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On the path to stability: Germany’s efforts in Iraq

12.10.2018 - Article

Germany has assisted Iraq’s fight against so called “Islamic State” as part of the Global Coalition against Daesh since December 2015. On 11 October, the Bundestag discussed the extension of the Bundeswehr’s mandate to counter IS.

What is the state of affairs in Iraq today?

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaking in the Bundestag about an extension of the Bundeswehr’s mandate to counter IS
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaking in the Bundestag about an extension of the Bundeswehr’s mandate to counter IS© dpa

Even after the end of the IS occupation, its impact on the country and the region is still palpable. While four million people were able to return to their homes and villages and the parliamentary elections held in May were largely peaceful, a new government still needs to be formed in order to address the major challenges the country faces. Driving IS out of the country is only one step on the path to stability. The population is traumatised, entire cities lie in ruins, and there is deep seated mistrust in society.

The aim now is to preserve the country’s unity and to strengthen the state’s monopoly on the use of force. Germany is supporting Iraq as part of the multilateral alliance with integrated civilian and military assistance.

Bundeswehr deployment

Germany has been a member of the Global Coalition against Daesh since the outset. Germany’s support consists of reconnaissance flights, air to air refuelling and staff members, as well as involvement in NATO AWACS aerial surveillance flights. Moreover, the Bundeswehr is helping to train and strengthen Iraq’s security and armed forces. Germany is therefore helping to stabilise the country overall and to ensure that the Iraqi Government has a monopoly on the use of force. Germany’s involvement is in line with the overall approach of the Global Coalition against Daesh and enjoys the consent of the Iraqi Government.

Stabilisation and reconstruction

In addition to the fight against IS, the principal focus is on aid for the territories liberated from IS, including mine and ordnance clearance and restoring the power and water supply. This is the only way to prevent the resurgence of IS or other extremist groups.

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