MESOP TODAY OPINION SAMPLER ON KURDISTAN : Misguided Critiques of a Kurdish-centric Strategy against the Islamic State

Washington Kurdish Institute – A number of analysts have rung alarm bells regarding Washington’s increasingly “Kurdish-centric strategy” against the Islamic State. Maria Fantapie of the International Crisis Group warns that “By picking the Kurds as strategic allies, you have created an imbalanced relationship between the Kurds and the other communities living with the Kurds.” Denise Natali warns that “Relying on Iraqi Kurds to act as coalition boots on the ground may eliminate some [ISIS] safe havens, but it is fueling Kurdish land grabs.” Hassan Hassan and Bassam Barabandi, in an article entitled “Kurds Can’t Be Syria’s Saviors,” likewise present a slew of arguments to warn Western powers away from cooperation with the Kurds. The implicit policy recommendations of these naysayers would seriously compromise the best chance to bring about a semblance of stability to the Syrian quagmire. <>