Study Up For 'Think': What Went Wrong In Iraq | KERA News

Study Up For 'Think': What Went Wrong In Iraq

Jul 29, 2014

Now that the Sunni extremist group known as the Islamic State has taken over much of north and western Iraq, many Westerners are left wondering what went wrong in the country. Today at noon on 'Think', we'll be speaking with Jim Gilmore, reporter and a producer of the Frontline documentary "Losing Iraq".

Two and a half years ago, when the U.S. pulled out of Iraq, there were high hopes for a government that could rebuild a country torn by 8 years of war. The current growing conflict in Iraq is another chapter in the country's complicated history.

Over the past few days, sectarian violence has begun to creep into Baghdad. Reports of secret executions and kidnappings have plagued the city in crisis as the Islamic State makes swift gains.

The group has also tightened its grip in parts where it's taken control by imposing strict laws such as the mandatory veiling of women and forced conscription of young men to join the extremist army.

Meanwhile, in the northern parts of the country, efforts are being made by the Kurdish military known as the Peshmerga to gain influence and control in northern parts of the country.

The Iraqi government led by prime minister Nouri Al Maliki is scrambling to organize a solution to the crisis. Last week, the country's parliament elected Kurdish leader Fouad Massoum to the ceremonial post of president. 

"Losing Iraq" traces the U.S. role in Iraq from the 2003 invasion to the current violence. Frontline filmmaker Michael Kirk said the documentary shows that the existing conflict is a result of not one or two political decisions, but a build-up  of mistakes and miscalculations. 

Listen to 'Think' at noon and 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday on KERA 90.1 or stream live.