America’s Mixed Feelings About The Kurds

Like a few other countries and extremist militant groups in the Middle East, Kurdistan is fighting for their own state. Kurdistan is located in the northeast corner of Iraq. The people of Kurdistan, or the Kurds, have been fighting for their independence for decades. Since the United States occupation of Iraq and the killing of Sadaam Hussein things have started looking better for Kurdistan.


When The United States entered and took control over Iraq, they had an end goal of creating a new unified Iraq. This would pull the divided regions of Iraq together and create a new government that would be agreeable between the three regions. The three regions of Iraq were: Kurdistan, Sunni and Shiite. This plan was put in place by George W. Bush and was entitled One Iraq.

Unlike the other three regions of Iraq, Kurdistan stood by the United States during its occupation. They believed in the pro-West views and even had a democratic regional government. Mosoud Barzani headed this regional government. During a somewhat dated 60 Minutes interview conducted in 2007, Barzani was asked about any deaths of US soldiers in Kurdistan, Barzani replied, “No one.”

Today, the Kurds have a new enemy. As ISIS started rummaging through Iraq, taking over city after city, much of the Iraqi army and police fled. Kurdistan saw this as an opportunity. The Kurds and Iraq had both claimed the city of Kirkuk. Argued by the Kurds, the city of Kirkuk was always in Kurd territory and is home to the biggest oil field in Iraq. With the Iraqi Army disbanding the Kurds took the city of Kirkuk and placed their army, the pershmerga, at outposts all around the Kurdistan border waiting for ISIS.

The United States has been keeping tabs on ISIS and has been launching air strikes against them. This has not stopped ISIS from taking over bits and pieces of the Middle East and has gained adherence for the group that has helped them with recruiting new fighters. The people of the United States recognize ISIS as a real threat, just as the people of Kurdistan do. To help combat this common enemy, the United States has been sending over weapons and aid for the pershmerga.

But this collaboration is not as easy as it seems.

Acquiring Kirkuk was enough for Barzani to give the Kurdistan parliament the okay to begin the process of becoming independent. However, an independent Kurdistan would go against One Iraq, the plan that was put in place by Bush and still being enforced by the Obama Administration. So will the United States budge and let the Kurds have their independence? Will the pershmerga still accept aid if we do not support Kurdistan independence?



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