Biden Is Funding Iraqi Militia Groups

( President Joe Biden signed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act last year, which included $260 million for the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga, according to a report from the defense and national security website 19FortyFive. The White House has indicated that it will continue this financial support, but this might not be the most beneficial path, according to the outlet.

The Islamic State remains a threat and the United States must take steps to reduce its military influence but funneling money into the Kurdish militia has reportedly not proven to be a fruitful investment.

The Peshmerga are the Kurdish military forces responsible for protecting Kurdistan, the autonomous region of Iraq, as Iraqi forces are not allowed to enter the region. The Peshmerga has a history of abandoning their posts, regardless of advanced weaponry and money invested from the U.S. When the Islamic State marched on Erbil, many top lieutenants in the Peshmerga reportedly fled to the airport to escape the capital.

In another fight, Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani stashed equipment provided by the Pentagon in a warehouse, using it only as a show of force. But at the height of fighting against the Islamic State when headed by President Saddam Hussein, the conwardice reportedly demonstrated by the Peshmerga led to the Iraqi Shi’ite militias liberating every Iraqi city.

Following the transfer of leadership from Masoud to his son, Masrour, journalists are being arrested and charged with treason for meeting with the American consul-general in Erbil as he demands the U.S. continue to invest in the Peshmerga.

Masrour and his younger brother reportedly treat the Kurdish militia as their “personal enforcers,” bringing a reign of terror on Kurdistan. The new leadership signifies that the hope of unifying the Peshmerga between the leaders of the two largest political parties is gone.

The relationship between the two parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), have been described by Regional Vice President Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa as the “worst since the civil war” of 1994-1997 when more than 3,000 Kurds were killed.