For the first time in the modern history of the Middle East that began with the end of World War I, a cautious solution to the Kurdish problem in Iraq and Turkey at least is evolving. The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has taken enormously positive steps toward Kurdish unity, democratization, and modernization. What is more, the KRG has become an island of peace in a sea of Iraqi violence. The ultimate problem, of course, is who will guarantee these achievements? The United States has already betrayed the Kurds twice in the past (1975 and 1991) and can hardly wait to pull its troops out of Iraq now. The Iraq Study Group Report, co-chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton and released in December 2006, also suggested that the hard-won Kurdish federal state might have to be sacrificed to the perceived need for a reestablished centralized Iraqi state. However, the George W. Bush administration rejected the overall report and, in December 2009, the new Barack Obama administration publicly promised to broker disputes between the KRG and the Baghdad government in return for the KRG accepting a slightly smaller percentage of seats in the next Iraqi parliament scheduled to be elected in March 2010. What guarantees might others offer? The UN guarantee would only be as good as the perilous unity of the Security Council's five permanent members. In April 2009, the United Nations declined to support the KRG's position on annexing Kirkuk and instead recommended a compromise that would possibly provide a special status within Iraq for the much disputed city and province. As for the neighboring states of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, many would argue that wolves might as well be invited in to watch over the lamb. During 2009, however, Turkey began to accept the KRG's political existence as a means to further its new foreign policy of zero problems with its neighbors as well as security needs. Moreover, the collapse of Saddam Hussein's Iraq and astute KRG diplomacy have resulted in the rest of Iraq begrudgingly accepting at least a federal state for the Kurds and possibly even independence in the future if Iraq disintegrates. If the KRG eventually were to become independent, U.S. support might be maintained with the promise of friendly access to oil as well as having Kurdistan serve as a model of democracy in the Middle East. In addition, as just noted, Turkey's self-interest in a stable region to its south and considerable economic investments there already, as well as Iraqi Kurdish guarantees against meddling in Turkey's own Kurdish problem in return for Turkish acceptance of the KRG, are leading Turkey begrudgingly to accept the KRG. An independent KRG would benefit Turkey by acting as a buffer between Turkey and the instability to the south and would also be politically and economically dependent upon Turkish support. Furthermore, Turkey's EU candidacy encourages Turkey to accept the KRG as part of the price for EU membership. Even more, of course, Turkish EU membership holds out the promise of dismantling its ultranationalist Deep State and solving its own Kurdish problem along the lines of the Copenhagen Criteria of stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities required for the EU membership Turkey so strongly seeks. Thus, the United States and Turkey would seem the best guarantors of the KRG's continuing existence. Although all of these processes are progressing, none of them will inevitably reach fruition. The future remains uncertain. All that can be noted at present is the cautiously fragile evolution toward a possible solution to the long-standing Kurdish problems in Iraq and Turkey. In addition, these favorable developments for the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey might influence events positively in Iran and Syria, two states with considerable Kurdish populations but not experiencing the same hopeful dynamics their kin are in Iraq and Turkey. Thus, only time will tell whether the achievements of the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey are permanent or merely false hopes. They are, however, the best chance the Kurds have had in modern times.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .


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  • conclusion — [ kɔ̃klyzjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1265; lat. conclusio, de concludere → conclure 1 ♦ Arrangement final (d une affaire). ⇒ règlement, solution, terminaison. Conclusion d un traité, d un mariage. 2 ♦ Log. Proposition dont la vérité résulte de la vérité d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • conclusion — con·clu·sion /kən klü zhən/ n 1: a judgment or opinion inferred from relevant facts our conclusion upon the present evidence Missouri v. Illinois, 200 U.S. 496 (1905) 2 a: a final summarizing (as of a closing argument) b: the last or closing part …   Law dictionary

  • conclusion — CONCLUSION. s. fém. Fin d une affaire, d un discours. La conclusion d un traité, d une affaire. Il faut venir à la conclusion. La conclusion fut que... f♛/b] On dit familièrement, qu Un homme est ennemi de la conclusion, pour dire, qu Il est… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Conclusion — Con*clu sion, n. [F., fr. L. conclusio. See {Conclude}.] 1. The last part of anything; close; termination; end. [1913 Webster] A fluorish of trumpets announced the conclusion of the contest. Prescott. [1913 Webster] 2. Final decision;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Conclusion — may refer to: Logic Logical consequence Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise, a logical fallacy Music Conclusion (music), the end of a musical composition The Conclusion, an album by Bombshell Rocks Conclusion of an Age, an album by the …   Wikipedia

  • conclusion — UK US /kənˈkluːʒən/ noun ► [C] a decision or judgment that is made after careful thought: »The findings and conclusions of the report are simply guidelines, not rulings. reach/come to/draw a conclusion »Information is gathered into a profile and… …   Financial and business terms

  • conclusión — sustantivo femenino 1. Acción y resultado de concluir o concluirse: La conclusión de la autopista facilita la comunicación entre las dos ciudades. La conclusión del presupuesto obliga a dejar las obras inacabadas. 2. Resolución o consecuencia a… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • conclusion — Conclusion, Conclusio, Epilogus, Coronis. La conclusion d une oraison, Peroratio. Encore que je me taise, la conclusion mesme dit que, etc. Vt taceam, conclusio ipsa loquitur, nihil, etc. Pour conclusion, Summa illa sit. Conclusions courtes,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • conclusion — Conclusion. s. f. v. Fin que l on met à quelque chose, particulierement à une affaire, à un discours. La conclusion d un traité, d une affaire. il faut venir à la conclusion. la conclusion fut que, &c. On dit, qu Un homme est ennemi de la… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • conclusión — (Del lat. conclusĭo, ōnis, y este trad. del gr. ἐπίλογος). 1. f. Acción y efecto de concluir. 2. Fin y terminación de algo. 3. Resolución que se ha tomado sobre una materia después de haberla ventilado. 4. Aserto o proposición que se defendía en… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • conclusion — late 14c., deduction or conclusion reached by reasoning, from O.Fr. conclusion conclusion, result, outcome, from L. conclusionem (nom. conclusio), noun of action from pp. stem of concludere (see CONCLUDE (Cf. conclude)). Also, from late 14c. the… …   Etymology dictionary

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