2014 July 06 Sunday
Kurdish Government Wants More Autonomy

Hey Shias, you can't have Kirkuk back.

WASHINGTON Senior Kurdish officials served notice on Thursday that Kurdistan would not participate in a new Iraqi government unless Baghdad grants it expanded autonomy and does not insist on reversing their occupation of Kirkuk.

The Kurds most need the Baghdad government to cede ownership of Kurdish oil fields to the Kurds. Then the Kurds would have a much easier time selling their oil abroad and therefore would have funding needed to build up stronger defense forces.

If the Sunnis manage to keep the Iraqi Army out of northern Iraq then the Kurds will manage to establish a stronger form of de facto independence. They'll be able to keep Kirkuk. What they need is either independence recognized by the Baghdad government or acknowledgement from Baghdad of the right to directly sell Kurdish oil. They need a way to expand thier own tax revenues. With more money they could build up their military to assure their independence.

The Kurds want independence and aren't hiding the fact.

"Everything that's happened recently shows that it's the right of Kurdistan to achieve independence," Mr Barzani told the BBC.

"From now on, we won't hide that that's our goal. Iraq is effectively partitioned now. Are we supposed to stay in this tragic situation the country's living? It's not me who will decide on independence. It's the people. We'll hold a referendum and it's a matter of months."

The Shia Prime Minister of the Shia region of Iraq, Nouri al-Malaki, is not pleased.. But he can only govern territory his patronage network of incompetent fearful generals can hold. Perhaps US soldiers will fight and die in sufficient number to expand the territory that the Shia elites govern. But I hope not.

The Kurds are better off independent. The US government ought to let them gain independence. Make some security deals now (e.g. big intelligence operation in Kurdistan) that help US policy makers have better future choices as a result.

If the Kurds achieve independence and more Kurds move into the Kurdish region while Arabs move out they will enjoy a higher trust and higher happiness society while America's intellectuals hope that the trust-destroying effects of diversity can be overcome.

BTW, the New York Times has a pretty good map of the pattern of ISIS advance in Iraq. Note that they got kicked out of Aleppo Syria before trying to make a big move in Iraq.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 July 06 10:44 AM 


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