health care and more — damaged or destroyed during ISIS’s brutal rule.

An Oil Ministry police officer patrols an oil field. (Essam Al-Sudani/Reuters)
An Oil Ministry police officer patrols an oil field. (Essam Al-Sudani/Reuters)

In the capitals of every country, governments face difficulties in getting their bureaucracies to work in sync and not in silos. Baghdad is no exception. So the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is helping Iraq’s ministries work more closely together.

Dozens of senior managers from Iraq’s ministries of Water Resources, Electricity, Oil, Health, and Migration & Displacement and high-ranking military officers from Defense, Interior and the Counter-Terrorism Service have attended workshops NATO advisers put together to improve cooperation on stopping terrorism and managing crises.

NATO once had a larger presence in Iraq, training 15,000 Iraqi officers during a mission that extended from 2004 to 2011. Today, under a partnership agreement, a small NATO team helps the Iraqi government meet challenges that range from mine removal to reforming the security sector to managing crises.


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