By: Centre of Regional and International Studies (CRIS)
The KRG’s foreign policy since 2002 has focused on moderation (especially by not intervening in the Kurdish issues of neighboring states) and reassuring the international community that Iraqi Kurdistan (or South Kurdistan) is an actor they can deal with, live with, do business with and cooperate with. From the fall of Saddam to very recently, the KRG has generally spoken with one voice to Baghdad and the international community. Compared to some states (Lebanon, for instance) and proto-states (the Palestinians, for example), such an ability to act as a unified actor on the international scene is striking. This is also bit of anomaly, as The KRG in fact should have been one of the least likely regional governments capable of operating as a unitary, strategic actor internationally. Kurdish nationalism suffered from notoriously high levels of factionalism and disunity throughout its history. Every major twentieth century Kurdish uprising against the Turkish, Iranian or Iraqi states (of an estimated thirty such uprisings) witnessed the opposition of often equal numbers of Kurds recruited by central government authorities. What can International Relations theory tell us about this case, and how can this case improve such theories?