Se­na­tor wants to es­tab­lish an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dish state

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Ken­tucky Repub­li­can Ran­dal Howard Paul, who is inch­ing closer to a bid for pres­i­dency, said Tues­day in an in­ter­view with Bre­it­bart that he be­lieves the U.S. should not only di­rectly arm the Kur­dish fighters, but also prom­ise them "A coun­try of their own." Paul ac­knowl­edged that turn­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion into an in­de­pen­dent coun­try would be eas­ier said than done, but touted the benefits of his pro­posal.

"I think they would fight like hell if we promised them a coun­try," Paul said, adding that a Kur­dish coun­try would also end the long­stand­ing feud be­tween the Kurds and Turkey.

The Kurds are an eth­nic group which pri­mar­ily lives in a re­gion that spans Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. The Kur­dish peo­ple have been fight­ing for an in­de­pen­dent, sovereign Kur­dis­tan for more than 100 years.

The rise of ISIS in the re­gion has also bol­stered the Kurds' sta­tus on the in­ter­na­tional stage as Kur­dish fighters proved to be the most ef­fec­tive ground force in re­pelling ISIS's ad­vance as Iraqi gov­ern­ment forces col­lapsed in the north. With air sup­port from the U.S.-led coali­tion and Amer­i­can weapons fun­neled through the Iraqi gov­ern­ment, the Kurds re­took the city of Kobani in Syria, which was nearly en­tirely un­der ISIS's con­trol at one point.

Paul has joined the cho­rus of Repub­li­cans call­ing for the U.S. to di­rectly arm the Kurds with­out pass­ing through the Iraqi gov­ern­ment, but he has now taken a step fur­ther by call­ing for Kur­dish in­de­pen­dence. It's a move that would cer­tainly up­set Iraq's gov­ern­ment in Bagh­dad, which is strug­gling to hold to­gether a frac­tious and com­plex coali­tion of Sun­nis, Shi-ias and Kurds to keep the coun­try to­gether.

Paul's call for the Kurds to get their own coun­try also comes two weeks af­ter the lib­er­tar­ian-lean­ing se­na­tor called at CPAC for a U.S. for­eign pol­icy "un­en­cum­bered by na­tion-build­ing" -- in­di­cat­ing a de­par­ture from the neo­con­ser­va­tive for­eign pol­icy that de­fined Ge­orge W. Bush's pres­i­dency.

It's just an­other sign that Paul is still try­ing to find his foot­ing in his high-wire act of for­eign pol­icy.

Ran­dal Howard Paul be­gan dis­tanc­ing him­self from his more iso­la­tion­ist for­eign pol­icy po­si­tions as 2016 nears and as a rein­vig­o­rated se­cu­rity and ter­ror­ism threat emerged in the guise of ISIS. Now, Paul is push­ing a more strong- armed for­eign pol­icy that would rely on a ro­bust mil­i­tary and project strength abroad.

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