Spoils of Babylon

Kirkuk is about to bring Iraq back into civil war. The Obama administration is moving toward a settlement of this disputed region that will anger everyone.

Issue: Jan-Feb 2010

  THE FATE of Iraq may well rise or fall on Kirkuk as Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen and Christians grapple for control of the province and the safety of their people. Oil riches abound in this land that straddles the border of Arab and Kurdish Iraq. And command of these resources is the prize for the taking. As the powers that be in Baghdad fight to hold on to the tenuous peace wrested from civil war, deciding the political fate of Kirkuk is treacherous enough to bring down the state. So far, the battle has largely taken place in a never-ending political drama, but if compromise cannot be reached-and soon-bloody conflict may well be the next step.


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