Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Study of US Policy Towards Kurds of Iraq and Turkey

BOSTON, United States – American intervention in Middle Eastern politics is old news, as is U.S. involvement in Kurdish affairs. When WWI came to an end and the allies parceled out what was left of the Ottoman Empire, the thought of an independent Kurdish state was cast aside and 30 million Kurds were forced under the umbrella of other countries, the majority settling in southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northeastern Syria and northwestern Iran.

In the decades since, numerous attempts for Kurdish self-determination were stymied as exogenous forces – including the U.S. – intervened. The U.S. policy towards the Kurds has historically been more self-indulgent than supportive, and often detrimental.

But it has also been increasingly inconsistent, especially in the last few decades. Immediately after the two World Wars, there was consensus in Washington that the Kurds should not claim independent territory, but more recently there has been a divergence in U.S. policy and political orientation towards the Kurds.

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq and the fall of Saddam, coupled by the economic and political ascendancy of Turkey, there emerged two distinct groups of Kurds in the eyes of American policymakers – the “good Kurds” and the “bad Kurds” – with each warranting its own set of policies. Read More