With Iraqi forces reclaiming the streets of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) inch by inch, attention is increasingly turning to what comes next. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-‘Abadi spelled out the challenges at last week’s Sulaimani Forum in Iraqi Kurdistan saying “we have to win the peace, just winning the war does not win peace.” But this is far easier said than done.

Issues such as a corruption and lack of development of areas outside of Baghdad helped to facilitate the emergence of IS in 2014 (or more accurately its re-emergence from the embers of Al-Qa’ida in Iraq). Iraq’s leaders have a challenging set of circumstances if they are to prevent the same mistakes from being repeated. (CONTINUED - 1014 WORDS)