Why Recruit Minorities for the Iraqi Military?
At the moment, many minority groups in Iraq face greater security threats from more dominant Sunni and Shia groups. They experience violence from militias, insurgents, and foreign fighters. Even more, the Iraqi state provides no protection for minorities. Corruption in the Iraqi police and military, coupled with religious and ethnic violence, renders Iraqi authorities incapable of providing security for minorities. Various groups like the Shabaks currently face the possibility of genocide in Iraq. For this reason, it is possible for the United States to receive support from these groups in exchange for minority protection.
The United States must be prepared to provide special protection for these groups to persuade them into seeing that their security interests lie with American forces. Since minority groups lack militias to provide them protection, this void can be filled by recuriting more minorities to join the I.S.F. Furthermore, it is very likely that if left to their own devices such groups might eventually be severely diminished in number due to the ongoing violence, or that more militias may emerge as minority groups seek to provide for their own security.
If the United States can manage to persuade the Maliki government to provide special minority rights and state protection for such groups, their leaders may not only see their interests tied with America, but also with the Iraqi state. Moreover, the United States can bind the allegiance of minority groups to the Iraqi state as they join the ranks of the I.S.F. Integrated brigades or brigades composed solely of minority groups loyal to an Iraqi state that makes an effort to provide for their welfare would present an opportunity to substitute them for the Shia militias that influence the decisions of the Maliki government. Iraq, a nation with both a weak government and military, must gain legitimacy by restoring civil order, which is most likely to come from a national army that serves government interests. Such order can come about through the use of integrated or minority brigades.