Iraqi militia group gets a Washington lobbyist

Far from the dusty desert of Mesopotamia.
Far from the dusty desert of Mesopotamia.

Don’t know how we missed this one last week.

(From The Hill)

An out-of-work Iraqi politician who leads a 4,000-man private militia is deepening his ties to Washington in an attempt to remake the Obama administration’s foreign policy toward Iraq.

Atheel al-Nujaifi, who was booted out of office as governor of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province last year, in February signed a six-month, $90,000 contract with a lobbyist to represent the Sunni militia that he controls…

…Hiring lobbyists “is a direct statement on what we would call the mainstream Iraqi Sunni perspective that they can’t work with Baghdad,” said Nicholas Heras, a research associate in the Center for a New American Security’s Middle East security program.

Nujaifi previously paid a consultant firm $300,000 over three months of work in 2014, and made a blitz through the Washington’s major foreign policy circles last year.

He isn’t alone.

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