From Resistance to Military Institutionalisation: The case of the Peshmerga versus Islamic State.

Charountaki, Marianna (2018) From Resistance to Military Institutionalisation: The case of the Peshmerga versus Islamic State. Third World Quarterly, 39 . ISSN 0143-6597

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2018.1449633

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Abstract

This study explores differing strategies and tactics employed by the peshmerga forces against the Islamic State (IS). This experience highlights a number of issues which are relevant to contemporary security debates. Firstly, the struggle highlights important aspects of the development of the peshmerga and their strategies as an organised non-state military force (defending as it does the Kurdistan Region in Iraq). Secondly, the peshmerga–IS conflict is an important case study of small wars. The strategy and tactics used here are therefore useful empirical references about the effectiveness of military force in counter-insurgency. Finally, the war against IS united the peshmerga forces, possibly for the first time, and effected a radical change in the Kurdish use of military tactics, including the shift from defensive to offensive strategies. The article examines the methods employed by the peshmerga forces against IS, explains why the cases of Makhmour and Shingal stand out as tipping points, and discusses the evolution of Kurdish defence capacity.

Keywords:security, peshmerga, Islamic State, Makhmour, Shingal, strategy and tactics
Subjects:L Social studies > L251 Strategic studies
L Social studies > L243 Politics of a specific country/region
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:36967
Deposited On:11 Sep 2019 09:19

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