Is Kurdistan All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

by Dish Staff Kurdistan’s image in the West as a stable, successful, democratic proto-state is not entirely in line with reality, Jenna Krajeski remarks: Kurdistan is booming on the promise of oil wealth, and their security—maintained by the peshmerga—has enticed investors to the region. But progress has come alongside reports of rampant corruption, a widening gap between … Continue reading Is Kurdistan All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Kurdistan’s Sticky Situation

by Jonah Shepp Oil may not be the be-all, end-all of the Iraq conflict, but it does play its part. Brad Plumer examines the oil politics of Iraqi Kurdistan and what’s at stake in the fight against ISIS: By June of this year, Iraqi Kurdistan was producing 360,000 barrels per day — about 10 percent of Iraq’s … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Sticky Situation

Kurdistan’s Petro-Politics

The US has been pressuring governments and private companies not to buy Kurdish oil, out of fear that oil sales will make it easier for the Kurdistan Regional Government to declare independence from Iraq. But this strategy, Dov Friedman posits, is actually having the opposite of its intended effect: The U.S.’s logic is clear. KRG oil sales provide the Kurds a financial base … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Petro-Politics

Kurdistan, Then And Now

Mass City, New Project under Construction On #Erbil – #Massif Road Bashuri / Southern #Kurdistan pic.twitter.com/C4QnEHJZal — #GreaterKurdistan (@Kurdistan_612) July 11, 2014 Comparing the Iraqi Kurdistan of today with what she saw when she last visited in 2002, Robin Wright views the Kurdish push for independence as the culmination of a longstanding effort: [E]ven in 2002 the Kurds were drifting … Continue reading Kurdistan, Then And Now

Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Juan Cole’s list of recent “disturbing” news items from Iraq begins with some major developments regarding the Kurds: 1. Last Wednesday Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki angrily lashed out at the Kurds, accusing them of harboring the terrorists of the so-called ‘Islamic State.’ Since the Kurds have in fact fought the IS radicals, al-Maliki’s charge is hard to take seriously. Rather, … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Ranj Alaaldin has the latest on the Kurds, who, in taking and holding Kirkuk against the ISIS onslaught, “may have won a historic battle for what has been described as both the crown jewel and Jerusalem of Kurdistan”: It can now secure its economic independence from Baghdad. Control of Kirkuk also means the Kurds have the economic lynchpin for an … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

The president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, has announced plans to hold a referendum on independence: [A]nnouncing a Kurdish independence vote during an interview with the BBC, Barzani said a referendum would only confirm what is clear already—namely that Iraq has been “effectively partitioned now” following the territorial gains by the self-declared Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS, … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

The president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, has indicated that the Kurds intend to remain in control of Kirkuk, which peshmerga forces occupied earlier this month to defend it from the jihadist scourge: Speaking at a press conference on June 27 with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in the Kurdish region’s capital, Irbil, Barzani said Kirkuk’s status “now … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Steven Cook weighs in on the prospects for Kurdish independence. He’s less bullish than most: For all the confidence in Erbil, the Kurds have a host of significant problems that seriously complicate the establishment of an independent Kurdistan.  The Kurds have enjoyed something that looks a lot like a state for the past three decades, but they … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd

Dov Zakheim pushes Washington to recognize the Kurdish claim to independence, but he doubts the administration will go for it: The pro-Western, anti-Islamist Kurds are America’s natural allies. During the nineties, they were the focus of American support while Saddam Hussein was in power. Yet the administration remains reluctant to exert itself on their behalf, and, in particular, … Continue reading Kurdistan’s Moment? Ctd