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Strengthening Kurdistan's security forces

The new government has vowed to build a strong Kurdistan, secure in the region and at peace.

In order to deliver this promise, the KRG will draw on Kurdistan's historic contribution in the global fight against terrorism by reforming, modernising and strengthening the Peshmerga.

Our Peshmerga are heroes. They are known around the world for stopping ISIS in its tracks, and regaining territory from the terrorists.

While our military and intelligence forces are composed of many different units, we worked in concert to defeat the enemy. Now peace has returned we must continue to strengthen our forces, ensuring that ISIS does not re-emerge, and our region is resilient in the face of any future threats.

Planning for our future security

In order to remain strong, the KRG must review our armed forces' organisation, modernise our weapons and align our systems. That is why we will begin a process of integrating and reforming the different units of the Peshmerga.

The government is committed to delivering these reforms, as they comprise a key part of our overall agenda. All members of this government share the same ambition for a strong, stable and secure Kurdistan. Together, we will prepare a joint roadmap covering our regional security and the Peshmerga's future.

We will also draw up a national security strategy that will allow us to determine the size and type of the forces necessary to meet all our defence and security needs. We have been developing this strategy in close collaboration with our allies; it will be a comprehensive strategy encompassing everything from border security to critical infrastructure protection and counter-terrorism.

Developments involving our partners

At the same time, the KRG will invigorate the existing capacity-building initiative taking place within the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. With support from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, important progress has already been made, but there is much more to accomplish.

As part of developing a constructive new partnership with Baghdad, the KRG will reiterate the importance of the Peshmerga's role in promoting regional stability. According to Article 121 of the Iraqi constitution, the Peshmerga is officially recognised as the regional guards of Kurdistan. Consequently, during its talks with Baghdad, the KRG will prioritise securing all of the Peshmerga's entitlements from the federal state, such as weapons, training and financing.

The government will conduct all of these activities while fully respecting the culture, traditions and achievements of the Peshmerga and our military units.

In the end, we will have a stronger and united armed forces ready and able to secure the KRG, this region and our people's future safety and well-being.