Former CIA analyst: Iraq war led to IS growth
WASHINGTON, United States (Kurdistan24) – A former CIA analyst recently stated the 2003 Iraq war contributed to the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in the country.
Nada Bokas, a former United States CIA analyst who is currently a Senior Fellow of the National Security Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, spoke to Kurdistan24 about IS’ links to al-Qaeda in the region.
Bokas stated the war on Iraq “added fuel to the fire” and allowed IS to eventually stem from al-Qaeda before growing into a significant threat.
The former CIA analyst said IS’ founder Abu Musab al-Zarkawi gained “notoriety” from the Iraq war.
“I think the Iraq [war] itself certainly added fuel to the fire, and I don’t think Zarkawi’s organization would have grown to the extent that it did without [it],” she stated.
“[IS’] growth was discounted because al-Qaeda in Iraq had largely metamorphosed into a smaller organization,” she continued.
Moreover, Bokas discussed the upcoming Mosul operation and said she hopes the US can contribute to the stability of the city post-IS.
“[I am hopeful] that the United States is able to provide some kind of security or infrastructure to be able to fall back on after removing [IS] in Mosul,” she said.
Additionally, Bokas mentioned the bravery of Peshmerga fighters in combatting IS alone before the international community reacted to help.
“When I first saw that the Peshmerga was fighting [IS] on their own, it literally just broke my heart that we weren’t there and able to help out,” she concluded.
Editing by Ava Homa
(Kurdistan24 team in Washington, DC conducted the interview)