Thaier Al-Sudani / REUTERS

Why Iraqi Security Forces Are Promoting the Arts

How Cultural Initiatives Serve Key Defense Goals

Just as the Iraqi armed forces geared up for their advance into Western Mosul in February 2017, the Ministry of Defense newspaper Khaimat al-Iraq announced the revival of Iraq’s Army Theater, an institution that once held musical and theatrical productions on its stage dating back to Saddam Hussein’s days. The paper acknowledged that the joint Ministry of Defense-Ministry of Culture undertaking was ambitious, but argued that it was nonetheless vital in order to “document the victories of our army to raise the morale of our heroic fighters.”   In the midst of such bloodletting, the launch of such a project may …

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