Tuesday Map: Where the Kurds are

Morton Abramowitz, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, has an important piece in today’s Web magazine called How to Save Iraqi Kurdistan from Itself. As a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Abramowitz writes with authority about the perils and politics of that corner of the Middle East. And he’s worried about what Turkey might ...

600382_070724_kurdistan_05.jpg
600382_070724_kurdistan_05.jpg

Morton Abramowitz, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, has an important piece in today's Web magazine called How to Save Iraqi Kurdistan from Itself.

As a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Abramowitz writes with authority about the perils and politics of that corner of the Middle East. And he's worried about what Turkey might do in response to incessant attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a guerrilla group better known as the PKK. Turkey has massed troops along the Iraqi border, and the Kurds recently accused the Turks of shelling their territory. But the United States seems inexplicably complacent. Just the other day, the U.S. commander in charge of northern Iraq, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, shrugged off the PKK issue:

I'm not alarmed about it at all," he said. "I think that will be worked out in the long run."

Morton Abramowitz, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, has an important piece in today’s Web magazine called How to Save Iraqi Kurdistan from Itself.

As a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Abramowitz writes with authority about the perils and politics of that corner of the Middle East. And he’s worried about what Turkey might do in response to incessant attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a guerrilla group better known as the PKK. Turkey has massed troops along the Iraqi border, and the Kurds recently accused the Turks of shelling their territory. But the United States seems inexplicably complacent. Just the other day, the U.S. commander in charge of northern Iraq, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, shrugged off the PKK issue:

I’m not alarmed about it at all,” he said. “I think that will be worked out in the long run.”

But as Abramowitz argues, this isn’t an issue that will simply work itself out, and it runs much deeper than the PKK alone. U.S. diplomats and military types need to roll up their sleeves and solve this problem before the situation spirals out of control. Looking at the below map of the Kurdish population in the region, it’s easy to see why the Kurds represent such a thorny issue for Turkey, a fiercely nationalistic country:

Map via GlobalSecurity.org

Read the article to find out more about what is one of the world’s most dangerous situations right now.

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