2008 November 23 Sunday
Iraqi Kurds Arming For Conflict

The Kurds do not want to remain part of Iraq. Democracy hasn't reconciled them to being ruled by Arabs. They see no reason to trust the majority Shia Iraqis. The Kurds would be better off on their own. But the US government does not want Iraq to split up. The Kurds are buying arms from Bulgaria. They are probably using oil revenues to fund these purchases.

BAGHDAD -- Kurdish officials this fall took delivery of three planeloads of small arms and ammunition imported from Bulgaria, three U.S. military officials said, an acquisition that occurred outside the weapons procurement procedures of Iraq's central government.

The Kurdish region has been functioning de facto separate from the rest of Iraq for many years and since the US invasion the area ruled by the Kurdish government has expanded to include more Kurds. Also, large numbers of Kurds fled Baghdad in response to many attacks against them by Arabs.

The Kurds see the US withdrawal coming and they are preparing for confrontation.

The large quantity of weapons and the timing of the shipment alarmed U.S. officials, who have grown concerned about the prospect of an armed confrontation between Iraqi Kurds and the government at a time when the Kurds are attempting to expand their control over parts of northern Iraq.

Will the Arab government in Baghdad try to use force to keep the Kurds in Iraq? Will the Turks support the Arabs against the Kurds? How is this going to play out? The Kurds have borders with Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Arab Iraq. Which side will each of the other neighbors take in a war between the Kurds and Iraqi Arabs? I'm expecting the Iraqi Arabs to be pretty ineffectual fighters. Will the Sunni Arabs side with their fellow Arabs? Or will the Sunnis try to break off from the Shias?

Conceivably the Kurds might arm so well that the Arab government will allow them to remain de facto independent as long as the Kurds do not announce total independence from the government in Baghdad.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 November 23 04:41 PM  Mideast Iraq Ethnic Conflict

Stephen said at November 24, 2008 12:00 AM:

Kurdish supply routes are non-existent because they've pissed off every neighbour. It won't be long before they're back up in the mountains - especially once ammo becomes scarce.

Anon said at November 24, 2008 7:45 AM:

Americans should be arming themselves for conflict as well. While most of us can't get supplies of East Bloc weapons and ammo flown in, I highly recommend that people visit their local sporting goods store and pick up some basics. Some very unpleasant times are coming, I'm afraid.

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