Monday, May 14, 2012

Iraq’s Continued Kurdish Question

The large Kurdish population in Iraq has been a subject of discussion and concern for the last twenty to thirty years at least.
 In the post Saddam Hussein Iraq, the Kurds have been granted a large degree of autonomy within the Iraqi state. Still, there are once again questions about the Kurds future in Iraq.
 The catalyst for these most recent tensions is the recently discovered oil within Kurdistan. Some leaders argue that there could be a split between Baghdad and Kurdish Iraq if disputes over oil revenue and power sharing are not resolved. The question I have is who needs who here?
Kurdistan is easily the most secure region of Iraq, as the central government in Baghdad struggles to maintain basic services. Iraq needs the oil revenue sharing with Kurdistan as it gives the government a major revenue stream.
Yet, I’m also not certain the Kurds can survive on their own given the difficulties they’ve had with neighboring Turkey.
 As far as I know, there’s no movement on the issue of creating a Greater Kurdistan with Kurds from Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. I therefore believe that the uneasy relationship between Kurdistan and Baghdad will have to continue for the good of both parties.

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