A report by the American magazine Foreign Policy warned of the fall of Iraq in a fierce civil war between Shiite factions.
Iraq, after declaring victory over ISIS last year, is still under threat because the ruling elite has failed to address the conditions that allowed ISIS to occupy large areas, including meeting the basic needs of the population suffering from extreme poverty and addressing political and social divisions, the report said on Thursday.
All this, according to the report, could pave the way for another devastating civil war soon, as rival Shiite groups seek to control the Iraqi state.
The report stated that the IMIS (Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria) are stronger than the Iraqi armed forces, which collapsed while facing ISIS in 2014.
IMIS are not under the control of the government, but are fortified within state institutions and are using their resources, according to the report.
It also highlighted that the most powerful and oldest militia in Iraq, the Badr Brigade (formed in the 1980s in Iran), commands the federal police and the Interior Ministry.
The report warned that competition for state resources, including the process of forming a government, is quickly turning into a dangerous game, and that Shiite factions in Iraq cannot continue to share state resources while making empty promises to disgruntled citizens.
Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria
IMIS, which can reach up to 100,00 people and is made up mostly of the Shiite militias in Iraq, formed after the collapse of the Iraqi army and the seizure of Mosul by the Islamic State.
IMIS is increasing so rapidly that it may soon surpass the conventional armed forces in Iraq, the report said.
It is almost certain that the Iraqi army will lose if it fights a battle with the IMIS, which are more organized than they were a decade ago, according to the report.
These groups have been radically transformed into viable socio-political movements, to the extent that they have become more powerful in recent legislative elections, overtaking their rivals, who have decades of political experience.
Structural conditions in Iraq make political rivalries and chronic grievances an opportunity for serious civil strife.
Social unrest, such as the Basra protests, could lead to another war between rival Shiite factions that have been competing and exploiting the country's wealth since 2003.
Finally, the report draws attention to the importance of the role of religious authorities in curbing conflicts between the Shiite armed factions in Iraq.