Kurd in the current political equations of Iraq
The United States has played a major role in the militarization of the Kurdish region. The Middle East is the destination of the majority of American arms exports, creating enormous profits for weapons manufacturers and contributing greatly to the militarization of this already overly-militarized region. Despite promises of restraint, U.S. arms transfers to the region have topped $60 billion since the Gulf War. Arms sales are an important component of building political alliances between the U.S. and Middle Eastern countries- particularly with the military leadership of recipient countries. There is a strategic benefit for the U.S. in having U.S.-manufactured systems on the ground in the event of a direct U.S. military intervention. Arms sales are also a means of supporting military industries faced with declining demand in Western countries.
When the Ottoman Empire finally disintegrated, following the allied victory in the war of 191418, and the birth of Armenian and Kurdish states appeared at first to be inevitable, Ataturk’s response was to create a nation state based on the unity of the Turkishspeaking Muslim peoples and to leave unresolved the question of non-Turkish minorities such as the Kurds, Chechens, Laz and Abkhazians.1 The territories not under the occupation of enemy forces when the Armistice of Mudros was concluded on October 30, 1918, and which were inhabited by ‘an Ottoman Moslem majority, united in religion, in race and in aim’, were said to form a whole which did not admit of division for any reason, though in the case of the three Kurdish Sandjaks ‘which united themselves by a general vote to the mother country’, there was a vague suggestion of a plebiscite in the National Pact’s reference to a free popular vote ‘if necessary’.2
In the new Iraq, though many factions criticize Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, they mostly continue to keep their representatives in the parliament and their ministers in the federal cabinet. The Kurds have legitimate doubts about Maliki's commitment to power-sharing,
But the Kurds are not trying to take power from him by force. Quite the opposite: the President Barzani is always , seeking to deter Al-Maliki from using military force against their autonomous regional government.
is a strategically significant maneuver that could cement a new regional alignment, especially if President Barzani continues to steer the Syrian Kurds toward the Turkey-KRG axis. Yet the relationship is not without obstacles. First, Ankara still harbors some mistrust of Iraqi Kurdistan, and the two are not in sync on every issue.After all, even the deepest regional shifts do not change the fact that PKK camps continue to operate in KRG territory. For its part, the KRG appears to be sensitive about moving too close to Turkey for fear of provoking its heavyweight neighbor Iran. Another potential impediment is the KRG’s desire for Ankara to launch a dialogue with the PKK—a tall order amid the current Turkish political scene.
The Sunni Arabs are protesting for fairer treatment, not seeking to actively erase the stubborn reality of Shia-led government. Their chances of launching an Arab Spring-style uprising are minimal because they are a sectarian minority, not the majority group in the country.
And the Shia factions -- for all their complaints about the prime minister -- tend to side with Maliki when the chips are down. In the just-passed 2013 budget, almost all the Shia blocs banded together to pass a strongly anti-Kurdish budget. Instead of watching for civil war, it is more useful to think of Iraq as a place where various groups are looking for a much better deal from the central government -- more autonomy in the Kurdish case, equal treatment for the Sunnis.
But to the heart of the matter: Is Iraq getting more or less violent? Does it feel like a civil war to Iraqis? This kind of attack, often targeted on local community leaders, has a tremendous ripple effect, continuing the sectarian or ethnic cleansing of areas, or reducing the willingness of locals to inform against militants. It is invisible and corrosive -what I have called low-visibility, high-impact violence.
Sunni jubilation at the collapse of Assad regime in Syria may collide head-on with Maliki government paranoia about being the next domino to fall. Syria is a good place to conclude because it forces us to ask: If we had not invaded 10 years ago, might we simply be considering that option now, watching Saddam or one of his sons crush rebelling Iraqi cities in the aftermath of an Arab Spring?