I contend that within the next three or four years we will see the emergence of an independent Kurdish state in Iraq – Iraq as we know it will cease to exist.
- My first assumption: Iraq’s Kurdistan will be turned into an independent state before the end of 2016.
- Assumption number two: the status of the Kurds in Turkey will improved in the meantime– I do not think that this will add up to autonomy or anything comparable, yet that will happen.
- My third assumption: The U.S. is will continue to invest in Iraq’s Kurdistan as their Middle Eastern military base. It will be their aim to control Afghanistan from here. Their strategy against Iran will support them in this decision.
- My fourth assumption: Syria’s present president Bashar al-Assad will be out of power by 2016. Sunnites and the Kurds will receive extensive rights in Syria.
Why do I expect all this to happen before 2016? Because in 2016 the will be the year of the 58th presidential election in the United States. If Obama (I suppose he is going to be re-elected this year) wants to leave his seat to a Democrat in 2016, he will have to show some success in the Middle East. To pull out troops from Iraq will not be enough – and to pull them out of Afghanistan will feel like a defeat, if that is all he will do. If, however, the US should be able to point at an extremely reliable “partner” down there (and they will find no better than and none as grateful the Kurds!), well, then they will continue to be able to operate in the background in the Middle East. Israel would appreciate the arrangement and enjoy a partner they could have in the very vicinity of the “evil mullahs”.
All this will be a business deal on political and financial terms. The Kurds are the most grateful “customer” of US-American politics in Iraq today. And do not forget: It is, after Kurdish land, “occupied” by Iraqi “Arabs”. The Kurds will get back what they feel is theirs – this is their home!
Basically I agree with the statements Ofra Bengio, professor at Tel Aviv University, has made in the past. She goes much further, claiming that the Turkish government (!) will act the part of the “midwife” for the state to come. Google her name. She is a vanguard analyst.
A crate of beer sounds like a fair wager to me
- Ofra Bengio, “Will Barzani declare independence?” Jerusalem Post, 2012/04/22.
- Ofra Bengio, “Turkey: A midwife for a Kurdish state?” Jerusalem Post, 2012/06/12.
- Ofra Bengio, The Kurds of Iraq: Building a State Within a State (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012).