THE ROLE OF SUBNATIONAL FORCES IN COMBATING TERRORISM DURING CIVIL WAR: THE CASE OF PESHMERGA OF KURDISTAN REGION-IRAQ AGAINST ISIS (2014–2017)
Khorsheed, Hussein M.
Ostovar, Afshon P.
Hafez, Mohammed M.
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Scholars and researchers have long held a negative view of subnational forces and their participation in wars, especially civil wars. The literature has tended to suggest that subnational forces are often linked with the longer duration of civil wars, the increased lethality of war, and human rights abuses during war. In this thesis, that general view is challenged by the case of the Peshmerga forces in Iraq. By examining the case of Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq during the conflict against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) between 2014 and 2017, this thesis shows that military institutionalization and external supports were key factors that incentivized the Peshmerga to respect human rights. It finds that, with adequate external support and ties to Western democratic powers, the involvement of subnational forces can be net positive.
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