September 19, 2011
TSG IntelBrief: Iraq: A House of Kurds?
Following the recent focus on 9/11 in the U.S., The Soufan Group has been watching carefully those countries most closely impacted by the U.S. reaction to those attacks, specifically Iraq, which has seen the expenditure of hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. treasure, and the cost in human capital is continuously measured in thousands of lives.
Despite the end of the U.S. combat mission in August 2010, June 2011 saw 15 U.S. servicemen die, the largest loss of life for two years. In the same month the U.S. lost 39 servicemen in Afghanistan.
Two years after an indecisive election in Iraq, with a destabilized Syria on its West, an increasingly aggressive Iran to its East, a bellicose Turkey to the North, and an unforgiving Kuwait to its South, Iraq is potentially on the point of internal political meltdown.
We are increasingly concerned that the fragile power-sharing agreement brokered over many months is on its last legs, and we may be on the point of seeing what in effect could become a political coup.
Given the presence of major U.S. corporations in Iraq, including ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford and Baker Hughes, and the huge revenues they generate, which in turn generate large tax revenues for the beleaguered US Treasury, Iraqi national security and stability has a transnational economic imperative as well as a regional stability criticality. Our analysis is set against this context.
The catalyst for the assessment lies in our monitoring of a rapidly growing wave of coordinated political opposition to Prime Minister (PM) al-Maliki being managed by the largely Sunni political bloc of Iraqiya, headed by former PM Iyad Allawi, and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) led by President Masud Barzani and PM Barham Salih...
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