Q&A: Jawad Bolani, member of the Parliament Security and Defense Committee

Iraq's former interior minister discusses the structure of the country's military and top security issues facing the new government.
Jawad Bolani in Baghdad in January 2023. (LIZZIE PORTER/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Jawad Bolani is a former interior minister who currently serves as an independent MP representing Diwaniya province, sitting on the Parliament Security and Defense Committee.

In a wide-ranging interview with Iraq Oil Report, Bolani gave an assessment of the structure of Iraq's security forces, the relationship between the federal government and the Kurdistan region, and the ongoing threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

As the Parliament Security and Defense Committee begins a new term, it has a few key priorities, Bolani said, including modernizing Iraq's military technology and passing legislation to clarify the roles and powers of various security formations.

Bolani predicted that government support would expand for the Hashid al-Shabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), the umbrella organization for state-backed paramilitary groups. He also said there was no political appetite for trying to integrate Hashid groups into the Iraqi Army.

“Most security issues are subject to political understandings,” he said. “And these issues, no one is discussing them politically. It’s not on the table. So as a result, we think that institutions that have managed to protect the Iraqi people — and the PMF have managed to protect the Iraqi people — need the state’s attention and care.”

A transcript of the interview, edited for length, is available below for Iraq Oil Report subscribers.

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