Wikileaks release: February 2, 2009
Publisher: United States Congressional Research Service
Title: The Kurds in Post-Saddam Iraq
CRS report number: RS22079
Author(s): Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs
Date: January 8, 2009
The Kurdish-inhabited region of northern Iraq has been relatively peaceful and prosperous since the fall of Saddam Hussein. However, the Iraqi Kurds’ political autonomy, demands, and ambitions are causing friction with Christian and other minorities in the north, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other Arab leaders of Iraq, and with neighboring Turkey, and Iran. These tensions threaten to undermine the stability achieved throughout Iraq in 2008, although U.S. political influence over the Kurds is likely to prevent a near term de-stabilizing escalation of the disputes. The U.S. ability to keep these tensions contained could wane as U.S. forces, as planned, draw down from Iraq over the next three years.
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