The Way of the Kurds
One part of Iraq is working better than the other.
May 24, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 34 • By MAX BOOT
If U.S. troops are withdrawn before land disputes between the KRG and Iraq proper are resolved, Kurdish politicians warn that the result could be war. That is an especially worrisome possibility because the United States has agreed to sell the Iraqi armed forces M-1 tanks and F-16 fighters. We have a moral and strategic obligation to ensure that this high-tech hardware is never used against our Kurdish friends. That argues for keeping a small U.S. force in Iraq after 2011, perhaps 10,000 to 15,000 troops and trainers. The Kurds, for one, would love to host a U.S. military base. The Obama administration should push for that once a new government takes power in Baghdad and negotiations begin on a new Iraqi-American strategic accord to take the place of the one negotiated by President Bush and Nouri al Maliki in 2008.
Max Boot is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard.