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Iraq’s ruling political elites have failed to put forward a clear, cohesive and convincing vision for the state and its role. Over time, this failure has enabled quasi-state actors with different ideologies to emerge and exploit this vacuum—creating a de facto alternative to the legitimate Iraqi state.
Some Iraqis use the phrase “deep state” to refer to these individuals and groups who, using extensive financial resources and security capabilities, have aggressively extended their control over...
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