The report of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq chaired by Ambassador Ryan Crocker offers a strategy for how the United States can build on the success that the Iraqi government and its coalition partners have had in liberating areas once occupied by ISIS, in order to bring about a lasting defeat of the extremist group and to and secure US national security interests in Iraq over the long term.
The report demonstrates that a stable Iraq is critical to US national security interests because:
- A secure Iraq will limit the capacity of terrorist groups both in Iraq and the wider Middle East
- A strengthened Iraq will be better able to resist Iranian interference
- A economically vibrant Iraq will reduce the influence of radicalism, and will strengthen regional economies including key US allies such as Jordan
In pursuit of a strong and stable Iraq, the report recommends that the United States:
- Publicly commits to engaging in and supporting Iraq in the long term
- Focuses on improving governance, thereby strengthening the legitimacy of the Iraqi government
- Strengthens the Iraqi economy, by encouraging economic reform and international investment
- Continues training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces beyond the defeat of ISIS
- Mediates between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government
By pursuing these steps, the Task Force hopes that the United States can secure its national security interests and those of Iraq, and prevent the country from becoming vulnerable to resurgent extremism in the future.