The weakening of the Iraqi government, the Syrian Civil War, and the rise of the so-called Islamic State have reopened questions about the future of Kurds in West Asia. Brookings India organised a private roundtable with Ambassador Peter Galbraith to discuss the demand for a separate state of Kurdistan by the Kurds in Iraq, in context of the complicated geo-political landscape of West Asia.
Given the complex situations in Iraq and Syria and the role played by external actors in the formation of an independent Kurdistan, following questions were raised during the discussion:
- Is it even worthwhile looking at the issue of Kurdistan from an identity perspective?
- What are the factual differences in the positions of various actors?
- What are the actual prospects of an independent Kurdistan? Will it function as an independent state or a semi-autonomous region of Iraq?
- Who or which power will provide the political underpinnings of political settlement for the creation of a state?
- What will be the credibility and stability of independent Kurdistan?
This event report has been written by Shruti Godbole. The views are of the author(s), discussant(s).
The weakening of the Iraqi government, the Syrian Civil War, and the rise of the so-called Islamic State have reopened questions about the future of Kurds in West Asia. To discuss recent developments and questions about the future of Iraq and Syria, Brookings India is organizing a private roundtable with Peter Galbraith.
In an illustrious career in diplomacy, politics, and academia, Ambassador Galbraith has been an advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq, UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, and U.S. Ambassador to Croatia.
This discussion will be private and under the Chatham House Rule.
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[U.S.-Turkish joint patrols to oversee security in the northern Syrian city of Manbij could probably start soon after Washington and Ankara agreed on a plan for the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters.] Decisions on vetting and personnel changes in security/governance structures will undoubtedly take longer — that is where implementation challenges could arise.