Raed El-Hamed is an Iraqi journalist and member of the Iraqi Journalists Union.
Raed El-Hamed is an Iraqi journalist and member of the Iraqi Journalists Union. He previously served as president for the research and studies unit at the Baghdad Center for Strategic Research, after which he served as editor-in-chief of the magazine Windows on Culture (Nawafidh al-Thaqafiyya). He was also a consultant at the International Crisis Group. He contributed to the book The Last Stage of the American Occupation of Iraq, published by the Center for Arab Unity Studies in 2007. He has published a number of books, studies, and articles focusing on Iraq’s militias, security contractors, and the Salahuddin province for a number of newspapers including al-Hayat, Azzaman, and al-Quds al-Arabi.
Any effort to retake Mosul from the Islamic State would face military and political obstacles that may be too significant to overcome.
Sunni tribal disagreements over the role of the Popular Mobilization Forces—which have so far prevented developing a broader security strategy against the Islamic State—might change in the aftermath of Ramadi.
If Iraqi parties cannot agree on a unified vision for the National Guard, options will remain limited for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State.
Plans to build a national guard force risk widening sectarian divisions in Iraq and pushing more Sunnis toward the Islamic State.
Despite recent success in Mosul, ISIS is still trying to solidify its fragile gains in Anbar province, particularly following heavy losses in Syria.
As the Syrian crisis continues, Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq may form a cross-border zone between Iraq and Syria that could threaten regional stability.