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21 December 2011

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toto

Not much good, apparently.

Now we're told that the vice-president has flown to the Kurdish area to escape arrest. What will the Kurds do? If they give him up, some of their leaders might be next in line. If they don't, the upcoming civil war (which they may have hoped to keep away from) may well start directly on their ground.

Is there any real likelihood of a full break-up of the country into two or three separate countries? If open conflict erupts between Kurdish and Iraqi regular armies, do the Kurds stand a chance?

confusedponderer

Kurdish national ambition, claiming territoris in Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, is inherently and inevitably conflicting with these nation states and their borders, however arbitrarily they once were drawn.

I have always seen the Kurds being in trouble. If they get too pushy with their nascent nation state they risk provoking a reaction that may see them getting ground up between Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

Seeing that risk, and as a result of their relative strategic usefulness, the Kurds have been able to cultivate patrons, notably Israel and the US.

I doubt that either Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq are likely to tolerate secession of larger swaths of their territory. If something like that happens they will react violently, and they may just ally, overtly, or tacitly, to do just that.

I have a hunch that the US (certainly Israel) would express preference to Kurdistan over Turkey in the matter. I can't decide on whether that would be noble (Freedom!) or stupid.

In this scenario, if Syria disintegrates into civil war, it would probably provide a safehaven for Kurdish militias to melt away into under heavy asault. Syria would then become another Lebanon. I hope that that doesn't come true.

William R. Cumming

I have repeatedly seen the number of Kurds at 19-21 million and wondering if anyone knows for sure?

Fred

So we lose a strategic ally over Kurdistan, which is about as defensible as Afghanistan and of what strategic value to the US? I think 'stupid' is right, however noble 'freedom' for people on the other side of the planet is.

turcopolier

fred

You think Iraq is a "strategic ally?" pl

William R. Cumming

PL and or others! I think I understand how the huge US Embassy facility and its staff will be used--processing visas for those Iraqis wishing to leave--but how about all those 150 sites the US is retaining? Does each one have a helicopter pad? And by the way how many helicopters does Iraq have as of the start of 2012 and other aircraft? Are they already on the market so to speak to the world's aircraft and helicopter suppliers? Do I understand the US is selling 36 F-16's to Iraq? How about air defense? Are there stocks of missiles or even MANPADs?

confusedponderer

I think he means Turkey.

Fred

PL, I was referring to Turkey. Iraq is unlikely to ever be our ally.

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