With some smart statecraft over the next month, the United States could at once isolate an adversary, solidify a long-standing alliance and begin to usher a new, friendly democracy into a historically fractious region [bold mine-DL]. Instead, Washington is stubbornly sticking to a years-old policy, even though it has already been made obsolete by events on the ground.
If Glover’s description of what backing an independent Kurdistan would entail sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. An independent Kurdistan wouldn’t be much of a democracy, since the current KRG leadership is corrupt and authoritarian. Far from isolating the adversary (Iran), the creation of a Kurdish state would bring Iran, Turkey, and Iraq together in common cause to oppose it. Like other hare-brained schemes to “combat Iranian power,” this one will backfire. Worse, it would potentially expose Iraqi Kurds to attack from several sides, and that would mean that the U.S. fights a new war to protect them or hangs them out to dry after encouraging their separation. Like other “alliances” in the region, this one would be defined by Washington’s willingness to defend Kurdistan against its neighbors rather than anything that the new “ally” could do for us.
In trying to “salvage a win” from the wreckage of the Iraq war, Glover’s proposal would just lead to new conflicts and more upheaval that would inflict more harm on Iraqi Kurds than on anyone else. It’s a genuinely poor idea, and the fact that it is driven by a monomaniacal desire to oppose Iran at every turn just makes it worse.