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Old 03-29-2011   #10
Jedburgh
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ICG, 28 Mar 11: Iraq and the Kurds: Confronting Withdrawal Fears
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....Given great uncertainty over how security conditions will develop along the trigger line in the coming year, progress in political negotiations over the disputed territories’ status has become more imperative than ever. While neither Baghdad nor Erbil appears to have an interest in armed confrontation, and both sides seem intent for the moment to capitalise on the mutual goodwill that arose from formation of the new coalition government, the disputed territories conflict is so fundamental to Baghdad-Erbil relations that a single incident could trigger a dangerous escalation. The unilateral deployment of Kurdish asaesh in Kirkuk city in November 2010 and of peshmergas / zerevanis into Kirkuk governorate in February 2011 were two such incidents. Violence has been avoided so far, in large measure because of the Baghdad-Erbil-U.S. security arrangement, but these moves stoked local anger as well as unease over the Kurds’ long-term plans; they could still give rise to violent response and will vastly complicate negotiations for a deal, especially if the Kurds’ military forces are not withdrawn to the Kurdistan region....
USIP, 28 Mar 11: Preventing Arab-Kurd Conflict in Iraq after the Withdrawal of U.S. Forces
Quote:
Summary
  • Since the fall of the former regime, in 2003, there has been continuous concern that fighting might break out between the Arabs and the Kurds over Kirkuk and the boundary of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
  • In response to requests to help manage tensions between the different security forces, General Odierno, then Commanding General of United States Forces-Iraq, developed a Joint Security Architecture, bringing together Iraqi Security Forces, Kurdish forces, and US forces to work against their common enemy, the al-Qaeda.
  • US forces are due to start pulling out of their conflict prevention role along the ‘trigger line’ that divides the Kurds and the Arabs in the disputed territories, by the summer of 2011. Unless new conflict prevention mechanisms are put in place, there is a real risk that tensions could boil over as people tire of waiting for a political resolution.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 03-29-2011 at 07:06 PM.
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