Have The Kurdish Militias Battling IS Lost Their Way?

ince Islamic State (IS) militants began the surge that captured vast swaths of Iraq last summer, Iraqi Kurdish militias — known as the Peshmerga — have emerged as a key ally and proxy force for the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition in northern Iraq.

In August, the United States reversed its policy of banning the direct transfer of arms to the Iraqi Kurds and requested that Australia help transport arms and munitions to the Peshmerga as part of a multinational effort.

Since then, other countries, including Italy and Germany, have also supplied weapons and ammunition, while military advisers from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and elsewhere have been involved in training Peshmerga forces.

But a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) warns that this military aid has been given without any underlying strategy. Such “stopgap” aid risks prolonging the battle with IS as well as inflaming other local conflicts, the report said.