This book provides the first comprehensive study of the evolution of the Iraqi military from the British mandate era to post-Baathist Iraq.
Ethnic and sectarian turmoil is endemic to Iraq, and its armed forces have been intertwined with its political affairs since their creation. This study illustrates how the relationship between the military and the political centre in Iraq has evolved, with the military bringing about three regime changes in Iraq’s history before being brought under control by Saddam Hussein, up until the 2003 war. The instability that followed was partly due to the failure to create a new military that does not threaten the government, yet is still strong enough to deter rival factions from armed conflict. The reconstitution of the armed forces will be a prerequisite for an American withdrawal from Iraq, but this book argues that immense challenges lie ahead, despite the praise from the Bush administration for the progress of the new Iraqi army.
1. Introduction Section 1: The Mandate Army 2. Creation, Conscription, and Cohesion 1921-1936 Section 2: Praetorian Iraq 3. The Military Moderator Regimes 1936-1941 4. Dismantling the Military Moderator Regime 1941-1958 5. Military Coups and the Ruler Regimes 1958-1968 Section 3: The Totalitarian Military 6. The Baathification of the Military 1968-1980 7. The Totalitarian Military and the Iran-Iraq War 1980-1984 8. The Reassertion of the Iraqi Officers 1984-1988 9. Wars, Coups, Sanctions, and Collapse 1988-2003 Section 4: The Mandate Army Redux 10. The US and the Iraqi Army 11. Conclusion