The vice president wants aid to go Christians and other minorities targeted by the Islamic State. But others fear it could increase sectarian strife.
With the Islamic State defeated in Iraq, policymakers in Washington have shifted gears to focus on rebuilding communities displaced by the conflict. Yet there are already conflicts in the administration about how best to channel humanitarian and development assistance.
Last week, FP published an article detailing Vice President Mike Pence’s vision to grant more U.S. aid to Christians and religious minorities in Iraq, against the advice of officials at the State Department and others at the United Nations, who initially feared the move could backfire.
In the piece, Rhys and FP reporter Dan De Luce detailed how the administration, prompted in part by Vice President Mike Pence’s strong links to Christian advocacy groups, recently clashed with the United Nations Development Programme over how to spend aid funds in Iraq, insisting more resources be channeled to Christian communities and other minority groups in the Nineveh Plains. The administration rejected UNDP’s assessment — and that of some officials at the State Department — that the aid should be focused on more populated areas around the war-damaged city of Mosul.
What does Iraq really need? How can the United States ensure the Islamic State doesn’t return? We discuss on this episode of The E.R.
Sarhang Hamasaeed is the director of Middle East Programs at United States Institute of Peace. Follow him on Twitter: @SarhangSalar
Rhys Dubin is an editorial fellow for Foreign Policy. Follow him on Twitter: @rhysdubin
Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter at: @weinbergersa.