Iraq's Disputed Territories
A View of the Political Horizon and Implications for US Policy
The depth of emotions resulting from decades of armed conflict, discrimination, and forced demographic change in northern Iraq cannot and should not be discounted. At the same time, framing the territorial conflict in existential terms, even as it is partly a positioning tactic by parties eager to further their respective claims, makes compromise more difficult and reduces the chances of resolving the dispute politically. This report attempts to demystify and disaggregate the disputed territories by drawing upon two data sets: the pattern of political preferences expressed in the territories during Iraq's three postconstitution elections and archival records detailing the administrative history of these areas.
© 2011 United States Institute of Peace (USIP)