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A Peshmerga soldier walk to place a Kurdish flag near the frontline with ISIL on November 16, 2015 in Sinjar, Iraq. (John Moore/Getty Images)
(John Moore/Getty Images)

The State of Iraq—and the Republic of Kurdistan?—After ISIS February 23rd Event

The coming months will likely see the end of the Islamic State’s control of territory in Iraq, but the problems facing the peoples of Iraq will not end there. The country faces myriad problems, ranging from sectarian divisions and dysfunctional governance to unhelpful neighbors. Tensions over budgets, weapons, borders, and oil between the Kurdistan Region and the central government in Baghdad remain unresolved—and may soon precipitate the declaration of an independent Kurdish state.

On February 23, an expert panel examined the challenges and opportunities ahead for Iraq, Kurdistan, and the new U.S. administration. Should the Trump administration continue to invest in the Iraqi State? Are federalism, institution-building, and good governance initiatives in Iraq a lost cause? How should the new administration deal with Iraq’s powerful, Iranian-backed Shiite militias? Would an independent Kurdish state bring solutions or additional problems for Kurds and the other peoples of Iraq? Similarly, what would the Republic of Kurdistan mean for the United States? The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman joined Brookings Institution’s Kenneth Pollack and Ranj Alaaldin, along with Hudson’s Michael Pregent and Eric Brown, to discuss the implications for Iraq and the region as well as their importance to America’s geopolitical interests.

Speakers

Eric B. Brown Moderator

Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman Speaker

Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States of America

Ranj Alaaldin Speaker

Visiting Fellow, Brookings Doha Center

Kenneth M. Pollack Speaker

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Michael Pregent Speaker

Adjunct Fellow, Hudson Institute

Hudson Experts

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