After the Vote, Does the Kurdish Dream of Independence Have a Chance?

2 Oct 2017   Iraq

Even before the Kurds had stopped celebrating their vote for independence, Iraq, Turkey and Iran began trying to undercut it. ERBIL, Iraq — After a century of yearning , the Kurds of Iraq have managed, at last, to pull off a vote for independence, but not without antagonizing nearly everyone in perhaps the world’s most volatile region. The question now is whether an arid, landlocked proto-state dependent on hostile neighbors can overcome is own shortcomings — and Iraq’s disruptive retaliation — to build a viable path to independence. With its troubled economy and dearth of democratic institutions, its prospects were already tenuous. Its best hopes lay in its oil reserves and American support, but Turkey has threatened to cut off its oil pipeline, and the relationship with the United States soured after the Kurds rebuffed its entreaties to cancel the vote. Rather than negotiate and then seek international recognition, […]

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