kurdistan

The insignia of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on a member's uniform in al-Karamah, Syria on May 10. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The Kurdish Explosion Is Unleashing Demons

The United States needs to put a stop to this flashpoint before it’s too late.

A Syrian man holds the Iranian flag as a convoy carrying aid provided by Iran arrives in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Sept. 20. (Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

Does Trump Realize That His New Iran Strategy Could Suffer a Fatal Blow in Syria?

Without a plan for countering Iranian and Russian interests in Eastern Syria, the administration could find itself in a very bad place in the Middle East.

Iraqi security forces launch a rocket toward Kurdish Peshmerga positions near Fishkhabour. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Why the Fight for Fishkhabour Is So Important for Iraqi Kurds

A month after its independence referendum, Iraqi Kurdistan is seeing its economic future threatened.

Iraqi fighters tear down a sign painted with the colors of the Kurdish flag in northern Iraq on Oct. 20. (Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqi Kurdistan Was Never Ready for Statehood

The war against the Islamic State concealed the Kurds' political and economic weaknesses. The loss of Kirkuk has made them impossible to ignore.

Iraqi forces drive towards Kurdish Peshmerga positions on Oct. 15 on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

America Is in Denial About Iraq

The war in Iraq won’t end as long as the United States avoids deciding what it wants there.

A member of the Popular Mobilization Forces flashes a "V" sign in the northern town of Hatra on April 28. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq’s Shiite Militias Are Just Getting Started

The Iranian-backed forces that took control of Kirkuk from the Kurds are setting their sights on Baghdad.

An Iraqi boy drags a Kurdish flag as Iraqi forces advance toward the center of Kirkuk on Oct. 16. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Scenes From a Failed Secession

As the Iraqi government reclaimed the city of Kirkuk, Kurdish troops had the choice to watch or flee.

Iraqi forces advance toward the center of Kirkuk during an operation on Oct. 16. (AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqi-Kurdish Clash in Kirkuk Opens Door to More Iranian Influence

Iraqi Kurdistan’s referendum sparked a showdown with Baghdad, leaving Washington fighting the Islamic State and Tehran taking advantage.

A member of the Iraqi security forces walks past a defaced Kurdish flag on the outskirts of Kirkuk on Oct. 16. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

If Trump Wants to Confront Iran, He Should Start in Kirkuk

The president talks a big game about standing up to Iran — but will he do anything about Iranian-backed militias attacking America's staunchest allies?

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gives a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Oct. 5. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

Haider al-Abadi Is Succeeding at the World’s Hardest Job

The Iraqi prime minister has held his country together amid war and financial crisis. His next battle is to win re-election.

Iraq military vehicles parked outside of Kirkuk, Iraq, on Oct. 13. (Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty Images)

Last-Minute Talks Calm Iraqi, Kurdish Troops Facing Off Over Kirkuk

Frantic negotiations headed off a confrontation, but tensions are rising in the region.

Supporters wave flags and chant slogans inside the Erbil Stadium while waiting to hear Kurdish President Masoud Barzani speak at a rally for the upcoming referendum for independence on Sept. 22.

The United States Must Prevent Disaster in Kurdistan

America should calm the waters, begin the search for compromises, and keep the very worst from happening.

ERBIL, IRAQ - SEPTEMBER 21:  Kurdish people show their support for the upcoming referendum for independence of Kurdistan at a rally on September 21, 2017 in Erbil, Iraq. The Kurdish Regional government is preparing to hold the September 25, independence referendum despite strong objection from neighboring countries and the Iraqi government, which voted Tuesday to reject Kurdistan's referendum and authorized the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to take measures against the vote. Despite the mounting pressures Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani continues to campaign and state his determination to go ahead with the vote.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Baghdad Stops Flights to Erbil, Kurds Talk ‘Unilateral’ Independence

The war of words in Iraq is escalating, but Baghdad has not yet cut off oil exports or shifted troops.

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Edgar on Strategy (IV): A conversation with a Turkish strategic corporal

A brief cross-cultural exchange shows why political philosophy matters and why our strategic alliances require a nuanced approach.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover