Western Arms for Iraqi Kurds Could Fuel Future Independence Push

Fear of Changing Balance on the Ground Prevented Arms Before

The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was on the cusp of secession just weeks ago, but the sudden losses to ISIS have changed that calculation. The latest round of US and French arms shipments are changing it again.

Officials are pumping arms into the Kurdish Peshmerga in hoping that it will change the balance of power between them and ISIS, but it is inevitably changing the balance between them and the Iraqi central government as well.

The reason the US et al. were not selling arms to the Peshmerga in the first place, and indeed the reason the US was previously limiting arms sales to the Maliki government, was to keep the Kurds from securing enough arms to successfully secede, or for the Iraqi military to get strong enough to crush their autonomous region.

With the US now throwing itself headlong into another Iraq war, the fear of upsetting this balance has gone out the window, and they and their allies are now arming everyone with reckless abandon, irrespective of the inevitable consequences.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.