Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The path to Iraqi Kurdistan’s future

An autonomous region geographically located between Tehran and Ankara, and north of Baghdad, Kurdistan suffered a brutal fate under Saddam Hussein. Thousands of residents were poisoned by gas. Millions were forcibly removed from their homes. Over 3,000 villages were burned to the ground. “Now, in the midst of war, history should pay careful attention to what may happen next. The danger Kurdistan faces is overwhelming,” said Ashley Bommer, chief of staff to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, in her MaximsNews column last week.

Bommer’s article provides three recommendations to help reduce the risk of danger. First, Kurdistan must protect its security by creating a “Rapid Reaction Force” in northern Iraq, comprised of Kurdish “peshmergas” (Army Special Forces), as opposed to fighting sectarian violence in Baghdad at the instruction of the U.S. Commanding General in Baghdad.

Additionally, an established and maintained political dialogue with Ankara would contribute greatly to stability in the region, by reaching an agreement on trade, the status of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, and the PKK.

Lastly, the promotion of foreign direct investment and trade with the rest of the world would help generate economic growth. A free economic zone would also need to be established.

“The road ahead won’t be easy. Kurdistan’s long term strategy lies upon the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Kurds’ willingness to focus on the future, rather than the past,” said Bommer.

For the full article, click here.


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